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Changes at RDU: BurgerFi, more local gifts, Raleigh Brewing and earlier hours

Visit one of RDU’s newest retailers with distinctive North Carolina roots

Root & Branch in Terminal 2 at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in Morrisville, features locally made gifts perfect for travelers. They are one of 15 new retailers in the main terminal.
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Root & Branch in Terminal 2 at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in Morrisville, features locally made gifts perfect for travelers. They are one of 15 new retailers in the main terminal.

The Triangle’s fourth BurgerFi is set to open early next month, but you’ll need to fly somewhere to get to it.

The burger restaurant will open in the passenger concourse of Terminal 2 at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, taking a space that had been occupied by Five Guys until February. BurgerFi, known for its Angus beef burgers, beef hot dogs and frozen custard, also has a restaurant in Raleigh and two in Cary, including one that opened in Cary Crossroads Plaza late last month.

The company that leased the former Five Guys space at RDU, SSP America, thinks it can do better with BurgerFi because the restaurant will have a bar that sells beer, wine and mixed drinks.

Speaking of beer, a new restaurant that features locally crafted beers from Raleigh Brewing Company is scheduled to open in Terminal 1 in April. Raleigh Brewing Tavern will also serve coffee from Port City Java as well as “grab-and-go” food and sit-down meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Also in Terminal 1, a shop featuring locally made products is set to open there early next week. Triangle Market is modeled after Root & Branch, a shop that opened in Terminal 2 in January and is stocked by Pam Blondin, owner of downtown Raleigh retailer Deco, and Jessie Williams, a jewelry maker with two Edge of Urge shops in Raleigh and Wilmington.

Both RDU gift shops are operated by the Marshall Retail Group, a Las Vegas company that has stores in 16 airports.

Southwest Airlines is the only carrier flying out of Terminal 1 now, but three others — Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit — are set to join Southwest there in April.

In another change, RDU says many of the shops and restaurants in the terminals have begun opening earlier, to serve the morning crowds. A quarter of the daily departures are scheduled to leave by 8 a.m., resulting in long lines at the security checkpoint and at some retailers.

Some, including Starbucks, Brookwood Farms, Bruegger’s Bagels and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, are now open at 4 a.m., while many more open at 4:30 and 5 a.m. For information about RDU retailers and their hours, go to www.rdu.com/shops-and-restaurants/.

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Richard Stradling covers transportation for The News & Observer. Planes, trains and automobiles, plus ferries, bicycles, scooters and just plain walking. Also, #census2020. He’s been a reporter or editor for 32 years, including the last 20 at The N&O. 919-829-4739, rstradling@newsobserver.com.
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