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encore | march 25 - march 31, 2020 | www.encorepub.com 1

HODGE PODGE Vol. 36 / Pub. 38 March 25-31, 2020

ENCOREPUB.COM encoredeals.com

FILM pg. 14 • By Shannon Rae Gentry Shannon sits down with local actor Carson Holmes to chat about his role in Netflix’s ‘Ozark,’ which drops its third season this Friday. Courtesy photo

word of the week QUARANTINI (N) Any drink made in isolation at home while practicing social distancing. “It’s noon ... time for a quarantini!”

EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief:

Shea Carver >> shea@encorepub.com

Staff Editors:

Shannon Rae Gentry >> shannon@encorepub.com Jeff Oloizia >> jeffrey@encorepub.com

Art Director/Office Manager:

COVER We are grateful to you, dear readers. We are grateful to the Wilmington community at large—businesses far and wide, from caretakers to healthcare workers, organizations and nonprofits, to restaurateurs and bar owners, all of our service-industry folks to gig-economy workers, musicians and freelancers, artists and writers, to folks in the education system, from teachers to admin ... and the list goes on and on. We understand times are beyond weird—sometimes downright frightening. However, we hope a day doesn’t pass that you aren’t reminded: You are loved. By us. By friends, family, acquaintances and likely strangers you’re completely unaware you impacted in some positive way. In coming days of uncertainty, please, carry forth kindness and respect, love and nurturing spirit to others throughout our community. Let’s unite rather than divide. We are all in this together.


DRINKS pg. 18 • By Joan CW Hoffman Alcove is the Cargo District’s latest hangout for craft brews and cool events like Front Street Brewery’s anniversary oyster bash in February. Photo by Joan CW Hoffmann

Susie Riddle >> ads@encorepub.com

Chief Contributors: Gwenyfar Rohler,

Anghus, Tom Tomorrow, Mark Basquill, Rosa Bianca, Rob Brezsny, John Wolfe, Joan C.W. Hoffmann

Interns: Lauren Sears, Darius Melton, Brooke Suddeth

SALES General Manager/Owner: John Hitt >> john@encorepub.com

Ad Representatives

Megan Henry >> megan@encorepub.com John Hitt >> john@encorepub.com Shea Carver >> shea@encorepub.com Brian Venegas >> brian@encorepub.com Published weekly on Wednesday by HP Media; opinions of contributing writers are not the opinions of encore.

Businesses, please, contact us to find out more about our COVID-19 relief program that can put money in your pocket now and get you ads later.

ALSO INSIDE THIS WEEK P.O. Box 12430, Wilmington, N.C. 28405 encorepub.com • (910) 791-0688

EXTRA pg. 26 • Brooke Suddeth Brooke speaks with the New Hanover County Disaster Coalition about their response to COVID-19. Courtesy photo

Letter from the Publisher, pg. 4 • Live Local, pgs. 6-7 • Cranky Foreigner, pg. 9 • News of the Weird, pg. 10 • Music, pg. 12 Film, pgs. 14-15 • Art, pg. 16 • Gallery Guide, pg. 17 • Dining, pgs. 18-23 • Extra, pgs. 26-28 • Carpe Librum, pg. 32 Fact or Fiction, p. 30 • Crossword, pg. 37

2 encore | march 25 - march 31, 2020 | www.encorepub.com


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WILMINGTON STRONG John and Susan Hitt at one of our many gorgeous beaches in NC.



s encore’s staff worked to get last week’s paper to press, news broke that all restaurants and bars in North Carolina were to be closed to dinein customers. We watched as the people who would be directly affected by this closure both advocated for and criticized the shutdown. Nobody knew what to do. “Do we stay open and try delivery and takeout, or hunker down until this passes?” It was the question

Courtesy John Hitt

almost every business owner in Wilmington began asking. And that included us at encore. You might have noticed you’re not reading this letter in print. Last week’s issue was the last printed edition for the foreseeable future. Since 1985 encore has missed only two publication dates: The week of Hurricane Fran in 1996 and this one. I don’t think anyone working at encore during Fran thought the next hiatus would be 24 years

later during a viral pandemic. But here we are. It doesn’t make much sense to print a paper when the vast majority of our pickup spots are closed or at a deeply reduced capacity. Plus, businesses aren’t spending money on advertising right now, and encore relies on advertising to fund our work. Add to that folks aren’t keen on touching things they don’t need to touch in public—well, you get the drift. Don’t mistake this message for us shuttering or stopping our work, dear readers. We will continue to do a weekly flip-through edition, just like in print, which you can access every Wednesday morning at issuu. com/encorepub. We also will continue to update information constantly on our website at encorepub.com. More so, our social media presence has amped up to keep folks informed of noteworthy PSAs, business announcements and so forth (you can follow us @encorepub on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). To that end, if you have an announcement to get out to readers, we’ll do our best to help you. Just email our editor Shea Carver at shea@encorepub.com.

with all editors, publishers and freelancers who came before us. To all businesses who would like a little help during this transition, encore is trying to help. We do a half-price gift certificate program at encoreDEALS.com that’s become our most popular way to help businesses allocate ads at really inexpensive prices. Simultaneously, it builds a tight-knit community of shoppers, diners and customers who put importance on utilizing localized services. Normally, the program is pure trade for ads; currently, we have opened it as a COVID-19 Relief Program. Basically, we will split the profit with every business who signs up for it. What does that mean? Readers, you can still buy halfprice gift certificates at encoreDEALS.com to be used either now or at a later date (depending on each business’ stipulation). That also means you are putting money directly into business’ pockets now. They get half the cash and the other half as advertising credit to use either now or in the future, depending on their needs. If your business is interested in learning more, please email me at john@encorepub.com. We welcome the opportunity to work with you. On a personal note, in my letter last week, I mentioned my wife had been sick with symptoms associated with the coronavirus. Many of you reached out to express concern. We are grateful. Thank you. I’m happy to report she’s doing much better today. We are so thankful. To date, she still hasn’t been tested—a headline we’re seeing on repeat 10 days later. You’re all painfully aware folks who aren’t high-risk with symptoms won’t be able to be tested until more test kits are made. Please, take all necessary precautions to keep yourselves safe.

