Category Archives: Durham

Help East Durham Pie Company Open a Cafe

East Durham Pie1

Ali Rudel launched the East Durham Pie Company out of her certified kitchen in Durham back in October 2015 and her pies have been a huge hit across the Triangle ever since. You might have come across her delicious pies at businesses around Durham or maybe you’ve seen her at at one of the regular Pop-Up Slice Shops at Ponysaurus Brewing Company every Tuesday evening. I was lucky enough to catch her selling pies at a weekend market in North Raleigh at Sola Coffe a few months ago. I liked the pie so much I made a special trip to Durham a few weeks later to buy some more. I’m not alone. Sometimes the pies sell out within just a few hours at the weekly Pop-Ups.

In order to keep up with growing demand East Durham Pie Company is planning to open a cafe and bakery in the commercial district of Old East Durham. They’ve launched a Kickstarter Campaign to help offset equipment costs and some of the expenses associated with up-fitting the space. Once open the plan is to offer locally roasted coffee, tea, the seasonally-inspired handmade sweet pies, savory meat and veggie pies, breakfast pies, simple salads, soups and other baked goods. Even better, launching the cafe will create more jobs and East Durham Pie Co. is a Durham Living Wage Project certified employer committed to paying their employees a living wage.

If you would like to learn more about East Durham Pie Company or contribute to their kickstarter campaign (just 12 days to go!) visit

East Durham Pie Company
Twitter: @EastDurhamPieCo

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Filed under Businesses, Durham

42nd Street Dances into Durham!



Lamont Brown as Andy Lee (center in yellow) and Company in Audition
(Photo by Chris Bennion)

Growing up in New Jersey just a short drive from Manhattan it was common to see television commercials for popular Broadway shows when I was a kid. I have fond memories of watching clips of the dance numbers from the Tony Award winning 42nd Street on my old tube TV picking up the stations out of New York. I never did get the chance to see it growing up, but as luck would have it the traveling production is in town this week at the Durham Performing Arts Center running through Sunday, May 8th. I caught the show last night after a quick dinner at Bar Virgile and still have the catchy tunes stuck in my head.

Based on Busby Berkeley’s 1933 movie adapted from a novel by Bradford Ropes, 42nd Street is a classic Broadway show filled with amazing tap-dance routines and a story dripping with nostalgia. Set during the throws of the Great Depression when Americans had to foster the old “can do” attitude to survive, big-named theater director Julian Marsh (played by Matthew J. Taylor) is trying to mount a comeback with his latest stage production.


The Company of 42nd Street in “Lullaby of Broadway”
(Photo by Chris Bennion)

The musical opens to the scene of aspiring dancers auditioning for Marsh’s “Pretty Lady” under the instruction of choreographer Andy Lee (played by Lamont Brown). Peggy sawyer (Caitlin Ehlinger) is a Broadway hopeful fresh off the train from Allentown Pennsylvania. She may have missed the audition but she soon gets an impromptu chance to impresses with here clever dance steps and earns herself a last minute spot in the show’s chorus.

Kaitlin Lawrence plays stage diva Dorothy Brock. She’s the star of “Pretty Lady” but only because her rich boyfriend is bankrolling the production. On opening night Dorothy breaks her ankle and Peggy is blamed and promptly fired. Realizing they will all be out of a job if the show does not go on,  the cast catch up to Peggy just moments before she gets on a train headed home and convince her to take over the lead role to a fantastic rendition of the classic “Lullaby of Broadway”.


Caitlin Ehlinger as Peggy Sawyer (center) and the Company of 42nd Street
(Photo by Chris Bennion)

Though nervous the show is a tremendous success all but ensuring Peggy will become a star. She hasn’t forgotten where she comes from though. Rather than going to the high society official opening party, the final act closes with Peggy instead opting to join her dancing friends at the chorus party instead.

42nd Street has all the glitz and glamour of Broadway days gone by. The skillful tap-dancing routines and flashy costumes coupled with the popular upbeat music directed by J. Michael Duff in the orchestra pit make for the highlight of the show.  This production will put a smile on your face and have you tapping your feet right down to the final number.

42nd Street continues through May 8th at the Durham Performing Arts Center. For more information and to order tickets visit


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Filed under Durham, Events

Cocoa Cinnamon Opens Second Durham Location Monday February 1st


Owners Areli & Leon of Cocoa Cinnamon
(Photo courtesy Laura Conte)

I have exciting news for Triangle coffee fans! Durham coffee shop Cocoa Cinnamon will open the doors to their second location this Monday, February 1st at 7am. The shop is located on the corner of Hillsborough Road & Trent Drive in Old West Durham.  Much like the original location this opening is being done “beta mode” style, meaning things will evolve over time. Initially there will be a smaller menu, fewer hours, and some touching up of the final details of the space as the new location comes into its own organically in the weeks ahead.

Starting out the new Hillsborough Road location will be open 7am -5pm Monday through Saturday. Sunday and evening hours will be added a little further down the road. I’m looking forward to checking out the new spot and sharing more pictures soon. In the meantime you can stay up to date on happenings at both of their locations by following Cocoa Cinnamon on facebook, twitter, and instagram.

I’d also like to extend a special thanks to Laura Conte of Milton’s Famous Cookies for permission to use her great photo of Areli & Leon above. You can find Milton’s Famous Cookies for sale at both Cocoa Cinnamon locations. I’m looking forward to trying them the next time I visit!

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Filed under Coffee, Durham

Durham Food Truck Rodeo Rescheduled for Sunday January 31st


Captain Cookie & The Milk Man
Photo courtesy Paul Prause

Update: Due to the snow and ice from the weekend storm, the Winter Food Truck Rodeo in Durham Central Park has been rescheduled for Sunday January 31st from 12-4pm. There are 50 trucks scheduled including a few new trucks like the Captain Cookie & The Milkman truck pictured above. There will also be live music as well as local craft beer and cider from Fullsteam, Ponysaurus, Triangle Brewery, and Bull City Cidery. You can view the full list of all 50 trucks here.

Special thanks to my friend Paul Prause for the truck photo above. If you are a fan of North Carolina breweries and food trucks I highly recommend you follow Paul on twitter at @paprause.

Durham Food Truck Rodeo
Sunday January 31st, 12-4pm
Durham Central Park
501 Foster Street
Durham, NC 27701 (map)

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Filed under Durham, Food, Food Trucks

Discount Code for Bull City Race Fest in Durham


Only one week to go until I run in the Bull City Race Fest & Food Truck Rodeo in Durham. I’ve spent the summer training and am ready to hit the streets of Durham. This will be my first race in the Bull City and I couldn’t be more excited. Fall is a great time for a race in the Triangle. My training for this race has been a bit more casual than for other races, but I’m ready for it and looking forward to a fun race day with friends. Of course hitting the food trucks afterwards is an added bonus!

Bull City Race Fest Discount Code
If you have been on the fence about signing up for the race maybe this will help nudge you over. You can save $5 by using the discount code “BCRFJOHN“.

About Bull City Race Fest & Food Truck Rodeo
The event offers several race options with great courses through downtown Durham. After running you can enjoy a post-race Food Truck Rodeo and Beer Garden. Race day activities include:

  • Gorgeous Half Marathon
  • Fantastic 5 Mile Run
  • Family Friendly 1 Miler!
  • Food Truck Rodeo
  • Beautiful Octoberfest Beer Garden
  • Kids Experience Zone to keep everyone entertained

For more information about the Bull City Race Fest and Food Truck Rodeo visit


Filed under Durham, Races