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Foodie News: North Raleigh restaurant changing concepts

Sean Lennard, the Triangle Food Guy looks at how a North Raleigh restaurant is changing their concept.

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Sean Lennard
, Triangle Food Guy
RALEIGH, N.C. — Here we go, rolling into Phase 2 tonight at 5:00 p.m. As this is a moving target, with so many variables in play, my best recommendation to know the details surrounding your favorite restaurant, like – are they open for in-house dining; what are their modified hours; what is their, possibly modified, menu; are they continuing to offer curbside pickup and/or delivery…etc. – is to simply go to their website and/or better yet, their social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. That is likely where you will find the latest and greatest.

My only other request is to be kind and patient. This is all new territory and extremely stressful and a lot to adjust to after two months of constant adjusting, tweaking and pivoting. No restaurant is moving into or not moving into Phase 2 without considerable thought, planning, training and preparation. Your health and the health of their employees is at the forefront of every single move they make.

To that end, kudos to the NC Restaurant and Lodging Association for their “Count on Me NC” restaurant promise initiative. When customers see this endorsement, they can be certain that the restaurant is taking all necessary steps to protect their employees and customers and is committed to playing a leadership role in protecting our communities. Read about it here.

Wake County Restaurant News

Mike DePersia at National Restaurant Properties shared that the former Brixx location at Cameron Village will become The Daily Fare, a family owned restaurant (Greco family) with roots in New York’s Hudson Valley. They will be serving up everything from fluffy pancakes and hot sandwiches to beef steaks and burgers! No word yet on an open date (other than Spring). Get to know them here.
Just around the corner on Hillsborough Street, RalToday shared the news that Nourish Raleigh (with a location in Raleigh on Capital Blvd.) is opening a new location in the former Liquid State space at 1908 Hillsborough Street, near the NC State campus. Get familiar with Nourish here.
Time for more good news, and something we can all drink to! Raleigh Brewing Co. shared the news this week that head brewer Scott Craddock had sanitized and tested the all the lines at their newest taproom located at the Arboretum at Weston in Cary. This location will feature 50+ taps and they are expected to open early in Phase 2! Their original location is on Neil Street, just off Hillsborough Street. Keep up with Raleigh Brewing here.
Up in north Raleigh, Raleigh Convergence shared that Driftwood Kitchen and Bar in Lafayette Village will re-open as Driftwood Cantina in mid- to late-June. They’ll continue to offer takeout from their Southern-inspired menu for now. The new concept includes “fresh Latin-American inspired” food and cocktails and an updated look. Keep up with them in Instagram here.
Over in Cary, Raleigh Convergence also shared the news that Esteamed Coffee, a coffee shop whose mission is to integrate employees with various disabilities and our community at large in such a way that the lives of all are enriched through their fellowship in a warm, welcoming environment, is coming to Academy Street in early November. They will be serving hot and cold beverages (coffee, teas, smoothies, and other cold specialty drinks), baked goods (both regular and gluten free), as well as selling art work and gift items made by individuals with disabilities in our community. To find out more, and how you can help, visit them here.
Speaking of beer, Bearded Bee Brewing is a microbrewery coming to downtown Wendell and set to open this summer! Their mission is to brew great beer using local ingredients, support the honeybee and local beekeepers, and create a place for the community to gather – the “hive” is what they are affectionately calling their renovated building! The brewery will have a large taproom and beer garden… a place where friends, family, and pets gather to enjoy great company and great beer! Follow their Facebook page to keep up with their progress and any announcements.
Every Monday in May at any Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken location, healthcare workers get a free 1/4 Chicken Combo with any 2 sides complimentary. Just show your work badge…and enjoy! Check out all the area Alpaca locations here.
And a little bit down east, and just in time for trips to the beach, Wilber’s Barbecue – the iconic Eastern North Carolina barbecue destination in Goldsboro, which opened in 1962 and will re-open soon – shared its opening menu here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

The Durham Food Hall continues to open….slow…ly. Right now, Auctioneer Bar and Liturgy Beverage Co. are open. Here is the balance of the schedule as we know it at this point (all subject to change): Everything Bagels and Old North Meats & Provisions on May 22; Afters Dessert Bar on May 26; Napoli Pizza & Gelato on May 28; Lula & Sadie’s, Locals Oyster Bar and Ex Voto’s Burrito Bodega on May 29 Order online and get all the details here.