For all businesses currently reading this: Thank you for everything you bring to Wilmington. Thank you for taking the risk to close, if that was the best decision for you and your staff. For those staying open out of necessity and need, we applaud you, too. Everyone’s situation is different. Hard I hope all of us in the Cape Fear feel betdecisions have been made that none of us ter soon, in health, spirit and business. We’ll thought we would have to make until the get back on our feet quickly because we last two weeks. know how to take care of each other. We’re The encore staff and freelancers have experts. Isn’t that what all these hurricanes proven time and again they’re willing to have taught us in years past? fight through adversity, just as so many of Until next week, stay safe. Stay #Wilmyou are doing now. They’re fighting to keep ingtonStrong. you informed or at least entertained, even Kindly, though they’re painfully aware their jobs aren’t as secure as they were a month ago. I John Hitt thank them for their willingness to preserve Publisher the publication we’ve helped build, along 4 encore | march 25 - march 31, 2020 | www.encorepub.com

encore | march 25 - march 31, 2020 | www.encorepub.com 5

& LOVE KINDNESS Gwenyfar finds true wealth in community support as a business owner in downtown Wilmington




y grandparents moved to Arizona from Chicago the year my mother turned 5. Shortly after their arrival in Arizona, she was bitten by an infected mosquito and sunk into an illness that was claiming children’s lives. My grandparents kept her at home rather than take her to the hospital. For about a year, she was in bed. She did, eventually, make a complete recovery, and in spite of all the predictions she would spend the rest of her life in an institution, unable to care for herself, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from college. Still, there were a number of lasting scars from the illness. One in particular was the memory of a shade of mustard yellow—a reminder of the vomiting frequently brought on by encephalitis. My mother was allergic to the medication they gave her for the illness. She vomited it up twice a day almost every day for a year. At the age of 5, it left a powerful impression. If we were driving down the road and saw a car that color, or sat at a stop light next to a mustard yellow house, my mother would have to pull over and vomit. For years she did not drive on 17th Street between Orange and Market streets because there was a camp-

er truck parked on the side of the road that was the exact shade. I have had to leave receptions with her because of tablecloths or an unfortunate hostess’ dress. Even 40 years after recovery, her response was still visceral. Brain swelling causes fevers, which can cause fever dreams—or hallucinations, another symptom of encephalitis. The summer before the move to Arizona, my mother and her older sister, Carol Ann, spent time in Chicago with Aunt Dan. She took them to the movies almost daily. These fresh images were the ones that swam to the surface in her young mind: the Blue Fairy from “Pinocchio” and other Disney characters would talk to her frequently. Bugs would crawl on her and no one could get them off (of course, no one could see them except her, which made the bug extraction impossible). I think about my grandparents who had just moved across the country, away from their entire family and social support system, alone in a new town with a sick and possibly dying child who needed around-the-clock nursing. How did they manage? How? They chose not to send her to the hospital, but to keep her home and care for her themselves.

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There are people facing similar decisions right now. At encore our publisher, John Hitt, shared a letter last week about how he and his wife, Susan, were self-quarantining. Susan was showing symptoms of the virus but neither her doctor nor the health department were prepared to test her. John and Susan have a tremendous network and a lot of people who care for and about them here in Wilmington. That social capital will mean more to all of us in coming weeks and months than we likely realize. I have really struggled these last few weeks. I am far from perfect, but I do have a couple of guides I try to follow with regards to the bookstore and my staff: I don’t ask people to perform any task I haven’t done myself and am not willing to do again. (For example, when we had what can only be described as a “liquid fecal covering” of the floor of the bathroom a couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t asking anyone else to clean that up.) I

work hard and expect others to as well. (If I can be out on the roof in 47-degree weather to do repairs, you can sit at the front desk and clean books.) But I really want to be able to tell the staff: “This is what is going on. This is our plan; we are going to get through this.” To me, that is part of what leadership looks like. It really bothers me I cannot formulate a specific plan, communicate it to the staff and collectively put it into action. I can’t give them some idea of what to rely upon. It isn’t even that each day is different; each hour changes. Money-wise, the outlook is bleak for small businesses right now. Front Street looks dire and desperate. I usually try not to say anything negative about downtown or Front Street. When I was 12, I fell in love with riding my bike downtown,

wandering through the shops, having coffee and lunch. It was charming and sophisticated, and I just knew if I could have a cute little store down there and eke out a living, I would be one of the coolest people on the planet (and, more so, one of the happiest). Right now, my beautiful historic district is pretty much abandoned. It’s baffling and breaks my heart, how less than a week ago sidewalks were full with people walking dogs, riding bikes, and groups of friends congregating and taking pictures. Afternoons at the bookstore used to be a wonderful mix of what I call “a lot of life going on”: James Jarvis teaching piano lessons; a hipster purchasing the history of book-to-film adaptations; a couple of young writers studiously combing the poetry section; someone flipping through stacks and stacks of prints; and a couple of small children making fish sticks at the play kitchen in the kids’ section while their parents look for books. We went from that to nothing in two days. A little over a month ago, a young lady I went to high school with, and had not seen in about 20 years, took me to lunch. During the meal she asked if I liked owning a business. Another local business owner (of far greater financial success), who has become a

philanthropist, had been mentioned in an earlier conversation. I used him as a comparison: I think his business success allows him to do things that are important to him—like philanthropy work. As far as the business itself? That’s a means to an end—not a life’s calling. I have no illusions I will ever have a wealthy bank account. The bookstore is my calling and a trust I will fight to the end to preserve. I know what real wealth looks like: It looks like people who showed up to move us to safety 10 years ago when our building got condemned. It looks like all the phone calls and emails we have received in the last two days asking if we are OK. Wealth is the knock I answered at the front door of the store today. Monday is our usual payroll day at the bookstore. I paid the staff and told them, honestly, once paychecks and our sales tax payment hit, the bank account would be empty. We don’t have any income coming in right now. If anyone was going to risk illness to keep their doors open, it was going to be me—not them. So I planned to try to open, but the reality that reared its head made it clear I needed to put a sign on the door with our phone number and the possibility of delivering items to someone with a specific request. Around 2:30, one of my friends and her dog knocked on the door. I let

