Last week, through a steady drizzle and just before dawn, a glaring neon sign beckoned original glazed lovers back to "Hot Krispy Kreme Now" for the first time in 45 days. After closing for remodeling, downtown Raleigh's original Krispy Kreme (549 N. Person St., 833-3682, krispykreme.com) reopened at 6 a.m. last Tuesday to a crowd of about 120 customers, many of them stationed there in sleeping bags since the night before.
A couple of those diehard fans did some remodeling of their own, sandwiching a grilled beef patty in between two original glazed doughnuts for a sticky, sweet and savory hamburger.
"We think it's great," said market manager Steve Wymer. "We have some very loyal customers. Actually, the first customer in line was the first in line at our Fayetteville Street store in October 2009."
Built in 1971, the remodeled store features a larger window for eyeing the doughnuts as they're mixed, shaped and drenched in glaze. The store will now sell Kool Kreme, the brand's soft-serve ice cream, and its signature sundaes: an original glazed, warmed up and topped with ice cream and toppings of your choice.
The celebration remained steady throughout the day, with at least 5,000 dozen—yes, that's 60,000 doughnuts—baked that day, keeping the sign illuminated. Kids (and big kids) celebrated by dipping and sprinkling their own doughnuts, while local acts performed on an open mic. Look out for new Krispy Kreme locations in Wake Forest and Chapel Hill by the end of summer.
Café Caturra (432 Woodburn Road, 835-WINE, cafecaturra.com) slipped into Cameron Village a few weeks ago, offering fresh, casual fare with a European flair and boutique wine. The small chain out of Virginia serves sandwiches, panini, wraps, "neo-pie" (small pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven) and cheese plates. A local twist: All sandwiches are served on multigrain or sourdough bread from Cary's La Farm Bakery (4248 Cary Parkway, 657-0657, lafarmbakery.com). Café Caturra is open for lunch and dinner every day.
Also in Raleigh, Mario Longo, owner of family-style Vic's Ristorante in City Market, has opened La Volta Italiano (411 Fayetteville St., 838-8700, lavoltarestaurant.com). The aptly named restaurant is in a refurbished bank in the Progress Energy building, where the former money vault now houses the wine. Chef Vinny Doria has opened the family recipe vault to find authentic Italian recipes, including the Halibut Vincenvo with fig glaze, the Orecchiette dell' Amore and, of course, Mama's homemade meatballs.
To support the up-and-coming Durham Central Market (durhamcentralmarket.org), a neighborhood grocery cooperative to open at Mangum and Broadway streets, Fullsteam Brewery (726 Rigsbee Ave., 682-2337, fullsteam.ag) hosts a Local Night on June 12, with tours of their almost-open brewery and locally sourced, homemade food by Chapel Hill's Vimala Rajendran of Vimala's Curryblossom Café. Local bands Mount Moriah, The Jackets and Scene of the Crime Rovers will perform; DJ Jason Perlmutter will spin Carolina soul records. Tickets are $5 each. Doors open at 6 p.m.