David “Flip” Filippini, owner of the popular KoKyu BBQ food truck, has opened Na’Mean near RTP in Durham. The restaurant expands on the global street food theme that has made KoKyu BBQ, a food truck pioneer when it first hit the road in 2010, an enduring local favorite.
A diverse offering that includes best-sellers short rib quesadillas and duck fat tots has proved so popular that Filippini has since added a second truck, called KoKyu Ondo, to handle the demand and try out new creations such as the Cheerwine & Swine Slider, featuring seared pork belly, Cackalacky Cheerwine sauce and Korean pear slaw.
The new counter service eatery (its name is short for “know what I mean?”) aims to build on that success. Dining room walls painted by Bart Cusick, the same local graffiti artist that made the KoKyu trucks so easy to find at rodeos, should make fans feel right at home. An expanded menu offers ten sandwiches ranging from Cremini Panini (one of several vegetarian options) to The Crust (12-hour roasted Italian beef with jus, provolone and giardiniera). A rotating selection of soups, sides and daily sandwich specials rounds out the menu.
For the time being, Na’Mean (4823 Meadow Drive, Durham; 919-699-4667; kokyubbq.com) is open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Filippini plans to decide by May whether to expand hours to include dinner and possibly brunch.
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