Triangle Restaurant News: Friday Fun Food Facts
Triangle restaurant news...that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.
• We’ve been watching this for just over a year now, but The Pit barbecue restaurant, a very popular barbecue joint in downtown Raleigh, is officially opening their second location adjacent to Fullsteam Brewery in downtown Durham at the corner of Rigsbee and Geer streets. Look for an opening in about 10 months. Owner Greg Hatem says a 2,000-square-foot rooftop patio with a view of the city will make it Hatem’s largest restaurant when it opens. Hatem also owns The Raleigh Times, The Morning Times, Sitti and Gravy, all in downtown Raleigh. Check them out here.
• Also in downtown Durham, Chef Matt Kelly opened his newest restaurant, Mateo Bar de Tapas, this past Wednesday. Mateo is in the old Book Exchange building at 109 W. Chapel Hill St. Kelly also owns Vin Rouge.
• And in downtown Pittsboro, we have an "official" opening date for the Pittsboro Roadhouse and General Store (formerly General Store Cafe). Chef Greg Lewis is telling us that barring any unforeseen hold ups, they'll swing open the doors to the newly renovated space and unveil their new menus on Friday, August 17th for dinner. Stop by and "Like" their new Facebook page.
• Over in Raleigh, the area’s first location of Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar is expected to open by year’s end in the Seaboard Station development in downtown Raleigh. It will be in the portion currently being renovated directly behind Sunflowers Café. Bad Daddy’s will feature a patio out front. Also, a shop offering smoothies and coffee, called Blend & Grind, will open in the same building.
• Just when you thought Park West Village couldn’t possibly add any more restaurants, they have announced their “second phase” of dining options. Those restaurants in the works include what will be the 2nd Triangle location of Bad Daddy's Burger Bar, Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, Chili's Grill & Bar, Chipotle, McAlister's Deli, Noodles & Company and The Wine Guy Wine Shop, a wine bar and bistro. Most of these are targeted to open in the fall of 2012. Park West Village is located at the intersection of Cary Parkway and Hwy. 54 in Morrisville. As always, we’ll keep you posted.
• According to the N&O and TBJ, Tomato Pie will open in early November in Raleigh’s Crabtree Valley Mall across from Panera Bread. Tomato Pie is owned by Payman Bazooband, who also owns the upscale Red Monkey Tavern (also in Crabtree) as well as Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse at Brier Creek.
• Chevy’s Ale House opened last week in Apex at 1402 E. Williams Street. The family-friendly restaurant and sports bar offers a typical American fare. Get more details on their Facebook.
• According to the Chapel Hill Magazine, the latest version of Tobacco Road Sports Café will open by the end of September, just in time for football season. This location will “complete the Triangle” when it opens in Chapel Hill’s East 54 (in the former Streets Deli location). Tobacco Road has locations in Raleigh (Glenwood Avenue) and Durham (adjacent to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park).
• Somehow we missed this, but a new pizza joint has opened up in North Raleigh at 2221 New Hope Church Road called Pizza Buff. Check out all their details and menu. Apparently they have an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring pizza, pasta salad and dessert for $5.99.
• There is a food truck rodeo of sorts today (Friday) over in Carrboro from 5-10 p.m. The event is a benefit for The Peoples Channel and is also combined with a clothing swap. The combined food truck rodeo-clothes swap will be at The Station (201 E. Main St.) and will coincide with the 2nd Friday Artwalk. Look for food provided by Chirba Chirba, Local in Motion, The Parlour, Vimala’s Curryblossom Café and Will & Pops.
• A shout out this week to one of my favorite “food related” ventures called LoMo Market. Imagine a mobile farmer’s market rolling into your place of business or even your neighborhood. It could happen, but you’ve got to make it happen. Visit their website to recommend your location for a possible stop.
• Some sad news coming out of Chapel Hill (no, it is not football related). The Daily Tar Heel is reporting that the latest attempt to revive The Rathskeller has failed and it is unlikely the Rat restaurant would ever move back into its old site, due to the high cost of repairs needed (estimated at between $800,000 and $1 million). That said, there still remains the possibility it could open in another location. But could it ever be the same in another location? We’ll watch it for you.
• We are sad to report that after about 12 years in operation, Solomon’s Restaurant in North Raleigh has closed. But apparently owner Victor Khoury’s cuisine can now be found at the Saints and Scholars Pub at 909 Spring Forest Road.
• One of our readers, Katie Page, informed us this week that Munchie’s Mexican Restaurant over on Durant Road in Raleigh has closed. Thanks Katie for the tip!
• It appears as if the little Mexican restaurant La Salamandra has closed its doors at 2627 Hillsborough Road in Durham. That said, there is a rumor that they may be opening a location in Raleigh. We'll keep an eye on it for you.
• And we close with a few anniversary celebrations. First up is the 37th anniversary of Linda’s over on Chapel Hill's Franklin Street. Their celebration is today (August 10) from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. featuring food and drink specials, live entertainment and a raffle for dinner for two by Chef Chris. The 2nd is the 5th anniversary of the Carolina Brewery’s Pittsboro location. They’ll be hosting an Iron Chef-style burger competition. The winner will be announced at 5 p.m. on Saturday. And finally, Fullsteam Brewery over in Durham will be celebrating their 2nd anniversary on Saturday with a full day of festivities including a food truck rodeo featuring five trucks. Congratulations to all three establishments on these milestones.
Sean Lennard is owner of http://www.trianglefoodguy.com, a local corporate catering service, and writes the weekly food blog Friday Fun Food Facts which covers the weekly restaurant news in Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill. Sean can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.