them in (of course) and we joked about staying far enough apart and not hugging. Then she handed me a check. I told her she couldn’t do this, I couldn’t accept it. She asked if I remembered when I was settling my parents’ estate and I gave her a check at a time she was in desperate need. I nodded. Honestly, I haven’t thought about it more than maybe two or three times in the last five years. It wasn’t done with any strings attached. It was just that I could help, and she had been so generous to me in so many aspects of my life. So this one time, this one thing I was able to do, I wanted to do. She was back to return the favor at a time the bookstore really needed it—when I had no idea how to pay upcoming bills, when we have no money coming in the door. That is wealth—real wealth and real capital. In the coming weeks and months, we are going to need each other more than ever. Yes, we have been through hurricanes. Yes, we know what a long recovery looks like, but this is going to be different. There are tough choices ahead; I beg of you, dear readers: please, choose love and kindness. We are all going to need to share as much of that as we can.

encore | march 25 - march 31, 2020 | www.encorepub.com 7

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We have made the tough decision to close during this time. Thank you for your support and look forward to serving you in the near future.

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CURIOUS CREATURES Pangolins are among wildlife delicacies sold in markets in Wuhan, China, with some speculating that the coronavirus may have come from them. Stock photo




nd, so, here we are: One of our tiniest fellow earthlings just pressed pause on our little lifeboat in space. We were just minding our own business, hanging out at the cineplex and watching the most exciting part of the movie where zombies/supervillians/ aliens were ready to eradicate us all. Who doesn’t love horribly dysfunctional Earth futures, as long as there is enough of that greasy, yellow, mystery quasi-liquid on the popcorn? Then, all of a sudden, the movie became real.

ed Facebook with disinformation in 2016. We had no natural defenses against our new, fake, social media friends—innocents who started out with cooking tips and lighthearted chatter but suddenly went dark, believing Hillary was the spawn of Satan. We let this digital virus into our lives, colonize our brains, and, well, what can we say? Shit happens.

As with social media, many of us will have no defenses against the virus that accidentally found itself saving the few remaining pangolins. We of superior intellect are sure it was just an accident, Sometime at the end of 2019, a cute lit- but the pangolins aren’t talking. tle pangolin, one of the friendliest, most Then we arrive at the part in the movharmless, most endangered creatures ie when Richard Dreyfuss tells the mayon God’s good earth, was just doing or about a big shark. The mayor says, its thing when it was snatched from its “Horsepucky!” and someone dies. Quint, family, shoved into a bag and smuggled played by Dr. Fauci, takes the microto a place far away into northern China. phone, as the mayor babbles fantasies Seems they think eating pangolin scales about still getting money from Fourth of can cure everything from lactation diffi- July crowds. Like all of his ilk, he desperculties to arthritis ... or whatever. ately needs to be a hero. Turns out, Mother Nature is writing in the tiniest nemesis we could ever imagine in what seems like a real-life apocalypse. Scientists are arguing whether COVID-19 was born of a living thing or a super molecule. Hey, it may be tiny, but it’s powerful enough to cancel the Azalea Festival!

But who can be a hero when dealing with a monster? “Godzilla is coming! Shelter in place!” The English version cut out instructions to buy all the toilet paper so our neighbors couldn’t have any, but the stampede scene is still in the director’s cut. Plus, there are bonus scenes Interesting things, viruses. They’re so of a few U.S. senators cashing out of the small that early researchers, who had stock market after getting a secret inmicroscopes good enough to make bac- telligence briefing one month before the teria look as big as fried eggs, couldn’t mayor starts yelling, “Hoax! It’s a hoax!” see them. They have no DNA; they cannot As we all know, a crisis really brings out reproduce themselves. They need a host the best in people. to colonize—someone who basically gets As we wait for the scene where dochijacked into making more viruses. Think tors set up makeshift triage in parking “Alien” but without a scary thing bursting lots, convention centers and football through a human chest. stadiums (I’d cast Tom Hanks, though Steve Buscemi does frantic better), let’s use the time to think about living with our fellow Earthlings. Let’s think about how the destruction of the planet seems to have interrupted our movie about the destruction of the planet. If we as a species just let the pangolins hang out with their kids instead of staging a kidnapped dinner, we could be making plans for our But the virus from this pangolin is a own kids heading off to college or sumbit different. It is like when Putin floodmer camp or a visit with Grandma, at the We generally get along pretty well with viruses. We inhale a few, they take over a bit of our lungs’ real estate and get a few of their kin out of dodge before the sheriff and some townsfolk show up for a public hangin’. Three cheers for white blood cells! Or whatever. Then we get on with our lives.

very least. Instead, we are on the brink of shelter in place. Short of Newton’s Laws of Motion and that pesky one about gravity, there are few laws as certain as the one about unintended consequences. Much like the infinite monkey theorem (monkeys pecking on random typewriter keys ad nauseam, which somehow churn out “Hamlet” or even the complete works of Shakespeare), a measureless number of great and small crimes against nature have led us to our current unintended consequences. No one can predict which monkey did it, but as sure as night follows day,

The Cranky Foreigner quips again after a 7-year hiatus one has. I’m betting Mother Nature gets the Oscar nod for Best Screenplay in 2021.


