Restaurant News

Restaurant news: Taking reservations for a pop-up spot

aweigl@newsobserver.comDecember 6, 2012 

Reservations open Sunday

for pop-up restaurant

The Cookery is kicking off the first of what will likely be many future pop-up restaurants with Hakanai, a Japanese restaurant by the folks behind Toast in Durham.

The Cookery, a culinary incubator, now has its Front Room, a gorgeous event space with a full bar and outdoor patio. Billy and Kelli Cotter, owners of the Italian sandwich shop Toast, will use the space to open their Japanese restaurant for dinner Feb. 1-3.

Chef Billy Cotter’s menu will feature “handmade soba noodles, steaming bowls of dashi, and even a bonito made in-house, which requires brining, smoking, and baking fish in order to utilize it in a finely shaved and particularly flavorful form,” according to a press release.

Reservations will open online at 10 a.m. Sunday at

New spots for tacos, doughnuts in Durham

Here are details on two new eateries in Durham:

• Joel Ibarra, the original owner of the El Rodeo Mexican restaurant chain throughout the Triangle, has opened his first restaurant in Durham: Baja Shack at the Northgate Mall. Baja Shack will serve its specialty fish tacos with beer-battered white fish and customized toppings. The food court restaurant also will offer burritos, tacos, fajitas, chimichanga and quesadillas.

The Baja Shack is located next to Jake’s Wayback Burgers in the food court at the mall, 1058 W. Club Blvd., Durham.

• Chef Tom Ferguson, owner of Durham Catering Co. and former owner of Only Burger, has opened Rise, a biscuit and doughnut shop, near The Streets of Southpoint. The menu features a rotating list of 10 freshly made hand-rolled and cake doughnuts, including a maple bacon bar, a long maple doughnut topped with bacon that folks keep raving about on Twitter. Biscuit toppings include apple-smoked bacon, ham, country sausage, fried chicken, egg and various cheeses. Sides include potato hash cakes, grits, cracked pepper sausage gravy and a vegetarian mushroom gravy.

The shop, open 7 a.m.-2 p.m. daily, is at 8200 Renaissance Parkway, Suite 1003, near the Target and Petco. For more information, go to

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