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Foodie News: Food halls are finally opening in the Triangle

June 15, 2018 GMT

Just yesterday, Sean Degnan and Tony Hopkins of bu•ku in downtown Raleigh (and bu•ku in Wake Forest and so•ca in Cameron Village) announced that at the end of their lease in December, they will move bu•ku into the former AN spot just off Cary’s Harrison Avenue across from the SAS campus. They also hinted at opening a new concept in downtown Raleigh once the bu•ku move is complete. Check out bu•ku here.

Just on the heels (pun intended) of the opening of the Triangle’s first food hall over in Chapel Hill (Blue Dogwood Public Market - which opened this past week), the folks behind the Morgan Street Food Hall in downtown Raleigh announced their opening date of July 23. The spot will feature over 20 culinary options when the doors swing open.

NC Triangle Dining, ITB Insider and YIMBY Raleigh all have noted recently that Raleigh’s Five Points will soon be home to (hope to open next month) Lola’s Cantina serving up street tacos, elote and more. It will be located next door to Third Place coffee shop. We were unable to find an online presence.

Also in Raleigh, got word from WRAL that David Harris, who owns Remington Grille and Amedeo’s, has purchased Sammy’s Tap and Grill. Harris said the menu will be getting new additions including a veggie burger, but don’t expect the popular wings and beef burgers to go away. The restaurant will be maintaining its sports bar atmosphere and getting some new decor.

Saw in the ITB Insider that work is now underway on The Davie Street Pub which will go into the former Calavera Empanadas space at the corner of Blount and Davie on the ground floor of the Palladium Plaza condos. The new pub will reportedly open later this summer. We couldn’t find an online presence for them.

John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, notified us that Caretta Coffee is opening this Saturday in north Raleigh next to The Hop Yard in the Falls River Town Center at 1141 Falls River Avenue. They will be serving up coffee, breakfast and lunch frittatas, fresh baked goods, smash toast and smoothies. Their original location is in Hilton Head. Get to know them here.

Up in Wake Forest, reader Brandon Clevenger notified us that there is a sign up at the corner of Capital and Stadium Drive for what appears to be the first Triangle-area location of Showmars. With lots of locations in and around Charlotte, they are a fast, casual concept featuring a blend of Greek and Southern, serving up sandwiches and salads. No word on a timeline.

Over in Cary, reader Cheyenne Jones notified us that The Neighborhood Sports Bar & Arcade is coming to the old TrainStation Bar & Grill location on Harrison Avenue (301 N. Harrison Avenue). They are working towards a July 4 opening.

Back on April 6 we told you about the pending opening of Vida Dulce Ice Cream and Popsicles at 836 E. Chatham St. in the new strip mall behind Bojangles. Got word that they are in fact, officially open.

Also in Cary, reader Matt Christ informed us that there is a new restaurant coming to the corner of Tryon and Cary Parkway in the Lowe’s shopping center called Kebab Skewer. Unfortunately that is all we have at this point. We were unsuccessful at finding any sort of online presence. Stay tuned. Thanks Matt!

Sean Umstead announced this week that he will open Kingfisher in in downtown Durham with his wife and business partner, Michelle Vanderwalker, in late 2018. Kingfisher - an intimate cocktail bar, located next to The Durham Hotel at 321 East Chapel Hill Street - will highlight fresh and skillfully preserved fruits and produce from North Carolina farms in craft cocktails and small plates. The basement space will reflect the couple’s honed sensibility and Vanderwalker’s artistic background.

Also in Durham, Bites of Bull City’s Amber Watson notified us that Foster Street Coffee is opening next week. It is owned by Tracy Cooper and is located on the ground level of the Liberty Warehouse apartments and just steps away from Durham Central Park.

And over at the Streets at Southpoint it appears as if the former Champps spot is being renovated to accommodate the next location of Uncle Julio’s Mexican according to reader Jennifer Buchholz who spotted signs going up this week. Uncle Julio’s got its start in Texas, but now has locations across the U.S. This will mark their first venture into North Carolina.