• American comfort food, with a Southern twist • Handpicked bourbons and whiskeys • House-made barrel-aged cocktails • Excellent wine selection • 34 beers on draft Mon. 4pm-12am • Tues.-Thurs. 11:30am-12am Fri. & Sat. 11:30am-1am • Sun. 11:30am-12am

15 S. Front St. 910-399-1162 www.rebellionnc.com

encore | march 25 - march 31, 2020 | www.encorepub.com 9


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• Go to www.encorepub.com • Scoll down to Newsletter Signup (at the bottom of the homepage)

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Police in Las Cruces, New Mexico, who approached a woman driving a stolen car on March 7 were surprised when she identified herself as pop singer Beyonce Knowles, according to police documents. The Las Cruces Sun News reported officers had to use a fingerprint scanner to properly identify Surena Henry, 48. Henry at first ignored police when they tried to pull her over, according to court documents, but they followed her to her home, where she got out of the car but refused to give them her name. She was charged with stealing the vehicle, concealing her identity and resisting arrest. [Las Cruces Sun News, 3/10/2020]

Mexico, woke up one recent morning and found he had two TVs in his room that had not been there the day before. Two days later, he found out an acquaintance was missing two TVs and put two and two together. According to Gallup police, Cummins returned to the victim’s apartment with the goods and approached an officer who was there investigating the burglary report. He told the officer he had been “very intoxicated” when he knocked on a door that evening and, when no one answered, he entered the home, but he didn’t remember what happened after that. Cummins told police he “wanted to make things right and return the stolen items,” according to the Associated Press. Nevertheless, he was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property. [Associated Press, 3/18/2020]



News of the Weird reported in July 2017 about Jeff Reitz of Huntington Beach, California, who at that time had just achieved his 2,000th visit to Disneyland in Anaheim. Since then, Reitz, 47, has continued his daily visits -- until March 13, when Disney closed its theme parks in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Reitz was just short of 3,000 visits, the Orange County Register reported, at 2,995. “The streak’s been ended,” Reitz said. He does not plan to continue his consecutive streak when the park reopens. “On the negative side, I didn’t get to choose the end,” he said. “But on the positive side, I didn’t have to choose the end.” While he’s practicing social isolation, Reitz plans to watch some movies on ... you guessed it, Disney Plus. [Orange County Register, 3/17/2020]

When Alexandria Miller, 28, of Chicago, Illinois, won a two-inch goldfish at a carnival in July 2018, she assumed he would stay the same size. But since then, Gerald the goldfish has grown to be 12 inches long, and Miller has spent $1,300 upgrading his tanks to accommodate him (she’s already looking for a bigger one). And, the Mirror reported, Gerald is not shy about getting his needs met. “He does lay around a lot, but it seems when he’s bored or hungry, he jumps out of the water and likes to grab the thermometer inside his tank,” Miller said. “He’ll click it against the glass till he’s got our attention.” But, she went on, “If I put a smaller fish in there with him, he will eat them.” [Mirror, 3/17/2020]



—During the COVID-19 crisis, some people in Japan have resorted to pilfering toilet paper from public restrooms when the rolls became unavailable in stores. One convenience store worker put the power of the supernatural to work against such thefts. Mink Itachibe, who works at a store in the Niigata prefecture, hung signs with images of eyes and kanji characters in front of the toilet paper to curse the tempting rolls. “I did it as a joke, but it seems to have worked,” she told CNN. The symbols imply that if someone nips TP from the store, a hungry monster will hunt them down and gobble them up. “People can be quite I HATE WHEN THAT HAPPENS superstitious in Japan,” Itachibe said. [CNN, Sage Aaron Cummins, 24, of Gallup, New 3/12/2020] Just a few hours after Harris County, Texas, declared that all bars and nightclubs would have to close on March 16, an anonymous diner at Irma’s Southwest restaurant in downtown Houston did their best to help out. The customer, who left a $9,400 tip, wrote on the receipt: “Hold tip to pay your guys over the next few weeks.” United Press International said Irma’s will split the tip among the employees, giving them each about $300. [United Press International, 3/17/2020]

TO OUR SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY Rx will be closed until further notice. It is a difficult decision, but it is the right decision. We must take precautions to protect the health of our staff, and ensure we are able to weather this financial storm.

Due to Covid-19, we will be closed until further notice. Stay safe and healthy everyone. We will see you again soon.

Please, help us urge Gov. Cooper to issue a mandatory shutdown of restaurants so our hardworking employees can begin to receive temporary unemployment benefits. Thank you for your support. We wish you all good health and look forward to seeing you when this is over. You can continue to support our employees by purchasing Rx gift cards.


Love, Rx 421 Castle St. (910) 399-3080 www.rxwilmington.com

Japenese Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi

614 South College Road • 910.399.3366 • www.okamirestaurant.com

BRINGING THE LIGHT Kimberly McLaughlin-Smith stands on the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater stage during Port City Reggae Music and Arts Fest 2018. Photo by Eric Benner



n times of political, societal and economic discord, lifting up and loving outward seems all the more necessary. It’s the foundation of reggae—a music genre many turn to for its good vibes but which feeds the soul even more. “Reggae music is message music,” says Kimberly McLaughlin-Smith, also known as “Night Nurse,” from her radio show Reggae Redemption, airing on Modern Rock 98.7, airing Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon. “Its origins are of course in Jamaica, by way of disenfranchised Afro-Jamaicans who grew to prominence dating back to the 1930s. Their rise was a direct response to the far-reaching and overwhelming British colonialism at the time, much like the colonialism that America suffered then.” For McLaughlin-Smith and many Rastas worldwide, reggae is worship, meant to lift the name of Haile Selassie, who some considered a human prophet that found sanctity in every individual. He was crowned emperor in Ethiopia in 1930, and Rastas look to his fulfilled biblical prophecy of becoming a black king as a mark of hope. “A huge misconception is Rastafari is an ‘ism’ or a religion,” McLaughlin-Smith clarifies. “Both notions are false. Living ‘Rastafari’ is a way of life. . . . It is rooted on so much goodness and light.” Reggae Redemption is going on 27 years of being a Wilmington staple. It began in 1993, after McLaughlin-Smith walked into NPR affiliate WHQR’s offices, inquiring about bringing her favorite genre to their airwaves. She loved listening to reggae on a station in her former town, Durham, and couldn’t find anything like it Wilmington. Having no experience in radio, she managed to convince WHQR to launch Reggae Nites, and learned the ins and outs of producing a radio program from mentors like Jim Tremble, Jemila Ericson and the late, great Flamenco guitarist Paco Strickland.

