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Foodie news: Osteria Georgi opens in Chapel Hill

Sean Lennard, the Triangle Food Guy, has the scoop on openings, closings and foodie events.

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Osteria Georgi
Sean Lennard
, Triangle Food Guy
RALEIGH, N.C. — Beginning tonight at 5 p.m., Giorgios Bakatsias and chef/partner Daniel Jackson open the doors to Osteria Georgi on Elliott Road in Chapel Hill! This marks the first new restaurant for Giorgios Hospitality Group to open since Rosewater in Raleigh’s North Hills 2019, and the third addition to GHG’s Chapel Hill repertoire of restaurants – including Bin 54 Steakhouse and Cellar and Kipos Greek Taverna. Look for simple, fresh Italian food made by hand, using exquisite local and Italian cheeses, braised meats and North Carolina seafood, and a wide variety of pastas made in house to serve alongside Italian wines and riffs on classic Italian cocktails. The Osteria is named in honor of Giorgios Bakatsias’ friend, the late, great George Tarantini, who was born in Italy and was beloved as NC State’s soccer coach for over 25 years. Get familiar with them here.
Wake County Restaurant News
More big names have announced re-opening plans, or have resumed operations – be sure to check with your social media channels for exact details. But some of those include: Stanbury on N. Blount Street in Raleigh opened yesterday inside and out. No reservations, walk-in only; Raleigh Convergence shared the news that Garland is now open for dining room and bar reservations; over in Chapel Hill the Triangle Business Journal reported that Perennial Cafe will return to serving its crafted coffee beverages and baked goods beginning in mid-May, according to owner Scott Conary; Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar on Creedmoor Road in Raleigh has officially reopened its indoor dining. The Southern-comfort restaurant will still offer patio seating + curbside takeout; and back over in Chapel Hill, Southern Village’s Town Hall Grill has set a target date of May 12 for re-opening. All very exciting!
WRAL shared the news that the space previously home to Busy Bee Cafe / Trophy Tap & Table (225 S. Wilmington Street), is being renovated and turned into a restaurant and distillery called Young Hearts. It will be operated by the same team as Busy Bee, Trophy Tap & Table, State of Beer and Trophy Brewing Company. The space is undergoing renovations, including the destruction of the downstairs bar. Instead, pedestrians will be able to look into the windows from the street and see the distiller working. Upstairs will feature a 20-foot opening for sliding barn doors to a rooftop patio where diners will enjoy a large outdoor awning that will have heaters and fans. Look for them to open sometime this summer.
It looks like next week on May 5 is the opening day of Torchy’s Tacos Raleigh – Midtown East (located in front of the Wegman’s location on Wake Forest Road). Keep up with any announcements on their website here.
And speaking of openings at Midtown East, RalToday shared that Ashley Christensen’s new restaurant concept, BB’s Crispy Chicken, is slated to open in June. That will be followed by two additional locations, one in Durham and the other in Cary, marking Christensen’s first ventures outside of Raleigh. Get familiar with them here.
Our friends over at RalToday informed us that Clean Juice is opening a location in North Hills later this summer in the Lassiter District, between Sur La Table and MADISON. The Charlotte-based juice bar has Triangle-area locations in Chapel Hill and Durham but this will be its first Raleigh location – finally! They are projected to open late summer 2021. Check them out here.
Raleigh Convergence shared the news that ItsAWrap Eatery, a Vietnamese restaurant, opened last week in Morrisville at 10970 Chapel Hill Road. The menu includes pho, Bahn Mi sandwiches and vermicelli noodle bowls. You can get to know them here. They also shared that Meat & Graze will open a cheese and charcuterie bar at Boxyard RTP in summer or fall of this year. Get to know them and follow their progress on Instagram here.
We shared with you back in March that Wok Haus, Korean cuisine and bar, was opening on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street adjacent to Guasaca. Well, reader Herman Huang shared with us the news that they have now opened. Get to know them here.
And speaking of Hillsborough Street, Italian Kitchen of Raleigh is in soft-opening mode further down the street in the former Sub Conscious Subs spot at 3209 Hillsborough Street. Right now they are offering a limited menu as the finalize everything including the patio out front, as well as a new patio out back. Still waiting on an official opening date.
Looking for all the outdoor dining options in Downtown Raleigh? Raleigh Alliance has put together a great list of those options, and they even divided it up by district. Check out that list here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies Facebook founder Carrie Brogren shared a couple of nuggets this week. First up was the news that Lime and Lemon Indian Grill and Bar – with locations in Durham and Raleigh – will be opening a third Triangle-area location as they prepare to move into the old Fusion Fish space in Chapel Hill’s Meadowmont. No word yet on an open date. Visit them here.
Carrie also shared the news that beginning today, Friday, April 30, The Pizza Press is rebranding. They will no longer be a part of The Pizza Press franchise. They will be reopening as Sôst, which is the phonetic spelling of the word “sauced”. With this change, you can expect the same great food and service, but they will be adding some ingredients to the build-your-own pizza concept, as well as adding some new menu items like pasta, sandwiches, wraps, and bar bites. Not much on their website, but you can visit them here.
Over in Durham, RalToday shared that national sensation Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream is coming to Brightleaf Square later this year. No word yet on an exact date. This will be their first Triangle-area location and only the second North Carolina location (Charlotte). Get to know them here.
And down in Chatham County, a new taco house called Sabroso has taken up residence in the former Burger King (same building as the Eagles gas station) on 15-501 just south of Chapel Hill. A taco house with a drive-thru? Sign me up! We can’t find an online presence, so you’ll just have to trek over and check it out!
And here are a couple of wonderful resources for those looking to dine in downtown Durham or downtown Chapel Hill – Downtown Durham Inc. has an up-to-date listing of the status of each restaurant in downtown Durham. Check out the list here. And the Downtown Chapel Hill Partnership has put together a similar list for Chapel Hill here.

