Raleigh, N.C. — Another food hall, with a twist, is on the way according to a feature in Raleigh Magazine this past week. Craften will open in late summer in Knightdale and is the brainchild of NC F&B podcast host and industry veteran Max Trujillo and entrepreneur Kip Downer. Unlike ‘typical’ food halls, you will order from your phone and the food is brought to your table by a server. The Knightdale location will feature Poblanos Tacos, Fiori Trattoria, The Corner Venezuelan Food and Finca Burger. The duo also announced that they plan to open a second, larger Craften in Clayton by the end of the year, which will feature 6,000 square feet of indoor space, plus a 4,000-square-foot astroturf lawn area. Start getting familiar with them here.
Wake County Restaurant News
Got word this week that LM Restaurants and “Top Chef” alum Katsuji Tanabe are teaming up for a Mexican restaurant in Cary. A’Verde Cocina and Tequila Library will be located at 2300 Walnut Street in the former Wild Wing Cafe space at the Centrum at Crossroads shopping center. Fellow restaurateur Giorgios Bakatsias is designing the space. Tanabe became the Chef in Residence at LM Restaurants’ Vidrio in downtown Raleigh last summer, joining the team after his first North Carolina restaurant, High Horse, closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. They hope to open the restaurant this summer. Not much up yet on the website, but you can follow their progress on the Facebook page here.
Raleigh Magazine also shared the news that the much-anticipated plant-based restaurant and taproom Element Gastropub has opened at the One City Plaza (421 Fayetteville Street) in downtown. Element Gastropub offers vegan and vegetarian comfort foods and classic bar snacks for brunch, lunch and dinner. They are in the space that was Z Pizza, followed by Gigi’s Pizza. Get to know them here.
The wait is finally over. The popular Tex-Mex chain Torchy’s Tacos is now open in Midtown East. The Austin-based fast-casual restaurant is serving up tacos, margaritas, and queso in its first-ever North Carolina location. Might be time to get by and check out all the hype – I’ve never been to one. Check them out here.
Our friends over at RalToday shared that the highly-anticipated Bond Brothers Eastside in Cary opened its doors this past weekend. The Cary brewery is located at 602 E Chatham St. (near WakeMed Soccer Park). Check them out here.
And speaking of places to grab a drink – Glenwood South welcomed the opening of the watering hole Teets Raleigh at 425 Glenwood South. Owned by brothers Bates and Anthony Bataglia, the space features two huge outdoor patios, and an open and welcoming indoor space featuring tons of TVs to catch your favorite sporting event (primarily our Carolina Hurricanes!) The name is a nod to their grandfather’s nickname as a prominent member of the Chicago mafia. Check them out here.
Looking for all the outdoor dining options in Downtown Raleigh? Raleigh Alliance has put together a great list of those options, and they even divided it up by district. Check out that list here.
Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News
Hey Ursula, did you hear!?! The wait is over in Chapel Hill with the Downtown Chapel Hill Alliance breaking the news that Dame’s Chicken and Waffles has opened (soft-open mode from 11-2, Monday through Friday) at 147 E. Franklin Street. They have locations in Greensboro, Durham and Cary. Check out Dame’s here.
And here are a couple of wonderful resources for those looking to dine in downtown Durham or downtown Chapel Hill – Downtown Durham Inc. has an up-to-date listing of the status of each restaurant in downtown Durham. Check out the list here. And the Downtown Chapel Hill Partnership has put together a similar list for Chapel Hill here.
RalToday brought it to our attention that the Downtown Raleigh Alliance is bringing back their extremely successful Dine Out Downtown program that they began last year. This Friday (April 30) and Saturday (May 1) from 5-9 p.m. dine outside! Friday the event will be held on Fayetteville Street. On Saturday, the focus is the Warehouse District – Morgan Street Food Hall. Complimentary parking is available throughout downtown. Get all the details and see which restaurants will be participating here.