Not sure how this happened, almost literally under my nose, but it did. The Pickle Jar Café, formerly in Siler City, relocated back in March to the former Oakleaf spot in Pittsboro’s historic Chatham Mills. They specialize in fresh, local ingredients and scratch made recipes that support local farmers and community. Check them out here.

Lasting just over a year, we got word from reader Nick McBride that Maybelle’s in Durham’s American Tobacco Campus closed on June 1.

Just a reminder that today and tomorrow are your last chances to enjoy Kimbap one last time. It is located in Raleigh’s Seaboard Station.

The Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays went back into full swing this month. Trucks will be on hand for lunch and dinner each Thursday at the Knightdale Station Park. Thanks to Mark Ginsberg for the heads up.

Sunday, June 24 is the date for the next Wake Forest Food Truck Rodeo being held from 12 to 4 p.m. at the Over the Falls shopping center located at 405 S. Brooks St.

The dates have been set for the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo and Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeos. Check out Durham here and Raleigh here. The next one in Raleigh is this Sunday.

Two great sites to keep up with your favorite food trucks. Street Food Finder is one, and another, aptly named, is Roaming Hunger.

More importantly than it being Gordon Brown’s birthday today, June 15th is National Flip Flop day. And what is significant about that is that if you wear a pair of flip flops into any Tropical Smoothie Café (there are 10 locations in the Triangle) you can enjoy a free 16 oz. Sunshine Smoothie. While there, you can help them raise money for Camp Sunshine, an organization that provides retreats for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Get all the details here. Oh, and happy birthday Gordon!

WRAL reminded us that this weekend (June 15-16) is the 7th annual Bone Suckin’ Sauce Peak City Pig Fest (begins today). The family friendly festival takes place in downtown Apex, and is highlighted by all things barbecue. Today, there’s a pig pickin’ with live music and a beer garden. On Saturday, music, food, beer garden and pig races will round out the event. Admission is free so make sure to check it out.

The 2018 version of Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that pairs the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is well underway. The first two events (featuring Charlie Deal on March 12 and Scott Howell on May 14) have sold out. And if last year is any indication, the next two dinners will sell out quickly. The July 9 event features Phoebe Lawless (The Lakewoodand Scratch) and the September 10 event features Gocciolina’s Aaron Benjamin. Each night the chef will serve three or more courses at a ticketed dinner with the proceeds benefiting Families Moving Forward. The dinners are held at the Rickhouse and limited to 125 people.

The Rickhouse will host Durham’s 4th Annual PickleFest on Sunday, July 15th - a pickle-packed tasting event and market place! The event will showcase North Carolina made products from pickle vendors near and far including locally crafted kombucha and kimchi! Triangle area restaurants sample their unique pickle dishes as well as pickle flavored beers and a Bloody Mary bar to quench your thirst and pucker your lips! VIP tickets are $20 and include a gift and early bird entry from noon - 1pm, plus Home Pickler’s Contest Tasting and (1) free drink ticket. General Admission tickets are $10 and include either Session 1 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. or Session 2 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Kids under 10 years old are free.

And finally, listen up chefs! The NCRLA Chef Showdown is an annual statewide culinary competition sponsored by the NC Department of Ag. It’s a culinary competition open to chefs (savory and pastry) across the state. There are three regional semi-finalist rounds (New Bern May 22, Hickory June 4 and Raleigh, June 25) that will result in a final competition on Monday, Aug 27 in Charlotte. The final event is in conjunction with the first night of the industry’s Restaurant & Hotel Expo.

As a part of the Stop Summer Hunger initiative, generous friends of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina will match every gift – dollar for dollar. Please help them reach their matching goal of $135,000. For every $20 you give, the Food Bank can provide 200 meals! Make your donation here!

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