DETAILS REGGAE REDEMPTION 98.7 Modern Rock, 10 a.m. - noon FB: Night Nurse Reggae Redemption Twitter: @reggaeredemptio (no “N”) IG: @reggaeredemption Reggae Redemption Request Line: 910-292-9091 “The general manager at the time is one of my Earth angels, Michael Titterton,” McLaughlin-Smith says. “He was the one who looked at my wonky show concept on a yellow legal pad and said ‘yes!’” Thus the Night Nurse was born. McLaughlin-Smith did the show for free for the first three years. “That is how much I loved and still love this music and the culture attached to it,” she says. Ocean Broadcasting’s Rock 104.5 caught the positivity in 1996 and offered Night Nurse a new home. She stayed there for almost a decade. In 2004 SeaComm Media— original founders of the Carolina Penguin 106.7 (now owned by Local Voice Media as Penguin 98.3)—came knocking. McLaughlin-Smith also became the station’s marketing manager for a short time and hosted Reggae Redemption at the Penguin until December 2011. Then, Sunrise Media’s Modern Rock 98.7 wanted to add the show to its lineup. “When I first came to Modern Rock 98.7, I produced Reggae Redemption from my home studio,” McLaughlin-Smith tells. “I am a private contractor and not an employee of the station, so it made sense.

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MUSIC About six months in, there were technical difficulties and I began producing the show in studio.” Last Sunday, March 15, 2020, Reggae Redemption returned to its roots due to precautions from COVID-19. The station heads were taking measures against the spread of the coronavirus and mandating social distancing. “I was told by management they were in need of placing the show on hiatus, unless I could somehow produce it outside the station,” McLaughlin-Smith says. “I am very grateful for that alternative offer. I have received tremendous support from my colleagues at Sunrise, in terms of making the remote production efforts work.” On March 22, with the help of her co-executive producer Chuck Denson, she broadcast from home and with a new tag of “bringing the people and the music to the people.” Since Rasta is spiritually rooted in social commentary, it felt fitting to keep the message and music flowing. “So often simple-minded folk think [reggae] is what they hear on cruise ships and at vacation resorts,” McLaughlin-Smith adds. “This music isn’t for folly. For those of us who live it and study the teachings, it is holy and divine, meant to lift up the name of Emperor Rastafari. As the reggae band Third World sang, it’s ‘Serious Business.’” McLaughlin-Smith’s audience loves all the classic reggae artists and those who maintain the same respect for the classics’ style and delivery. She plays songs from internationally acclaimed performers, down to locals who have yet to record an album. Naturally, folks hear genre icons (Steel Pulse, Bob Marley and the Wailers,


Night Nurse Kimberly McLaughlin-Smith goes on 27 years of bringing Rasta to the masses

Peter Tosh, Annette Brissett, Della Grant and the Mystic Revelers), plus contemporaries like Morgan Heritage, Jessie Royal, Chronixx, and the new Queen of Reggae, Koffee—the genre’s first female GRAMMY winner in 2020. Local and regional artists, like Treehouse Reggae Band, DHIM, and Zion Roots or Pure Fiyah, also get air play. As McLaughlin-Smith begins a new journey for her programming, she also will curate a bit differently than normal. Every Sunday, with the help of EJ Smith, she will be going live on social media. The idea is to connect more directly with listeners during a time of physical disconnection globally.

“It will make it possible for fans to show their love via a fan page, which is under construction as we speak,” McLaughlin-Smith says. She asks fans to create video testimonials that will air on her social media. Folks also can call her hotline and make requests, Thursday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. “Just leave a voicemail, and we will grab it and spin it on the show,” she promises. “With a couple of decades on air now, I know this is my true purpose. This now is my nondenominational musical ministry.”

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A FAMILY AFFAIR Wilmington actor Carson Holmes (center) plays Three Langhorne on Netflix’s “Ozark,” which premieres its third season on March 27. Courtesy photo





olks who have been watching Netflix’s “Ozark” are familiar with the Langmores, especially Ruth (Julia Garner)—a smart, sassy and sometimes well-intentioned 20-something trying to do what’s right for her family. There’s also her teenage cousins, Wyatt (Charlie Tahan) and his younger brother Three, played by Wilmingtonian Carson Holmes. The Langmores are known in their community for low, petty theft crimes, but some of the clan (including Three’s father) are equipped to get their hands even dirtier.


Season three on Netflix: March 27 Run time: 52-80 minutes per episode Starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Charlie Tahan and Wilmingtonian “There’s a lot of Three that’s not me,” Carson Holmes Holmes tells encore ahead of the season three premiere of “Ozark” on Netflix, slated for March 27. “But the part I can relate to is there’s a very strong family relationship and bond there, whether it gets shown on camera or not. The whole Langmore family cares for each other quite a bit. They all love each other and show it in very bizarre ways.”

The Langmores are saints compared to some characters on “Ozark,” who are often morally conflicted if not completely bankrupt. Season three will see more of Three and his (shrinking) family. “Definitely more than there has been in the past,” Holmes teases. “I’m very excited for that, and there’s a lot more character arcs with Wyatt, Three and Ruth. . . . I’m just lucky I’ve made it to season three, all things considered; they’re killing off people left and right!” To say “Ozark” is dark is a mild description when explaining both its storylines and aesthetic. A shadowy darkness practically drapes every scene. There is a sense of dread and suspense building up and bookending every episode.

ing money for a Mexican drug lord. (And that’s the super-abridged version.) There’s a whole other world of problems awaiting him, his wife Wendy (Laura Linney), and their two kids. Holmes was 13 when he landed the role as Three, and over the course of filming the first season, he missed 165 days of school. Now 17, he’s starting online courses at CFCC, and doesn’t have to make the 8-hour drive to Atlanta, Georgia (where most of “Ozark” is filmed) as often. (Small teams go out to the actual Ozarks for B-roll shots of lakes and scenery.) Season three is all about where season two left off: the opening of a casino boat to continue laundering drug money. “They actually had to go down to either Savannah or Charleston because that’s where they could get one of those big casino boats to film on, [which] they can’t do in Atlanta,” Holmes tells.

