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Foodie News: Raleigh restaurant announces major expansion

February 8, 2019
Relish (Facebook)

Things are really starting to get busy at Raleigh’s newest food hall - Transfer Co. Food Hall with the opening this week of Benchwarmers Bagels and the upcoming grand opening celebration of Locals Seafood with a fish fry on Feb. 23. The current list of open operators are: Benchwarmers Bagels, Burial Beer Co., Captain Cookie & The Milkman, Che Empanadas and Locals Oyster Bar. Coming up next (over the next few weeks and into the Spring) include: Bul Bowl (a Japanese Izakaya); Chhote’s (Indian Street Food); and Dank Burrito.

Big news this week for Relish Craft Kitchen and Bourbon Bar fans! They will be opening The Kitchen Table at Relish-Biscuits, Brews, and Boardgames next door in the former Dos Taquitos space some time in the Spring of 2019. Let me breakdown the three components for you. The biscuits will feature the classic buttermilk biscuits, iced blueberry or blackberry biscuits, bacon and chive biscuits, jalapeno and corn biscuits, cinnamon biscuits, and vegan biscuits just to name a few. Brews means rotating selections from NC’s 130 plus craft breweries as well as locally roasted coffee. And Boardgames means they already have a collection of more than 400 board games! In other words, put your phones down!

And today (February 8) is the day for the grand opening of the much-anticipated Oak Steakhouse in The Dillon in downtown Raleigh. A tip-of-the-hat to Crash Gregg for the mouth-watering photos he shared via social media of a pre-opening event he attended (and forgot to invite me!). They also have locations in Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte and Nashville.

The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that J&S New York Pizza, which has locations in Apex and Fuquay-Varina, will be opening up a new location in Cary. The restaurant, known for its New York-style pizzas, will take over the Ruckus Pizza & Pasta spot at the Arboretum at the intersection of Weston Parkway and Harrison Avenue. Ruckus Pizza, which opened in 1999, still has four locations in the Triangle, including restaurants in Raleigh, Apex, Morrisville and Tryon Village in Cary.

NC State fans have something to celebrate following a week that saw their men’s and women’s basketball teams fall to the Tar Heels - Guasaca’s newest Raleigh location opened on the ground floor of the Target at 2512 Hillsborough St. The restaurant is known for their delicious arepas and has locations in Morrisville, Durham and their original location on Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh.

On the other side of State’s campus on Western Boulevard, Dana McCall shared that Biscuitville is going into the old Wicked Taco spot. Thanks for the tip Dana!

Back in November we told you that Fred Chason’s Grandsons Buffet was coming to south Raleigh near Garner in the former Larry’s Southern Kitchen spot at 4205 Fayetteville Road. Hugh Autry reported this week that it is now open.

And just down the road in Garner, Hugh Autry also reported that a Honeybaked Ham store is coming to the White Oak Crossing shopping center next to Krafty’s Burgers and Brews, close to Regal Cinemas. Also in Garner, Autry shared that a Jersey Mike’s is going into the former Beef Jerkey Outlet spot, near Blaze, Five Guys and Cabelas. Thanks for the Garner updates, Hugh!

And this is a fun read - the the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau posted on their site this week a list of the oldest restaurants in Raleigh. If you are looking to mix-up your dining options, this list includes some tried-and-true institutions that are well worth a visit.

John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, shared via Twitter this week that the Cat Tails Cat Cafe in Chapel Hill is shooting to open next week. It will be located at 431 W. Franklin St., Suite 210, which is in the Courtyard (where Kipos and Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe are). In addition to 12 free-roaming adoptable cats, the cafe will serve coffee, beer, wine and tasty treats.

Fresh off of his research and development trip to Rome, chef-owner Teddy Diggs of Coronato plans to host two pop-up events before the grand opening of his new Roman-style pizzeria this summer in Carrboro. The first is slated for Monday, Feb. 18 at Fox Liquor Bar in downtown Raleigh and the second is Thursday, March 7 at TOPO Organic Distillery in Chapel Hill.

Was sad to learn this week that Moonlight Pizza, a spot that often landed on lists of the the top pizzas in Raleigh, has closed.

And the Taco Mac location in Cary’s Waverly Place also closed this week. That leaves them with two locations in North Carolina, both in the Charlotte area.

And not exactly a closing, but learned of a restaurant for sale thanks to a Facebook post by childhood friend Julie Liddle - Cafe Buongiorno’s (Cafe B as it is affectionately known)in the Bedford community is for sale, but it will be “business as usual” until they have a buyer. So, if you are interested, you can contact the cafe here.

A James Award winning baker and beloved Triangle chef has died. Karen Barker, who won a 2003 James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef for her work at Durham’s Magnolia Grill, died last weekend from cancer, according to the News and Observer. She was 61.

Go ahead and mark down the dates for 2019 for the Durham Food Truck rodeos - they are: March 24, June 16, Sept. 1 and Nov. 3!

Chatham OutReach Alliance (CORA) invites the public to the 9th Annual Chatham Empty Bowls Fundraiser on Sunday, Feb. 24 at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington in Pittsboro. Empty Bowls is an event designed to raise awareness and funds for our battle to end hunger in Chatham County. Get all the details here. Purchase tickets here or at the door.

An annual favorite — Cooking for a Classic 2019 — is just around the corner. The prize for 2019 is restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler. The First Round is Monday-Thursday, Feb. 25-28; Second Round is March 4 and 5; and the Finale is March 11. Tickets start at $75 for the First Round, $100 for the Second Round and $125 for the Finale.Venue is 1705 East in Raleigh. You can get all the details here and tickets here. Each evening features six plated courses. Round One features Teddy Diggs from Coronado vs. Ryan Grimm from Watersview; Matt Hannon from Ashton’s vs. Bo Peterson from Primal Food & Spirits; Jake Wood from 18 Seaboard vs. Jonathan Blackley form Prestonwood Country Club; and Andrew Smith from buku vs. Orlando Jinzo from The Leadmine. All proceeds benefit the Lucy Daniels Center’s mental-health programs for children in the Triangle.

BBQ lovers should put March 9th on their calendar. That is the day of Jimbo’s Annual Backyard BBQ Competition up in Youngsville. Basically it is a 36 team BBQ competition run under a KCBS backyard style. For $20 attendees get to sample all entries and award a “People’s Choice” award to the best cue. In addition to the competition BBQ, they will have a couple food trucks, beer, wine, sodas, and water. All proceeds this year will go to The Carolina Cavalry, a civilian disaster response organization. Find out more about Carolina Cavalry here. Get all the event details here, including registering your BBQ team.

Shop Local Raleigh’s annual craft beer festival, Brewgaloo, will take place April 26-27, 2019. Brewgaloo features craft breweries from North Carolina and partners with local food trucks, local vendors and local bands. Get tickets now and all the details on their website here.

The return of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Thrive NC, is scheduled for May 9 -10 at City Market in downtown Raleigh. The inaugural event attracted thousands of members of the community to celebrate North Carolina’s culinary roots, while also initiating critical conversations about food insecurity in our state. The highlight of the two-day event is the festival which will feature more than 60 of the area’s best restaurants serving food and drink samples as well as live entertainment, including chef demonstrations and music. Tickets will go on sale Feb. 28.

Start a virtual food drive at your office! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Starting a food drive is easy! Get all the details here.

Sean Lennard covers the Triangle food scene on his site Triangle Food Blog.

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