Foodie News: See which restaurants are opening up, closing down during pandemic
Posted June 29, 2020 2:16 p.m. EDT
Updated July 3, 2020 11:38 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Now more than ever, everyone could use a glass (or bottle or two) of wine. Earlier, we shared the news that more than 20 Triangle restaurants were named among the world’s best for wine according to Wine Spectator.
- The Player’s Retreat, Oakwood Pizza Box and Second Empire are among the publication’s 2020 Restaurant Award winners. The Angus Barn received the highest honor as a Grand Award Winner for its selection of wine.
- Azitra in Brier Creek, Barcelona Wine Bar in downtown Raleigh, The Fearrington House Restaurant in Pittsboro and Herons at the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary received the Best of Award of Excellence.
- Award of Excellence winners included 42nd Street Oyster Bar, Bella Monica, Bin 54, Elaine’s on Franklin, Elements, Fairview Dining Room, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, Mandolin, Nazara Indian Bistro, Oakwood Pizza Box, Plates Neighborhood Kitchen, Rue Cler, Ruth’s Chris Steak House (Raleigh, Cary and Durham), Parizade, Seasons 52, Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern, Stoney River Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, The Player’s Retreat and Vidrio.
Wake County Restaurant News
- Lots of restaurants reopening as they have implemented safety procedures and adjusted their spaces (both inside and out) to accommodate safe dining environments, but some of the biggies this week include: With a new expanded patio, courtesy of the City of Raleigh, Irregardless Cafe has reopened with a new summer menu. Here is a pretty comprehensive list of openings in Raleigh thanks to Visit Raleigh!
- The folks over at Raleigh Convergence tipped us off to the fact that Blend Raleigh (smoothie and energy bar) is now open on Hillsborough Street where Liquid State used to be (1908 Hillsborough St). Their sister location is Nourish Raleigh at 1829 Capital Blvd. Get familiar with them both here.
- Got word from Neal DePersia at National Restaurant Properties this week that the Market Grill at the Raleigh Farmers Market has been completely remodeled and is ready for a new owner operator. Find out more about this rare opportunity here.
- And we can’t close without a HUGE Happy Birthday/Anniversary to Raleigh’s iconic Angus Barn! Sixty years ago this past Sunday, Thad Eure, Jr and Charles Winston bought 50 acres of pastureland on Highway 70, halfway between Raleigh and Durham. 21,000 nights and 14,000,000 guests later “Big Red” is still famous as a “Beef Eaters Haven.”
Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News
- Lots of restaurants reopening as they have implemented safety procedures and adjusted their spaces (both inside and out) to accommodate safe dining environments, but some of the biggies this week include: Chapel Hill’s Bin 54 opens July 6th; the Kanki’s Durham/Chapel Hill location’s dining room has reopened for dinner! That means you can now enjoy all three Kanki Restaurant locations. Deli Edison, the neighborhood eatery and gourmet food shop in north Chapel Hill, is now open for take-out and online ordering. If you’re looking for a pretty comprehensive list of what is open in Orange County, Chapelboro has you covered and Visit Durham has you covered in Durham.
- Got word this week that Bull City Solera and Taproom is slated to open mid-July in the former Chick-fil-A building behind Target and Sam’s Club at 4120 University Drive. They will serve up craft beer, barrel aged beer solera, Mexican pizza, Italian tacos, wine and spirits. It is being brought to us by the people behind Bull City Burger and Brewery and Pompieri Pizza in Durham. Stay tuned for an exact open date.
- Also in Durham at the Renaissance Center across from Streets at Southpoint and just a few doors down from Los Tres Mexican Restaurant (think Moe’s, McAllister’s and Ted’s Montana Grill) there is a sign up for a new Potbelly Sandwich Shop opening “soon-ish.” We will keep an eye on it.
- Over in Carrboro, just a heads up that Oakleaf is “going on vacation” from July 5th to August 5th. They are using that time to develop a new catering arm, Hard Shell Events, specializing in outdoor functions like crab feasts and oyster roasts as well as custom in home events. Get by this weekend, or see everyone at Oakleaf on August 5th!
