There’s nothing like baseball, beer and barbecue.
And now, Ed Mitchell, the famous Pitmaster, and his son, Ryan, have all three.
The pair have opened Que, a Durham barbecue restaurant that sits just outside the Durham Bulls Athletic Park at the American Tobacco Campus.
And like a baseball game – slow and steady – Que is pacing itself before hitting the ground running.
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“A soft opening is the best way to describe it,” said chef John Hellwig. “It started off with lunches and we added dinners this week.”
The place plans to expand its menu and hours over the next 30 days so it can get its staff trained and operations running smoothly, Hellwig said.
For now, Que is serving a smaller menu that includes appetizers of tomato pie, deviled eggs and pickled shrimp, full plates of ribs, brisket, Mother Mitchell’s fried chicken and of course Ed Mitchell’s specialty – whole hog barbecue.
The place also has burgers, and sandwiches such as ham, barbecue and turkey, along with collards, macaroni and cheese, baked beans and coleslaw.
Que serves beers from North Carolina breweries Mother Earth, Carolina Brewing Co., Big Boss, Fullsteam and others, along with wine and champagne.
Prices range from about $3 for soup to about $21 for a full slab of ribs.
Que is at 359 Blackwell St., in the Diamond View III building.
Tracie’s Boots & Buckles is opening May 31 in Wake Forest.
The store will sell Western wear such as a George Strait line of Wrangler jeans and others sponsored by country singer Jason Aldean; cowboy boot brands that include Justin, Tony Lama and Ariat, Guy Harvey T-shirts, belts, belt buckles, purses and jewelry.
Boots start around $139 and the store is offering discounts through its opening weekend.
Owner Tracie Mack, who’s been in the Western retail business for about 15 years, said she hopes to have a grand opening at the 2,300-square-foot store in August, just in time for back-to-school and fall shopping.
Tracie’s Boots & Buckles is at 12281 Capital Blvd., by Food Lion in the Market of Wake Forest shopping center.
Men in Kilts, a franchise with the slogan “No Peeking” that offers commercial and residential window, siding and gutter cleaning, along with power washing services, has opened in Raleigh.
The fun part?
“Everyone wears kilts while they clean,” said Purvi Parekh, who co-owns the place with her husband, Nikhil.
Aside from the plaid wool skirts, what sets their company apart is its call center, Parekh said.
Customers can call to get a rough estimate within minutes, then a company representative will give an accurate price assessment based on things such as square or linear footage or number of window panes, Parekh said.
Men in Kilts guarantees its work, and also guarantees its customers don’t get a peep show.
“Everyone is required to wear something under their kilt,” Parekh said, laughing.
Men in Kilts, the first in North Carolina, services the Triangle. Customers can book appointments online at meninkilts.com/raleigh or at 800-777-5458.
Husband and wife team Tom Staley and Naomi Jean Bernheim, who have owned Tom’s Train Station and Sunburst Studio at South Hills Mall & Plaza near Cary for 18 years, are closing both stores July 1.
The two shops, which are combined into one 4,000-square-foot space, sell everything from train tracks, model scenery, Thomas & Friends, Brio, Chuggington and Lionel trains to pottery, handcrafted gifts, stained glass and wind chimes.
Staley plans to put whatever merchandise he has left after the closing into a warehouse. He’ll then take the goods to train shows and sell them over time, he said.
“We’re going to miss it and look forward to having some time together,” Staley said.
The Roadhouse and Backshop train repair and service shop, which is independently operated inside Tom’s Train Station, is also closing July 1.
Sunburst and Tom’s are at 1239 Buck Jones Road.
Hungry for a late-night snack, Wolfpackers?
Insomnia Cookies, a bakery chain that delivers until about 3 a.m., has opened in Raleigh.
The menu includes cookies such as chocolate chunk, s’mores deluxe, chocolate peanut butter cup, snickerdoodle and oatmeal raisin, along brownies, cookie cakes and cookie ice cream sandwiches.
Prices range from about $1.35 for a single cookie to about $275 for a pack of 300 cookies.
The place delivers warm cookies and cold milk in and around N.C. State’s campus.
Insomnia Cookies, the Triangle’s second store, is at 2302 Hillsborough St., Suite 104.
Art studio franchise Pinot’s Palette is expected to open June 19 in Raleigh. The place will offer step-by-step painting classes, space for private parties, a bar with beer and wine and gourmet chocolates.
Pinot’s Palette will be at 10410 Moncreiffe Road, Suite 101, in the Brierdale Shopping Center.
Ten Ten Auto Service, an auto maintenance and repair shop, is holding a grand opening June 1 from noon until 6 p.m at 4312 Ten Ten Road in Apex. The free event will include barbecue from Clyde Cooper’s, music, face painting and a ribbon cutting.