Food Trucks

Here are a couple of sites to find and stalk your favorite food trucks here and here.


RalToday brought it to our attention that the Downtown Raleigh Alliance is bringing back their extremely successful Dine Out Downtown program that they began last year. This Friday (April 30) and Saturday (May 1) from 5-9 p.m. dine outside! Friday the event will be held on Fayetteville Street. On Saturday, the focus is the Warehouse District – Morgan Street Food Hall. Complimentary parking is available throughout downtown. Get all the details and see which restaurants will be participating here.
Downtown Durham Inc. announced that The Streetery will return on Saturday, May 8 when they’re taking it to the MotorSteam area on Rigsbee Avenue with added outdoor seating and buskers. Join them from 12 – 9 p.m. to shop, carry out, dine in or dine out. The Streetery will happen on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month and they will announce the location for each Saturday. Get all the details here.
On May 21, you can enjoy a special Mediterranean dinner featuring an exclusive cocktail hour with four different cooking stations, wine, beer and a belly dancer! That’s right, this special evening is a collaboration between Sassool and Cheeni and will take place at Spice Route Kitchens. The evening begins at 5 p.m. with dinner served at 6:30. Tickets are limited and available for purchase online for $100. The event will also be held virtually, streaming from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Get tickets and all the details here.
As if you need another reason to get your COVID-19 vaccine, here’s a very sweet reason. At Krispy Kreme, anyone who shows their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card receives a free Original Glazed® doughnut. And you can do this every day for the duration of the promotion. One donut a day sounds pretty good to me! Available in the shop or drive-thru. Here are all the details.
You might want to go ahead and plan on spending your Labor Day weekend in Pinehurst for the inaugural Pinehurst Barbecue Festival – a three-day event, staged in and around the historic Village of Pinehurst from September 3-5, 2021. The event will offer a unique culinary sampling experience of various barbecue meats and traditional sides. Choose to experience the entire three-day festival, or attend just one signature event. A multi-ticket VIP package, as well as individual tickets for each event are available. The pitmaster lineup includes: Ed Mitchell, The Preserve (Raleigh); Christopher Prieto, Prime Barbecue (Knightdale); Adam Hughes, Old Colony Smokehouse (Edenton); Joe Lumbrazo, Backyard Bistro (Raleigh); and Ashley Sheppard, Pik N Pig (Carthage). Get tickets, schedule and all the details here.
Our friends over at RalToday pointed out a few events you might want to go ahead and get on your calendar. So exciting to think of some of our favorite events actually happening in 2021! First up, Raleigh Veg Fest 2021 originally scheduled for April 4 has moved to October 31 in downtown Raleigh’s Moore Square. And Brewgaloo scheduled for June 11 and 12 in downtown Raleigh.

Food Bank corner

May is Bytes for Bites Month at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Over the past year, the ways we have used technology to connect with one another has exponentially grown, and while so much of our lives seem to have moved to a virtual platform, our basic household needs remain ever present. With the loss of jobs, income, and in-person schooling, there are 38% more individuals and families struggling to keep food on the table. For the month of May, technology companies and organizations across the Food Bank’s 34- county service area are invited to raise meals in a friendly competition to fight hunger for bragging rights, an exclusive volunteer opportunity and a trophy! Think your company has what it takes to win? Here is what you need to know.
Sean Lennard, a Raleigh native, 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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