Foodie news: Cocktails and bubble tea in Raleigh, bagel ice cream in Durham

1 April 2022

The folks over at Raleigh Convergence shared the news that The Crunkleton, a Chapel Hill-born craft cocktail bar and restaurant, will open their newest location in the fall at Smoky Hollow in downtown Raleigh. Like the Chapel Hill location, the Raleigh edition will also have a selection of antique and rare whiskeys and an open-hearth kitchen serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. In addition to the original location in Chapel Hill, they also have a location in Charlotte.

Wake County Restaurant News

Got word from reader Burke Williams that Happy + Hale is adding a new location in North Raleigh by Target near the intersection of Six Forks and Strickland. They will be taking over the spot that was previously Shish Kabob. We will see if we can track down additional information and an open date. Happy + Hale has four additional locations in the Triangle, with the most recent opening in Durham’s University Hill.

Down in Holly Springs, Bellini Italian Cuisine shared the news this week that they are now open in their new location at 7256 GB Alford Highway in the Shoppes at Holly Springs. They moved there from their previous location in Cary’s MacGregor Village. They are open everyday for lunch and dinner.

In Raleigh, franchisee Joe Russo has opened his 5th location of Marco’s Pizza, this one at 6820 Glenwood Ave. (near the intersection with Duraleigh/Millbrook).

Over in Morrisville, Jennifer Buccholz shared the news that Feng Cha bubble tea shop will open soon in Park West Village. No word yet on an exact open date, so stay tuned. Keep up with them on their Facebook page for the pending announcement.

And if that is not enough news out of Park West Village in Morrisville, Jennifer Buccholz also noted that there is signage up for the newest location of Red, Hot & Blue. The barbecue joint has a long history here in the Triangle and has one other location in Raleigh on Falls of Neuse Road. No word on an open date.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Piero’s Pasta & Wine opened yesterday (Thursday, March 31) in the former Casa Maria/Cerritos Cantina spot at 1502 E. Franklin Street. They are open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday (closed on Mondays).

In Durham, blogger EatRaleigh shared the news that Durham will be the next location for Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. They currently have 18 locations across the country, with one of those being in Charlotte. To give you an idea of their unique flavors, they have an Everything Bagel flavor…Need I say more? We will see if we can get more details on exactly where they will open.

Down in Chatham County, just outside of Chapel Hill, the former Sabroso Taco House (which went into the former Burger King location) will soon be the home to Ta’ Contento. They note that they will be open this Spring. Many of you will be familiar with their amazing food truck serving up authentic Mexican offerings. This is a great addition and exciting for their continued success and growth. Thanks to Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies group founder Carrie Brogren for bringing this to our attention.


My buddy Michael Stickney shared with me the sad news that the Fox and Hound location in North Hills has permanently closed. No word yet on what will go into that space.

Up in Wake Forest, we got word from reader Katie Page that the Wakefield location of Randy’s Pizza is moving. They haven’t shared the new location yet, but it appears as if they have already closed that location. Find other locations here.

Food Trucks

Chefella’s Catering and Events announced this week that they are launching a food truck, Ella’s Eats Food Truck, Johnston County’s only southern fusion food truck. The truck will have a soft opening on April 9th at 411 N. Fayetteville St. in Clayton.

The Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo dates for 2022 rodeos are as follows – May 1, June 12, Aug. 7, Sept. 25 or Oct. 2 and Nov. 6 (alternate/rain date). The rodeo is set up on downtown Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street featuring a half mile of food trucks and restaurants spread out over 10 city blocks.

Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo 2022 schedule is as follows: June 5, Sept. 4 and Oct. 30. Mark your calendars.

Looking to find your favorite food truck (or stalking them and simply don’t want to have to admit it)? We understand. Find them on Street Food Finder here.


Tonight, April 1, sees the return of downtown Raleigh’s First Friday. First Friday is celebrated on the first Friday of each month at locations throughout downtown Raleigh. Art galleries and studios are open late with rotating exhibits and artist talks. Exhibitors feature artists, music, and special offers. Retailers and restaurants are offering discounts and specials. There’s something and somewhere for everyone. The event is free and open to all.

