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Chatham County's caffeine fix



If you read our Oct. 8 Dish issue on bedroom-community dining, you already know that the selection of restaurants in commuter-heavy Chatham County is growing.

If you're traveling to or from Pittsboro, you can stop by the Olive Branch Caffe (11520 15-501 North, Chapel Hill, 942-2345, in the Cole Park Plaza Shopping Center, which opened last week. According to his Web site, owner Nick Giuggio was a longtime restaurant owner in Massachusetts before moving to Chatham last year. Now he's offering American-Italian fare, including pizza and pasta for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday. He describes his atmosphere as family friendly: "You can come in with your kids and not be embarrassed about them being loud," he said. "That's what we cater to."

And soon, Pittsboro will gain another caffeine outlet. The owner of the Chapel Hill Bean Traders Coffee Co. in Meadowmont (116 W. Barbee Chapel Road, 968-9292,, Kirsten O'Hara, is planning to open a coffee shop in the Main Street Station shopping center. On her blog, Mad Science (, you can follow O'Hara's progress as she hires bakers and baristas and brings good coffee to good people.

Several area bakeries are participating in Cupcakes for a Cause (, a national effort to benefit CancerCare for Kids. Through Oct. 26, these bakeries, including The Cupcake Shoppe (104 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, 821-4223,, BabyCakes (pickup and delivery only, 413-7400,, and Audra's Cakes and Creations (no retail store, 830-8811 or, will donate a portion of proceeds to ensure that children with cancer (or who have a family member with cancer) can access free counseling services. Last year, the benefit raised more than $60,000.

There's a big drinking event this weekend in Raleigh (no, it's not the fair). Capital City Cheers ( is setting up shop in Moore Square and providing more than 100 wines (half from North Carolina), more than 50 domestic and international beers, and a bourbon, whiskey and rye tent—all from noon to 6 p.m. (admission time depends on type of ticket) Saturday, Oct. 25. Organizers promise bands, food, the works—even a "designated driver ticket" for $15. Cost for drinkers starts at $25 in advance or $35 on site. Admission doesn't include food. Buy tickets via the Web site or call 800-830-3976, ext. 108.

This is wayyyy advance notice, but if you're a fan of chef Anthony Bourdain, the author of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly and current host of No Reservations on the Travel Channel, mark your calendars for Feb. 19, 2009, because he's coming to the not-even-open-yet Durham Performing Arts Center ( He will speak about his professional accomplishments and world travels. (Wonder if he'll talk about the North Carolina food scene?) Guilford College's Bryan Series is presenting the event, and tickets are on sale now; they start at $20.

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