Out and about on WRAL.com

Out and about on WRAL.com

Locally owned coffee shop 321 Coffee announced via Twitter this week that they are opening their first independent store this spring on Hillsborough Street (615 Hillsborough St.) in Blok83 building (directly across the street from Char-Grill). If you are not familiar with 321, they are a coffee shop and burner employing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The first 321 Coffee location opened in the State Farmers Market building in 2019, and they will open a location inside Pendo Headquarters (Raleigh Crossing Tower) in February. They will continue to operate both of these sites and have plans to potentially open another location this year and plan to open a toasting facility. Become familiar with 321 and their history here. Thanks to the Triangle Business Journal for providing more information on their growth.

Nonprofit coffee company reopens after coronavirus, gets free makeover

Wake County Restaurant News

And it’s not the only food novelty related to the mixed development known as Bloc83 (which includes One Glenwood and Tower Two) in Raleigh’s Glenwood South. The Triangle Business Journal shared that the new owners also announced that a First Watch will move into a 4,000-square-foot space. First guard is a Florida-based breakfast and lunch restaurant chain that currently has nine locations throughout the triangle, including four in Raleigh. Visit First Watch here.

And the Triangle Business Journal shed a little more light on the concept that goes into the former Edwards Mill Bar & Grill. What we know – Urban Food Group family (think Chow, Vivace and Coquette here in Raleigh) will open a new concept there. And it’s scheduled to open in May. We know that for sure. Originally we reported that it would be called Foundry, but TBJ reports that it could be called Mill, maybe Mill Urban Tavern. But nothing has been carved in stone yet. In fact, the menu is not yet complete as a chef has not been chosen, but you can expect something similar to the group’s former Hillsborough Street restaurant Porter’s City Tavern. Stay up to date with Urban Food Group here.

Up in Raleigh’s North Hills, two news items. First up, it Redneck BBQ Lab have begun expanding their location there as they plan to have their grand opening in May 2022. Their original location is in Benson at McGee’s Crossroads. Follow their progress here.

In addition, we learned that we are approaching the opening of their location of Jubala coffee as they look forward to an opening in February. They open in the Park District of North Hills, adjacent to the Coastal Credit Union Midtown Park. Look for “an enhanced food menu” that includes weekend brunch. Their original location is in Raleigh’s Lafayette Village, and they have another location on Hillsborough Street on the ground floor of the Aloft Hotel. Visit Jubala here.

Over in Cary, the residents of Preston will be happy to learn that a location of Dunkin ‘ (I would still call it Dunkin ‘Donuts) in Lowe’s Foods Mall on the corner of High House Rd and Cary Parkway. Thanks to Michael DePersia of DePersia & Associates for bringing this to my attention. Nothing about a timeline yet. Visit Dunkin ‘here.

Also in Cary, RalToday shared it Dave and Busters reopens at a new location at 1111 Walnut St., close to the upcoming Epic Games global headquarters, next Monday, January 17th. Epic Games bought out of the former location inside the Cary Towne Center. Visit them here.

A quick news update, we brought you back in August 2021. David McCreary shared it Bellini fine Italian cuisine have closed their current location in MacGregor Village in Cary as they move to their new location on the 7256GB Alford Highway in Shoppes near Holly Springs this fall. Bellini takes over the square, previously occupied by the now-closed Los Pos Mexican restaurant. Look for them to open in the new room at the end of this month. Best to follow them further their Facebook page here for updates and notifications.

Up in the Wake Forest, John Huisman, also known as Triangle Explorer, discovered a sign for a new donut shop called Heritage Donuts enters next to Publix. We could not find an online presence, so we’ll have to rely on John for updates. Stick around.

Last night, WRAL revealed the winners WRAL Voters’ Choice Awards. See the winners in the Food & Beverage areas here. Congratulations to the winners and all the nominees!

2021 WRAL Voters' Choice Awards

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

Up in Chapel Hill, the owners of Old East Tavern opened a new coffee shop next to their restaurant called Poplar Cafeen. The name plays off the Davie Poplar tree on campus, believed to be the site where the university was founded (and the Old East was the first building on campus). They are on the site formerly occupied by Coco Bean Coffee & Tea, which moved into Glen Lennox’s new Gwendolyn building and expanded their offerings. Check out Poplar on Facebook here.

In Durham, reader Dave Salman shared the news Rockwood Dairy Bar in Durham (2514 University Drive) moving from their original Rockwood location in late January. However, they have not yet said where they will move to. You have to follow their Facebook page for information and hopefully soon a message.

Kudos to downtown Durham’s M Sushi for being the only restaurant in North Carolina named OpenTables top 100 restaurants in America for 2021. M Sushi is owned by chef Michael Lee and his wife, Yeonju (Kim) Lee. M Sushi is located at 311 Holland St. and is a flagship member of the M Restaurant group. Visit them here.

The people over Chapel Hill / Orange County Visitors Bureau has put together a great list of dining options in Orange County (Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, etc.) that have outdoor seating and heaters. Check out the list here.

Closures / cancellations

The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that the single Ruths Chris Steak House in Raleigh is closed due to Kane Realty Corp.’s redevelopment of the North Hills shopping district. The restaurant is NOT moving to a temporary location, but will reopen on the ground floor of the new development (a 12-story apartment building) in the winter of 2024. They still have locations in Cary and Durham.

Food Trucks

Are you looking to find your favorite food truck (or are pursuing them and simply will not have to admit it)? We understand. Find them on Street Food Finder here.


Thanks to a tip from Sitti’s head chef Tracy Wildrick, I was reminded of it Triangle Restaurant Week returns at the end of the month – 24.-30. January 2022. TRW is a week-long celebration of culinary expertise designed to incorporate the leading restaurants in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and the surrounding area. Under TRW, the participating restaurants offer special three-course menu options and fixed prices, a great opportunity for both residents and visitors to enjoy the area’s finest cuisine. No reservations, tickets or passports required. The price for the event is $ 15 for a 3-course breakfast and $ 25, $ 30, $ 35 or $ 40 for a 2-3-course dinner. The price is for each person and does not include drinks, tax or gratuity. Find out which restaurants are participating and all the details here.

Tick ​​your calendars for 3-5. February for it Triangle Wine & Food Experience. It’s North Carolina’s all-inclusive wine and food event for the Frankie Lemmon School & Developmental Center. The event features renowned winemakers and renowned chefs from around the world, as well as thousands of donors and supporters attending this truly amazing event. This three-day affair includes winery dinners at the triangle’s best restaurants, wine tastings in the area’s wine shops and trade events. The TWFE weekend culminates in the big auction, which offers a dazzling selection of wine and food, and an exciting auction that offers rare and incredible lots. Tickets are on sale now. Get all the details here.

Guys, you’ve been warned. Please note that Super Bowl AND Valentine’s Day fall on same weekend in 2022. The Super Bowl is Sunday, February 13, the day before Valentine’s Day. And we know everyone typically books their Valentine’s nights that weekend. You have been warned.

Food Bank Corner

New year, new ways to give back to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina! You can volunteer in a safe environment (MASKS ARE REQUIRED) or even host your own virtual food drive! Find out how on their website here. #NoOneGoesHungry

Sean Lennard, a native of Raleigh, has been around the Triangle food scene in … well, a long time, but professionally since 2002 with Triangle Food Blog, formerly known as Friday Fun Food Facts, in 2008. You can find his blog here. And you do not have to wait until Friday for updates, as you can follow Sean all week long Facebook and Twitter.


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