Holmes is likely familiar to Wilmington audiences; encore featured him as a covSeason one begins with our main proer model in 2014 for his lead role as Raltagonist Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman). phie in the stage version of “A Christmas He’s a financial planner who abruptly Story.” His sister, Piper, shared the cover uproots his family from Chicago to run a only a couple of weeks ago with her fellow summer resort community in the Ozarks, “The Sound of Music” cast members. She to avoid being murdered and launder14 encore | march 25 - march 31, 2020 | www.encorepub.com

played Marta. Love for performance and the arts, in some form of fashion, runs in the family. “Sadly, [my mother] doesn’t have a musical bone in her body,” Holmes quips. “But she tries to sing along. My father used to be a classical violinist, so he’s actually done a lot of the violin for most of the shows at Thalian Hall. They just did ‘Guys and Dolls’ [which was staged at Kenan Auditorium] and ‘The Sound of Music.’” Holmes has been featured in several productions from local theatre companies, Thalian Association and Opera House Theater Company. At one point, he remembers a busy schedule packed with five different shows. Once they wrapped and there was a lull, the actor missed the camaraderie. “You get used to seeing all your friends all the time, and it’s super happy and exciting,” he adds. “Then there was none of that.” It was around that time Holmes’ parents found Actors Arsenal in Wilmington. The acting studio is headed by Ron Fallica and Allie McCulloch. Holmes took their TV/ movie classes for a few months. “Ron and Allie are the nicest people in the world,” he praises. “I would not have been able to do anything without them. They’re so amazing. They were like, ‘We think it’s time for you to get an agent.’” Shortly after, Holmes landed a one-line role in Cinemax’s “The Darkest Minds” as a smart-mouthed bully. Then came “Ozark.” Holmes remembers how the audition required him to learn a three-page monologue. While the scene was never used, it left an impression on the then 13-year-old. “It was brilliantly written,” he says, “but it had a bunch of swear words in it, and this was still when I went to St. Mark’s [Catholic School], and it was the week of finals when I got the script. I had a day to prepare. So I had to bring it to school to practice, and I had to, you know, black out all the swear words.” Holmes says doing “Ozark” has been the

Wilmington actor Carson Holmes talks about his role on ‘Ozark,’ season three premiere experience of a lifetime, learning about acting through a new lens and medium. He wants to explore other sides of the business as well, especially working with Jason Bateman (“The Outsider,” “Arrested Development”), who has directed many “Ozark” episodes. “Just to get in his mind and see what he’s seeing, and then seeing it all stitched together,” Holmes says. “It’s amazing to see these people off camera after filming. They’re like, ‘I’m gonna kill you!’ And then their like, ‘Oh my gosh, this matcha tea is amazing!’” It’s hard for the conversation not to turn to Wilmington’s film industry during our interview. The mass exodus of productions due to North Carolina legislature terminating its 25% rebate incentive in 2014 came after its switch to a grant program that now caps at $31 million. With the rebate program, North Carolina claimed $254 million in revenue in 2013; in 2019 it received $167 million. In 2019 Georgia claimed $1.81 billion from the film industry, as many movies and shows have turned to Atlanta, the new filming hub in the South. Still, Holmes sees hope coming to Wilmington, especially with two pilots, “The Lost Boys” (another Netflix series) and “The Country,” being filmed here (both are currently on hiatus due to the COVID-19 shutdown). “I filmed [Alan Ball’s] ‘Uncle Frank’ here last year,” he notes, “and that just premiered at Sundance with Paul Bettany. . . . I feel like, hopefully, eventually, the ramp will come back up and [North Carolina] will make the changes that the TV and entertainment business needs to live here.”

FRESH GAME Betty Gilpin pulls off a great performance that carries “The Hunt.” Photo courtesy Universal Pictures





ood storytelling is very often about achieving balance. Filmmakers have to find a way to perfectly juggle the fundamentals of the three-act cinematic structure and infuse it with engaging characters, layering in some underlying themes that make the entire movie a seamless experience. It’s not easy and very few consistently achieve this creative equilibrium. A great example is Jordan Peele’s highly praised debut “Get Out,” which tells a great story with interesting characters, and says something salient about race relations in the United States thanks to biting social satire. Peele pulled off an epic juggling act and made it look effortless. The new film “The Hunt” desperately wants to be the same kind of experience— to deliver social satire while staging another variation on Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game.” It basically focuses on a bunch of rich people who round up some unwilling participants to be hunted for sport. This time the rich people are liberal elites, and their prey are conservative. Both sides get skewered, literally and metaphorically. From this setup, writers Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof (HBO’s “Watchmen”) and director Craig Zobel create a more chaotic juggling act that involves chainsaws and eventually turns into a bloodbath. The film opens by introducing us to one of the 1%, Richard (Glenn Howerton), and the scene quickly informs the audience of everything good and bad about the hunt. It is not subtle. There will be no attempts at layering the social elements into the cinematic recipe. “The Hunt” is going to slap audiences in the face with the most obvious, stereotypical, cartoonish representations of humans ever committed to film. I wasn’t surprised to discover most characters weren’t given names. Instead, they’re referred to by their attributes, i.e. “Yoga Pants” (Emma Roberts) or “Vanilla Nice” (Sturgill Simpson). The hapless hunted wake up in a large field with a supply of weapons to choose from. Before anyone can make sense of what has happened to them, gunfire erupts

DETAILS THE HUNT Rated R, 1 hr 30 mins

teresting ideas on display, too—tiny, dustsized diamonds in a mound of common coal. It’s marginally interesting. Unfortunately, the movie is never more engaging than its basic premise. We never get the kind of depth and nuance found in “Get Out.” This film is more like “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”—so over-the-top in its satirical intentions it ends up seeming completely removed from reality. “The Hunt” works as an ultra-violent thriller, but it never says anything novel about the political polarization that has our country in a headlock. I’m guessing some

‘The Hunt’ entertains but doesn’t reinvent the genre people might get a chuckle or two watching both sides of the social spectrum mocked or brutally murdered. But the onthe-nose satirical elements are low-hanging fruit. Liberals are dismissive of conservatives and see them as unintelligent; conservatives are prone to propaganda and conspiracy theories. It’s not exactly Orwell-level satire, but it’s entertaining nonetheless.