Closings / Cancellations

This one hurts – Raleigh’s Gateway Restaurant closes their doors after 35 years due to Covid-19. My best to Thomas and Martina in their next chapter. See their announcement on their Facebook page here.
High school classmate Lisa Ginger Vanderberry shared the sad news (confirmed by Indy Week) that after 21 years of serving authentic Cuban and Argentinian cuisine, family-owned Oakwood Café has closed its bright red Edenton Street storefront for good.
Gonza Tacos y Tequila has permanently closed its Durham location on Fernway Avenue after being unable to secure favorable lease terms, but they are open to a new Durham space if the conditions are right. Their location at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park will remain open; they can still be found at Duke athletic events; their Macondo Latin Cuisine rooftop restaurant slated to open right around the corner at Durham ID; and they still have their locations in Cary, north Raleigh, Wake Forest and downtown Raleigh!
And down in Kinston, Mike DePersia of National Restaurant Properties shared the news that Vivian Howard’s Boiler Room Oyster Bar has closed permanently. She also shared that Chef & the Farmer won’t open this summer, but that when they do, they will carry some of the menu items from the Boiler Room.
Mike DePersia at National Restaurant Properties – the Jimmy John’s on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh has closed permanently.

Food Trucks

Here are some sites to find your favorite food trucks here and here.


Last week we shared the news about a ‘Brew-Thru’ of sorts associated with Brewagloo. This weekend is your chance to experience Drive-Thru Fair Food Days! You heard that right, this weekend (May 22-25) and next weekend (May 29-31) from 12-8 p.m. (Cash only) you can drive thru the Fairgrounds (enter off Trinity Road) and order from your car. Think Funnel Cakes; Deep Fried Oreos; Deep Fried Snickers; Fresh Squeezed Lemonade; Candy Apple (with or without nuts); Cotton Candy; Tropical Delights Smoothies (strawberry, pina colada, peach); Pineapple Cup; Dole Whip Float or Cup. Cash only! Can anyone else imagine how far traffic is going to back up?
Save the date to pick up your favorite Jewish foods from the South’s most beloved Jewish Food Festival! All proceeds from food and raffle ticket sales go to the Jewish Federation’s initiatives to address food insecurity in our local community. The more you buy, the more you help! This year, the Food Festival will be a pre-order and drive-thru pickup only! We hope to nosh alongside y’all in person in 2021! Make sure you’re able to pick up your order on May 31, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Orders that are not picked up within the pickup window will be donated to their Food Pantry. Want to be part of the fun? Sign up for a volunteer shift! To order, visit their site here.
The 5th Annual Raleigh International Food Festival has decided to move their event to Saturday, Aug. 8 from noon until 10 p.m. in the 100-200 block of Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. While there you will be able to try authentic international food, desserts as well as imported beer and wine! There will also be lots of music and entertainment at this child and pet friendly event. Admission is free and parking on the street is as well. Obviously, keep up with their Facebook event page for any announcements and/or rescheduling. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
This event is in Asheville, but who wouldn’t be down for a road trip come August? So, the Buxton Hall Barbecue’s Smokeshow Festival has been rescheduled to August 23, 2020. The wood-fired-hog-centric event is set to overflow with the biggest names in BBQ along with some of the nation’s most notable chefs, all coming together under one roof. Alongside endless soul-warming ‘cue from your favorite joints from across the southeast & beyond, guests can also expect to get down to live music, nosh on some equally as show-stopping non-BBQ bites and taste test Asheville’s best local brews from Highland Brewery. Get all the details here and tickets can be purchased here.
The Fest in the West is back for its fifth year on Saturday, November 7 from 11 am- 5 pm at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. The event features food & beer, music, arts & crafts, a KidZone, contests and a petting zoo. A great way to spend time with 7,000 of your closest friends. Admission is free! Get all the details here.
Thanks to Triangle On The Cheap, here are some updates on event cancellations and rescheduling: PeakFest in Apex was rescheduled to September 19; Meet in the Street Festival in Wake Forest was rescheduled to September 5; Artsplosure in downtown Raleigh was rescheduled to October 10 and 11; and the Pimento Cheese Festival in Cary has been canceled.

Food Bank Corner

This April the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina distributed a record-breaking 7.68 million lbs of food – the largest single-month distribution in its 40-year history! Thanks for the added support from donors, partner agencies, and the work that went into ensuring people got this food! Kudos all! But let’s keep the donations coming in May as the need is still great! Find out more here and donate! #noonegoeshungry
Sean Lennard owns Triangle Food Guy, the only locally owned and operated corporate catering website, TriangleFoodGuy.com. As a native of Raleigh, Sean has been around the Triangle food scene for...well, a long time, but professionally since 2002 with the the Triangle Food Blog, formerly known as Friday Fun Food Facts, in 2008. You can find his blog here. And you don't have to wait until Friday for updates as you can follow Sean throughout the week on Facebook and Twitter.


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