Retail

Retail: Pop-up Japanese restaurant The Lucky ready for another go

jmgiglio@newsobserver.comApril 10, 2014 

The Lucky is ready for Round 2.

The pop-up Japanese noodle restaurant, which had its first go at Raleigh’s Helios April 6, is set for its second event.

Like its predecessor, this Lucky will offer bowls of ramen noodles cooked in pork broth and the option for customers to add other items.

Not everything will be the same.

With lessons learned from the first event’s challenges, including a kitchen fire that forced the dinner to be moved to the patio, The Lucky owners Matthew Bettinger and Zach Neuman are holding their next – and all future – pop-up events outside. They’re also expanding their menu.

“(The fire) showed us what we wanted to do, which is cook outside,” Bettinger said.

The pair plan to offer The Lucky on the first Sunday of each month through September, with each pop-up having a different theme. The next event will be May 4 in the parking lot behind cocktail bar C. Grace, (407 Glenwood Ave.), where Bettinger is the general manager.

The partners are still working on the theme for that dinner.

“We want to do some collaborations with other chefs,” Bettinger said about the upcoming pop-ups. “One around seafood, (one with) fresh produce. There is so much great food going around, we want to use as much of it as possible.”

Prices for the next Lucky will start at $11 for a bowl of ramen noodles. Add-on items, including soft boiled eggs, pork belly, nori and bean sprouts, will cost more. They’ll also serve pork buns and bar snacks.

They are working on arrangements for alcohol.

Bettinger and Neuman expect the May Lucky to start at 5 p.m.; they won’t take reservations. When customers arrive, they will purchase tickets for their order and then get in one of the lines, which will be divided based on items.

There will be tables and chairs for those who want to eat there and food to go.

“It’s a very large area,” Bettinger said. “I don’t foresee us running out of space. If we (do), it will be quite a feat.”

The Lucky sold 138 bowls of noodles at its first pop-up, and the owners are looking forward to serving more.

“We just are excited to serve people all summer,” Neuman said.


Sam’s Bottle Shop, a beer, wine and cigar shop that’s a spinoff of Sam’s Quik Shop, has opened in Durham.

Owner John Boy Jr. said the store offers about 1,600 types of bottled beer, including a variety of North Carolina beers, about 70 canned beers and about 400 types of wine.

Sam’s has 28 rotating taps split between two bars, allowing customers to drink beer while they shop. All taps will be North Carolina beers through April.

The shop also carries kegs, Champagne, cigars, local meats and cheeses and Locopops.

The 5,200-square-foot place has an outdoor patio and an upstairs room that will be used for events, including free Friday beer tastings, that give brewers a chance to educate customers about their products. The shop will have tastings from 4 to 7 p.m. each day through April to celebrate N.C. Beer Month.

Boy hopes to eventually add food-and-beer pairing events.

Pint prices range from about $4 to $10, and bottles and cans range from singles to 24 packs.

Sam’s Bottle Shop is at 1112 W. N.C. 54.


Always Poppin’ Gourmet Popcorn, a shop that sells bags and tins of flavored popcorn, has opened in North Raleigh.

The store carries a wide variety of flavors such as caramel, cheddar, creamy dill, sour cream and chives, and a flavor of a month – which is loaded potato through April.

Customers also have the option of mixing flavors.

Owner Scott Brammer, who makes the popcorn throughout the day, said the cost ranges from about $1.09 for a small butter or plain bag to about $35 for a savory-flavored party bag. Tins range from about $13 to $20 and can be refilled.

Always Poppin’ Gourmet Popcorn is at 8801 Lead Mine Road, next to Poppyseed Market in Harvest Plaza.


Tupelo Honey Cafe, an Asheville restaurant that offers Southern and made-from-scratch dishes such as shrimp tacos, veggie melts and fried okra and has locations in North Carolina and Tennessee, is coming to Raleigh, said Elizabeth Sims, the company’s vice president of marketing. She wouldn’t say where or when, but my bet is near Cameron Village.


Kickboxing and boxing workout studio 9Round Fitness will offer free workouts and prizes at its grand opening April 26 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. It’s at 1131 Falls River Ave., Suite 102 in Raleigh.


Some shops are moving and others opening at Northgate Mall in Durham. Footwear store Kids Foot Locker has moved to Suite 120 in Children’s Alleyway. ... Temporary dress store Raye’s Prom Dresses and Scarves will open this month and run until June 4 in Suite 656, next to FYE Music. ... Cinnamon roll store Cinnamonster is moving to the former Dairy Queen shop in May. ... Oriental Jewelry and Accessories is opening May 1 across from Pan Pan Diner.

Giglio: 919-829-4649 or jmgiglio@newsobserver.com; Twitter: @shoptalk_nando

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service