Here is a roundup of some restaurant and food news in the Triangle:
▪ M Kokko, the latest from M Sushi’s chef and owner Michael Lee, will open next week in downtown Durham. The casual, quick-service 20-seat chicken restaurant will share the same kitchen as Lee’s highly-rated sushi restaurant at 311 Holland Street but have a separate entrance. It will offer five chicken dishes, explained Lee, who also owns Sono, a sushi restaurant in downtown Raleigh: Korean fried chicken, a chicken ramen noodle soup, tonkatsu (breaded fried chicken cutlet instead of pork), dandan noodles using ground chicken; and a chicken sandwich with Korean-style pickled radish and Korean fried chicken. To read more about his Durham restaurant plans, go HERE.
▪ Tonya Council is opening Tonya’s Cookies, a cookie shop at 405 W. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill. She is the granddaughter of Mildred Council, aka Mama Dip, owner of the well-known Mama Dip’s restaurant in Chapel Hill. Tonya Council started making these cookies about a decade ago when she tried to experiment with creating a cookie that tasted like her grandmother’s pecan pie. Her Pecan Crisp Cookies were the result.
Council has been baking in the Rosemary Street location for many years and recently renovated it to add a retail space. She will be selling her line of “crisp cookies,” as well as other new flavors. Council is having a grand opening from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
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▪ An Amorino Gelato Cafe franchise will be opening by the end of October in downtown Raleigh. The gelato is made in Europe and its cafes are known for serving gelato-shaped roses. The cafe will be at 137 E. Davie St.
▪ Chef RJ St. John has very recently taken over the kitchen at Bull Mcabe’s Irish Pub in Durham. St. John most recently worked at Durham’s James Joyce Irish Pub and launched the Mama’s Hot Chicken food truck. (Read an earlier story about the food truck.)
▪ The first of three Chronic Tacos locations coming to the Triangle has opened in Chapel Hill’s Meadowmont Village. Sean O’Neill and his parents are opening open the three franchise locations, which are the first Chronic Tacos locations on the East Coast. The California-based restaurant was started in 2002 in Newport Beach and now has more than 30 locations, including in California, Nevada and Canada. It serves made-to-order tacos, burritos, tostadas, quesadillas, nachos and more. O’Neill said they plan to open the other locations at The Shoppes at Heritage Village in Wake Forest and a third location in Raleigh at Olive Park at the intersection of Falls of Neuse and Litchford Roads. It is at 504 Meadowmont Village Circle, Chapel Hill. Info: