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General Store Cafe expansion

Plus: Six Plates Wine Bar opening and Red Room Thanksgiving-themed cooking class

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Vance Remick, owner of The General Store Café (39 West St., Pittsboro, 423-5639, www.thegeneralstorecafe.com) sent an update on the café's expansion. And what an expansion it will be for this local favorite, located right off the town square. The new place will be four times the size of the old. Construction is under way to create more seating, plus a stage and dance floor. The food offerings are expanding as well: Look for a lengthier catering menu, more draft beers, a grab-and-go deli and salad area. The place is open throughout the process, and the grand reopening is set for next spring.

Speaking of openings, after you read this you might be able to visit Six Plates Wine Bar (2812 Erwin Road, Suite 104, Durham, 321-0203, sixplates.blogspot.com). Co-owner and managing partner Matthew Beason is targeting this week to welcome people to the wine bar and small plate establishment at Erwin Terrace. (Be patient though: Restaurant opening dates are a moving target.) Beason explained the name: "It is literally six plates," he said. "It's not a full menu." Some people equate "small plates" with "tapas," but Beason said there is a difference: Tapas often feature just one ingredient. A small plate, though, is more like a fully realized course, except in a small portion. "For us, with small plates, the plates are more defined," he said. Think, for example, banana-leaf wrapped grouper steamed and served over noodles with ginger-soy mushroom sauce.

More important than definitions, though, is the idea. Beason, a Durham native who worked his way up from waiting tables at Pop's to managerial positions there and at Nana's, and eventually part owner of both Pop's and Rue Cler, said the concept for Six Plates is a wine bar with great food. "No waiters or waitresses, everything ordered from the bar ... coffee tables, couches, chairs, lounge seating," he said. So, you can come for a snack, or make a meal out of it. Plates will range from $6 to $15.

The chef, Ted Domville, will use as many local ingredients as possible, and change the menu to reflect what's available—even by the day. Wines by the glass (ranging from $4 to $15) will also change with the menu to optimize pairings, Beason said. They begin with about 100 selections available by the bottle ($16-$700), and about 30 to 40 beers. "From there, we will grow," he said.

Red Room Tapas Lounge (510 W. Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, 835-1322, www.redroomraleigh.com) is hosting a Thanksgiving-themed cooking class from noon to 2 p.m. on Nov. 17. Todd Ohle, executive chef at 1705 Prime, will teach participants how to prepare turkey with prosciutto and hazelnut stuffing, cornbread dressing, Lyonnaise sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash and pecan pie. Cost for the class is $50 per person, and 10 percent of all proceeds will be donated to the American Heart Association. For more information or to sign up online, visit www.rockytophospitality.com (Rocky Top manages both Red Room and 1705 Prime).

Know about a special food happening in the Triangle? Send it to Now Serving at food@indyweek.com.

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