- Two Duke faculty are conducting a survey on how COVID-19 has impacted Durham restaurants, especially the effect on revenue and keeping staff employed. The finding will be shared with Durham’s mayor, Durham County commissioners and local philanthropic foundations. They hope that business owners and managers will be able to leverage this information when making requests for better support. The survey is anonymous, takes just 10 minutes, and results will only appear in aggregate.
Closings / Cancellations
- We had reported this a few months back, but Michael DePersia at National Restaurant Properties confirmed that Peppers Market in Morrisville is permanently closed.
- Over in Cary, Twitter buddy BurgeoningBaker shared the sad news that Urban Turban in Cary is closing. Today, July 3rd, will be their last day. They noted that they will still honor gift certificates and Diner Dinars at their sister store, Falafel 54.
- And in Chapel Hill, Carrie Brogren of Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies group shared that Soul Cocina is permanently closing their storefront in Blue Dogwood food hall. They will continue with online ordering and deliveries and the farmers’ market scene.
- Here are a couple of sites to find and stalk your favorite food trucks with Roaming Hunger and Street Food Finder.
- They are doing it again…thank goodness! WRAL shared the great news that you can get a taste of the North Carolina State Fair without leaving your car AGAIN this weekend. The North Carolina State Fair will be hosting Drive-Thru Fair Food Days Friday through Sunday (July 3-5). And word is, they’ve added TURKEY LEGS to the July 3-5 menu! They will run noon to 6 p.m. each day and sales will be cash only. Drivers should enter the fairgrounds parking area off of Trinity Road. Orders will be placed from your car and servers will come to you. People are asked to remain in their vehicles to maintain social distancing.
- The folks over at Oakleaf in Carrboro are hosting a “takeaway” Crab Cake Feast on the Fourth of July with pick-up Saturday between 12 and 5. Orders must be placed by Friday (July 3) at 5 p.m. The menu features: Jumbo Lump Crabcakes with Old Bay Remoulade; Sweet Corn and Heirloom Zucchini Salad with Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette; Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary; Mascarpone Cheesecakes done up in Red, White and Blue. Cost is $90 and serves two people generously. Call if you would like to add a bottle of so,so,so cold Rose (French because, you know they helped out big time back in ‘76) $20 at (984)234-0054.
- Thanks to the guys over at NC Food & Beverage Podcast for bringing attention to an app called EatOkra that helps you find Black-owned restaurants. It was founded in 2016 by husband-and-wife team Anthony and Janique Edwards in an effort to preserve Black spaces. Now, in light of recent events throughout the country, supporting Black-owned businesses is more important than ever. Download the app to discover Black-owned restaurants and eateries in your area to show your support! Check them out here.
- Raleigh’s Angus Barn will hold their annual Seafood Celebration Dinner in the Angus Barn Wine Cellar on Saturday, July 18th with a menu inspired by seafood from the North Carolina coast. The social begins at 6 pm, followed by the dinner at 7 pm. The cost is $130 per person plus tax (inclusive of wine pairings and gratuity) and there is limited seating availability. To purchase tickets call Nicole at 919-987-1270 or Tiffany at 919-987-1260.
- The 5th Annual Raleigh International Food Festival has decided to move their event to Saturday, August 8th 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.
- Brewgaloo has been rescheduled for August 14 and 15, 2020. It is a 2 day festival featuring over 110 craft breweries from around NC and partnering with local food trucks, local vendors, and local bands to bring you North Carolina’s largest craft beer festival! The fun begins Friday night with a sampler event from 6-10pm featuring limited releases, barrel aged, and sour beers. Saturday’s street festival spans the length of Fayetteville Street and fills Downtown Raleigh from 2-10pm with more than 110 NC craft breweries, local food trucks, and local vendors with 2 stages featuring local bands all day long. Get all the details on the Shop Local Raleigh website 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!
- 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
- The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina saw their April distribution record blown out of the water by their distribution in May! For the second straight month the Food Bank distributed a record-breaking amount of food to the community: May distributed 9.14 million pounds of food compared shattering April’s record breaking 7.9 million pounds (typical month is about 7 million pounds). While they wish the need were not so high in the community, they are grateful to have the support and resources to rise to the occasion and help as many families as possible. Make a donation today here. #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.