April 2 will see the return of a very popular food festival in Cary. Let me warn you, this is “nacho” average food festival – it is the Tacos ‘N Taps Festival from 12-5 p.m. at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre. The event features over 15 taco trucks, taquerias, and Mexican restaurants with over 30 different types of tacos. Each taco vendor will offer a wide variety of tacos and Mexican inspired dishes. Additionally, they will have over 60+ craft beers, mezcals, margaritas, tequilas, wine and ciders.

Also this Saturday, April 2 in Cary, Bond Brothers is bringing back their Mid-Town Square Festival starting at 12 p.m. and running into the evening featuring new beer releases, vendors and craftsmen, food trucks, live music and a dedicated kids zone. Admission is free and open to the public.

Over in Cary, Great Grapes is celebrating their 20th anniversary with a series of Grand Tastings beginning with the first one this Sunday, April 3. The event runs from 4-7 p.m. and is $40 per person and includes 15 wines, a catered meal from Long Leaf Swine BBQ and a Govino 16 oz glass. They will have additional tastings on April 30, May 22, June 19 and a grand finale in August.

Dreamville Festival

Cary’s Downtown Chowdown food truck rally returns this year on Sunday, April 10, where you can enjoy a food-filled afternoon along Academy Street tasting some of the best food in the Triangle, enjoy cool beverages from craft beer and wine vendors, and relax to the music of great local performers. See you downtown!

Raleigh’s Vidrio restaurant is hosting a Taste Tour of the Mediterranean monthly dinner series and it begins on Thursday, April 14 from 6:30-9 p.m. The destination and menu inspiration will change each month as they work their way through the Mediterranean. Each “culinary tour” will be led by executive chef Saif Rahman. The cost is $85, plus tax and gratuity.

Festivals in NC: Dreamville Festival

On April 16 from 12 to 6 p.m., The Pit Authentic BBQ is moving their 12th ‘Cuegrass Festival to Fayetteville and Hargett streets. The event is free to attend, family friendly, and all for a good cause. Every penny spent at ‘Cuegrass will be donated to local children’s organizations including SAFEchild, Junior League of Raleigh’s BackPack Buddies Program, and BSA Troop and Pack 325. The best bluegrass, barbecue, and beer (all local to NC) await you, so mark your calendars for ‘Cuegrass 2022!

Raleigh’s Vidrio restaurant is hosting an Easter brunch buffet from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on April 17. The cost is $55 per person. Celebrate the Easter holiday with a wide selection of Mediterranean-style dishes and brunch entrees, including breads and spreads, sundried tomato and feta frittata, shakshuka, applewood smoked bacon, crispy potatoes, mujadara, chicken cacciatore, a prime rib and ham carving station, a cinnamon bread casserole and assorted desserts.

And we are just under three months away from this year’s edition of Shop Local Raleigh’s Brewgaloo (April 22-23) – NC’s largest craft beer festival and 2nd biggest in the U.S.! Voted #1 Best Beer Festival two years in a row by USA Today’s 10Best, the weekend of events features craft breweries from N.C. and partners with local food trucks, local vendors and local bands. Friday night will be a sampler event from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person. Saturday’s event is 2 to 10 p.m. and open to the public. Beer is sold by the pint or the taste. The day will feature over 75 N.C. breweries, over 50 food trucks, dozens of local vendors and bands. Drink tickets will be sold in advance and available for purchase at the festival. Food trucks and vendors accept cash and credit options.

On May 1, the folks over in Pittsboro will gather under the stars for Local on Lorax: A Farm & Art Dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Plant at 192 Lorax Lane in Pittsboro. It is a pop-up dinner with a super-local twist gathering area farmers, chefs, restaurants, craft beverages, and visual and performing artists for a good time. Tickets are $125.

The folks over in Cary are proud to announce that Fest in the West, western Cary’s signature event, is back at Thomas Brooks Park on Saturday, May 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are two stages with entertainment featuring some of the best talent in the Triangle. Food trucks will be in three areas, a centrally located beer garden and a fun kids corral with activities for families along with a petting zoo.

Food Bank Corner

You can make a difference every month! Despite a record amount of food being distributed to individuals, seniors, children, veterans, and families of all kinds who are facing hunger last year, the food bank is still not meeting the increased need in the 34 counties the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina serves. Their partner agencies on the front lines are still reporting a sustained 35% increase in need over pre-pandemic levels. They need your reliable support to nourish all their neighbors in need. Sign up this January and your 1st monthly gift can be matched up to $2,500! Start giving today! #NoOneGoesHungry

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.

This post was originally published on this site

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