Directed by Craig Zobel Starring Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Emma Roberts, Sturgill Simpson and the game begins. Credit must be paid to author Richard Connell: This premise of humans hunting humans for sport, still, is wildly successful in terms of creating tension. The concept can make for entertaining moments. “The Hunt” is well-executed in that the carnage is fast, surprising and ugly. There are no attempts to soften the depiction of man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man. The end result is the kind of murderous mayhem I love—a symphony of cinematic suffering, a berserk ballet of brutality. After some lovely carnage, we meet our hero: a salty little firecracker named Crystal (Betty Gilpin). She’s intelligent, a little kooky and really good at killing people. Unlike the rest of the cannon fodder, Crystal is smart enough to outwit her tormentors and inflict great harm upon them. The talented Betty Gilpin carries “The Hunt” on her beautiful, broad shoulders. She benefits greatly from being the only character given anything that resembles depth. Everyone else in the movie is a shallow caricature that amounts to approximations of people constructed by social media posts; they are humans constructed from the worst thing they ever said on Twitter and Facebook. There are the barest of inencore | march 25 - march 31, 2020 | www.encorepub.com 15


Connect with CAM and Lois DeWitt offer free online art programs to the community


e now have proof Jamiroquai was way ahead of its time when the band sang in 1996, “Future’s / made of / virtual insanity.” In 2020, under COVID-19’s reality of social distancing, self-isolation, quarantines and shelter-in-place, most of us are receiving all our info on the pandemic and from our communities via social media, FaceTime, Zoom meetings, TV and livestreams. While “insanity” is one way to describe our current existence, others are looking at this new virtual world as an opportunity to forge deeper connections with their communities via knowledge and entertainment. Cameron Art Museum is doing just that. Normally, the museum is a place where people can go to elevate their artistic minds, whether through exhibitions, classes offered throughout the week, or gallery tours that showcase the ins and outs of multimedia artists. Though CAM’s building is closed to the public until further notice, the outreach team and staff are still focused on launching needed programs. “We’re trying to stay engaged and relevant for our public by offering online prerecorded videos as part of #ConnectwithCAM,” deputy director Heather Wilson tells. “We believe art can bring us together, no matter the distance.” There are videos now on their social media feeds, which include YouTube and Facebook (all of which can be accessed through CAM’s website). Wilson herself taught a virtual meditation and writing class on Monday, in the middle of CAM’s “Unfolding Noguchi” exhibit. She starts by talking about artist Isamu Noguchi and reveals a book club they will start soon, beginning with a biography of Noguchi, “Listening to Stone,” by Hayden Herrera. She then goes into a meditative exercise as the video pans to Noguchi’s beautifully illuminated, large paper lanterns. After 20 minutes of meditation,

Eye Learn—Modernist Prints from the Louis Belden Collection.” CAM’s YouTube channel collects the tours in one place. “We plan on releasing two a week,” Wilson tells.

DETAILS CONNECT WITH CAM Free classes and programs on CAM’s YouTube and Facebook pages Schedule:cameronartmuseum.org


CAM will have their new semester of Museum School classes online before long as well. They’re finishing the current semester now. VIRTUAL TALKS

Local papermaker Fritzi Huber talks about the intricacies of Louise Nevelson’s “Skygate I” from “The Eye Learns: Modernist Prints from the Louis Bleden Collection” on CAM’s YouTube channel. Screenshot by Shea Carver


tary activity (i.e. how to make rainbows from materials at home).

Free classes and programs for amateurs, intermediates and professionals Schedule: free-online-art-classes. com

“We’re also offering online lessons for children ages 5-12 on Mondays and Wednesdays that parents can download and do with their children on their own time,” Wilson tells.

Wilson leads the group into a free-writing exercise, asking them to describe in detail their creative visualization during meditation. The camera shows more of Noguchi’s work as inspiration during the writing period. Even though folks may have missed Monday’s class, they can still access it on CAM’s Facebook page, along with demos by local teaching artists like Kirah Van Sickle, and art lessons for kids by CAM’s director of youth and family education, Georgia Mastroieni. Mastroieni leads the live 20-minute Art Explorers class every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. Her first class had over 1,200 views, and folks were encouraged to post pictures of their participation. Mastroieni changes up lessons plans but usually starts with reading a book (such as Dolly Parton’s “I Am a Rainbow” ) and then hosting a complemen-

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So far CAM has done Facebook Live artist demos. One showcased Renato Abbate throwing pots on the Pancoe Patio. Live sessions are recorded in staff members’ and artists’ homes and studios, too, as the community practices social distancing. “We anticipate other initiatives to be announced in upcoming weeks,” Wilson says. “We’re particularly excited to move some of our exhibitions online for the community to engage with that way.” Current exhibits aside from “Unfolding Noguchi” include “The Eye Learns—Modernist prints from the Louis Belden Collection,” “Structure in Space and Time—Photography by Phil Freelon” and “Stories in Print.” Virtual tours give folks a brief look at the exhibits from the eyes of staff and community members. For instance, one 2-minute episode was hosted by local papermaker Fritzi Huber on Louise Nevelson’s “Skygate I” in “The

Also teaching classes on her own site, free-online-art-classes.com, is local artist Lois DeWitt. DeWitt has been drawing and evolving her art skills since age 3, and went on to receive her bachelor’s degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and her MFA from Pratt Institute. She had a career in computer-aided design for an apparel company and worked as secretary to the director of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. Along the way, she has taught art to the public in some form or fashion. While DeWitt normally teaches at CFCC in the continuing education program and out of her sunroom studio at her home near Snow’s Cut Bridge, in 2008 she upfit her website to host online classes. Today they’re coming in handy more than ever, and many are offered for free. “We are all hard-wired to create,” Dewitt says. “[I encourage] my students to resist the left hemisphere urges that sabotage their creativity.” Her website is full of amateur, intermediate and advanced classes in painting, drawing, printmaking, oil pastels, conte crayon and more. She offers short projects for kids and groups, and even has bits on artful cooking, gardening, finding the artist within, and other subjects. “Most courses have six lessons,” DeWitt says. “Many of my basic classes are artschool quality, which means they instruct the basic skills that art schools teach. I advise starting at the first lesson and continuing to the end to develop skills and confidence.”