The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has brought back their extremely successful Dine Out Downtown program that they began last year. It continues every Saturday through June and highlights a different district in downtown. This Saturday (May 8) from 5-9 p.m. This weekend’s focus will be on Fayetteville Street. Complimentary parking is available throughout downtown. Get all the details and see which restaurants will be participating this Saturday here.
Downtown Durham Inc. announced that The Streetery scheduled for this Saturday, May 8 has been canceled. Look for it to return on May 22. The Streetery happens on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month and they will announce the location for each Saturday. Get all the details here.
The Cary Citizen reported that the Downtown Cary Food & Flea Market returns Sunday, May 9. The market will have over 40 local artists, food vendors and craft makers. It will take place in the Fidelity Bank parking lot at 100 W Chatham St. from 12-4 p.m. Get all the details here.
On May 21, you can enjoy a special Mediterranean dinner featuring an exclusive cocktail hour with four different cooking stations, wine, beer and a belly dancer! That’s right, this special evening is a collaboration between Sassool and Cheeni and will take place at Spice Route Kitchens. The evening begins at 5 p.m. with dinner served at 6:30. Tickets are limited and available for purchase online for $100. The event will also be held virtually, streaming from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Get tickets and all the details here.
WRAL reported that the Spring Food Fest is planned May 21-23 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily allowing attendees a chance to savor a variety of fair food vendors. Most vendors will be cash-only. Guests should enter the fairgrounds at Gate 9 off Trinity Road and park in the midway area. While at the fairgrounds, guests can also purchase early admission tickets to the upcoming N.C. State Fair (October 14-24) for $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 6 to 12 years old. Get all the details here.
As if you need another reason to get your COVID-19 vaccine, here’s a very sweet reason. At Krispy Kreme, anyone who shows their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card receives a free Original Glazed® doughnut. And you can do this every day for the duration of the promotion. One donut a day sounds pretty good to me! Available in the shop or drive-thru. Here are all the details.
Jennifer Martin over at Shop Local Raleigh/Greater Raleigh Merchants Association reached out to me to let us know that they are holding NC Hops Festival on June 12 and 13 at the NC State Fairgrounds where they will have live music, food trucks, local vendors, and of course, unlimited sampling of NC beer, cider and hard seltzer. The event will be indoors and out. Get tickets and all the details here.
You might want to go ahead and plan on spending your Labor Day weekend in Pinehurst for the inaugural Pinehurst Barbecue Festival – a three-day event, staged in and around the historic Village of Pinehurst from September 3-5, 2021. The event will offer a unique culinary sampling experience of various barbecue meats and traditional sides. Choose to experience the entire three-day festival, or attend just one signature event. A multi-ticket VIP package, as well as individual tickets for each event are available. The pitmaster lineup includes: Ed Mitchell, The Preserve (Raleigh); Christopher Prieto, Prime Barbecue (Knightdale); Adam Hughes, Old Colony Smokehouse (Edenton); Joe Lumbrazo, Backyard Bistro (Raleigh); and Ashley Sheppard, Pik N Pig (Carthage). Get tickets, schedule and all the details here.
Our friends over at RalToday pointed out a few events you might want to go ahead and get on your calendar. So exciting to think of some of our favorite events actually happening in 2021! First up, Raleigh Veg Fest 2021 originally scheduled for April 4 has moved to October 31 in downtown Raleigh’s Moore Square. And Brewgaloo scheduled for June 11 and 12 in downtown Raleigh.
Food Bank corner
May is Bytes for Bites Month at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Over the past year, the ways we have used technology to connect with one another has exponentially grown, and while so much of our lives seem to have moved to a virtual platform, our basic household needs remain ever present. With the loss of jobs, income, and in-person schooling, there are 38% more individuals and families struggling to keep food on the table. For the month of May, technology companies and organizations across the Food Bank’s 34- county service area are invited to raise meals in a friendly competition to fight hunger for bragging rights, an exclusive volunteer opportunity and a trophy! Think your company has what it takes to win? Here is what you need to know.
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.