Party In A Pita (2893 Jones Franklin Road, Raleigh, 851-4998, www.partyinapita.com) is now open in the Swift Creek Shopping Center. This party, which has been serving Lebanese and Greek food (gyros, falafel, baba ghanoush) as a truck vendor that debuted at the 2006 N.C. State Fair, now has a permanent home. Owners Leann Ishak and Samir Yehya still take the truck to various local festivals from April through October, but they park the truck during winter. From their brick-and-mortar store, they cater events and make daily deliveries to a limited area with a $15 minimum order.
TeaGschwendner, a tea merchant that began in Trier, Germany, in 1978, now has a store open in Cameron Village (419-B Daniels St., Raleigh, www.teamerchants.com). TeaGschwendner has more than 140 stores worldwide but only five in the U.S.; the Raleigh store is the only one on the East Coast. It sells more than 250 varieties of loose-leaf tea (black, green, oolong, white, herbal and more), as well as tea accessories, honey and even chocolate.
In Durham, Guglhupf (2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Suite 1, 401-2600, www.guglhupf.com) is now serving dinner five nights a week (Tuesday through Saturday) in its café. That's a new addition to its 11-year-old bakery and patisserie and five-year-old lunch service. Executive Chef Dave Alworth, who has worked at both Watts Grocery and 411 West, has created a menu that includes German-inspired dishes: zwiebelkuchen (a savory onion tart with smoked bacon and egg) paired with a green salad; wurstplatte (a selection of sliced artisanal meats and sausages served with gruyere cheese, hard-boiled egg, pickles and mustards) served with a bread basket; and schnitzel. But it also has familiar favorites: herb-roasted local chicken, grilled New York strip steak and a wild mushroom salad.
Another Durham restaurant, Bocci Italian Trattoria & Pizzeria (5850 Fayetteville Road, 206-4067, www.bocciitalian.com) is expanding to Cary. The Cary Bocci is located in Lochmere Pavilion (2425 Kildaire Farm Road, 803-5358) and should be open as you read this. (But you know how restaurant openings go, so call first!) The new space overlooks the Lochmere Golf Club and includes a private dining room that holds up to 50 people. To celebrate the opening, Bocci has unveiled an updated menu for both locations. Many of the same Italian favorites are still there (hello, tortellini verde), accompanied by new ones: pork osso buco and tilapia zafferano, among others.
A new Irish pub is coming to downtown Chapel Hill. Upfitting is under way at 206 W. Franklin St., in the former Buffalo Wild Wings space, for Kildare's Irish Pub (www.kildarespub.com). Kildare's calls itself "an authentic Irish experience," complete with "hundreds of containers of Irish artifacts to use throughout the buildings" and staff members trained "in traditional Irish hospitality and service." Kildare's, which has locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, loads its menu with popular bar food as well as Irish cuisine, so buffalo shrimp, wings and nachos sit alongside fish and chips, bangers and mash, Guinness stew and shepherd's pie.
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