Bike, beer fest in June

Mar. 22, 2013 @ 04:32 PM

Tour de Fat: New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat 2013 bicycle and beer festival will be held in Durham June 15 at Diamond View Park near the American Tobacco development downtown.

The tour is in its 14th year. The festival starts with a police-escorted bicycle parade through the city streets. Costumes are encouraged.

After the parade, a festival at Diamond View Park will include music, comedy performances, artistic groups and other entertainment. Admission is free. Sales of food and beer go to local biking groups.

As part of the festival, one person in each city is selected to volunteer to trade in his or her car for a bicycle, and live car-free for a year. The “car-for-bike swappers” are chosen after submitting an application describing why they are ready to give up their vehicle for the gift of two wheels.

The festival’s stop in Durham will be one of 12 made by the Fort Collins, Colo.,-based company, which makes Fat Tire Amber Ale and other Belgian-inspired beers.

For more information, go to the website www.facebook.com/TourDeFat.

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The Saucy Crab: The owner of the Fish House restaurant on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard has opened a new, more casual concept in the same location called The Saucy Crab.

The Fish House closed recently, said owner Charles Tirada, and after a period of renovations, The Saucy Crab has opened serving seafood such as crab, whole shrimp, peeled shrimp, crawfish, mussels, clams and lobster, priced by the half-pound.

Prices range from $4.25 for a half-pound of black mussels to $13.90 for a half-pound of Alaskan king crab clusters.

Those seafood options can be tossed with a choice of four different sauces or served with a choice of four different dipping sauces. Side options, priced separately, include Cajun dirty rice, potatoes, sausage, potatoes, corn on the cob or fries.

There are also options for fried seafood platters, such as a fried catfish platter for $9.75, a fried tilapia platter for $8.90 or a fried oyster platter for $11.75.

Tirada said the concept is more geared toward customers who want to dive into their seafood with their hands. The restaurant is modeled after popular restaurants he visited on the West Coast, he said, adding that he’s looked to source some seafood, such as oysters, from North Carolina suppliers.

General manager Kevin Kelley said the restaurant aims to be casual. The servers are wearing jeans, and there is brown paper covering the tables. The seafood is steamed in a bag with the selected sauce or sides, and delivered to the table in a bucket.

“Nobody does what we’re doing here in Durham,” Kelley said. “We’re in it for the long run,” he added.

Tirada said the restaurant aims to be a unique, destination location. He said the restaurant has a lot of traffic going by, but said access from Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard is a challenge.

In addition to The Saucy Crab, Tirada owns  Sushi Blues Café sushi restaurant in Raleigh and the Thai and sushi restaurant Shaba Shabu in Raleigh.

Both restaurants in Raleigh have been successful, he said, adding that they opened when he said there was little competition for sushi and Thai food in the Triangle. He said competition has grown, however.

A sushi chef by training who is originally from Thailand, Tirada said he came to the United States as a restaurant consultant, and helped open restaurants in Florida before coming to the Triangle area. Tirada has also gone by a different last name.

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V’s Kitchen on the move: The southern cooking and soul food restaurant V’s Kitchen has moved to a shopping center near the intersection of Miami Boulevard and T.W. Alexander Drive.

The restaurant, which is open for lunch, launched in April 2011 serving items such as fried chicken, cabbage, and macaroni and cheese. The owner, India Jackson, was inspired by the cooking of her mother and grandmother.

Grand opening events, with discounted prices and drawings, will be held at the new location today through Friday. Lakeisha Blake, a spokeswoman for the business, said in an email that the restaurant outgrew its old location near the intersection of N.C. 98 and Sherron Road beside a BP gas station.

Blake said the new location previously housed a pizza shop. It’s near World Overcomers Christian Church.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday at 2945 S. Miami Blvd., Suite 127. For more information, call 919-237-1257, or go to the website http://www.vskitchenrestaurant.com/.

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Have an item for The Buzz? Contact Laura Oleniacz at loleniacz@heraldsun.com, or at 919-419-6636.