GALLERY art exposure!

22527 Highway 17N Hampstead, NC (910) 803-0302 • (910) 330-4077 Tues. - Sat. 10am - 5pm (or by appt.) www.artexposure50.com

ArtExposure will be hosting “Metal and Fiber, a show featuring the metal work of Vicki Thatcher and the Fiber work of Jan Lewis. The show will run until the end of August. Check outartexposure50.com for upcoming events and classes!


210 Princess St. • (484) 885-3037 Temporarily closed or call for appt. aibgallery.com

Art in Bloom Gallery is temporarily closed except for appointments until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. View and purchase art via our website at https://aibgallery.com/product-category/group-exhibit/. Free delivery or shipping provided. On view: “New Art by Helen Lewis, Debra Bucci & Naomi Jones with Photographer, Brian Peterson,” through April 19. The group art exhibit showcases original art in a variety of mediums. “Ancient Practice: Encaustic Art by Helen Lewis” is a new body of work investigating new directions with an ancient practice fusing pigment and beeswax on wooden panels. The group art exhibit showcases original art in a variety of media. “Ancient Practice: Encaustic Art by Helen Lewis” is a new body of work investigating new directions with an ancient practice fusing pigment and beeswax on wooden panels.


In addition to our gallery at 210 Princess Street, Art in Bloom Gallery partners with local businesses to exhibit original art in other locations. Current exhibits include: “The Ways of Wax: Works by Liz Hosier,” through May 4 at Platypus & Gnome Restaurant, 9 South Front Street. View and purchase the art via our website at https://aibgallery.com/artist/ liz-hosier/. Free delivery or shipping provided. The exhibit features new paintings


by celebrates the versatility of beeswax as a primary medium, with works in oil with cold wax, encaustics (an ancient hot wax painting technique), and encaustic monotypes (a printmaking technique with encaustic pigment). At this time, the restaurant is closed for in-house dining. Take out and limited delivery are available, but may change depending on guidance from NC and New Hanover County Emergency Management Teams. Call the restaurant at 910-769-9300 for info.


271 N. Front St. • (919) 343-8997. Tues. - Sat. 11am - 6pm (or by appt.) newelementsgallery.com

“Juncture,” featuring art by BF Reed and jewelry by Aja Butler-Burns, is a conceptual exhibition combining Reed’s geometric shapes and organic offerings, and Butler-Burns jewelry that uses geometric crystals and organic metal shapes to create connections that elevate consciousness and brings us closer to nature. New Elements is temporarily closed until further notice per the COVID-19 pandemic.


200 Hanover St. (bottom level, parking deck) Mon.-Fri., noon-5pm http://cfcc.edu/danielsgallery

At this time CFCC and the Wilma Daniels Gallery is closed and will reopen once the COVID-19 pandemic passes and we are clear to get business back to normal.

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recently went to Alcove Beer Garden before Jarred Weinstein’s Jacket Art Show last month. It’s located across the street from Queen Street Barbershop in The Cargo District (also the neighbors of encore, I might add). I brought my laptop, as I usually do, with no intent to use it. My plan was to chat with the bartender and mindlessly scroll Instagram while a virtual mountain of work loomed from my backpack, hanging from a hook under the bar. But not this time. Upon entering Alcove, I instantly felt energized. At first I thought it may have been caffeine-by-proxy because of the Bespoke located in the front of the Outpost. While that may have added to the buzz, it wasn’t the only thing; Alcove has a certain je ne sais quoi that ultimately had me pulling out my computer and getting so much work done that, when a friend met me, I wasn’t ready to put it away. But that was nearly a month ago—back when we were all supposed to wash our hands, but it wasn’t life or death. We could saddle up next to someone at the bar for a chat, be they stranger or friend, and pull out a measuring stick to ensure 6 feet of distance. It was in fact a simpler time when

Corona was just everyone’s least favorite Mexican lager. Now, we’re not so certain when our next outing will be. But when we do get the green light, Wilmingtonians need to put Alcove on their list of places to hit. Its industrial decor is very chic, as rattan swings welcome folks for a twirl, breeze cement blocks tilt to mid-century vibes, and of course shipping containers square off to complete The Cargo District feel. I got to chat with owner Billy Batten, who also owns Growlers downtown, about his new spot. encore (e): How did Alcove come to be? Billy Batten (BB): Alcove’s inception was simple enough. I was approached with the opportunity to open a bar concept within the Outpost at 16th and Queen streets. Being an entrepreneur at heart, already having another bar, among other self-employed interests, I was on board as soon as the envisioned concept was laid out in front of me. The name took a little while to come up with; I wanted it to stay somewhat in unison with the area. The fact that the bar is positioned in a small corner of the Quonset Hut, and we are sandwiched between Castle and Queen streets, I chose a medieval word (Al-

cove). Alcove originated in the 16th century and means small recess in a room, simple enough. e: You guys have been open for a month; how has the response been? BB: Petty good, and we have had some really good business already so I feel fortunate. We have not done too much promoting of the bar yet, outside of some social media, because there’s still patio work that needs to be completed, as well as some other minor things. So we are holding off on a grand opening until we can get those complete. e: Your hours are early through weekdays, closing at 8 p.m. and on weekends at 10 p.m. Is this going to change or evolve? BB: Our hours are slightly condensed as of now because of the aforementioned things that need to be complete, but they will expand–most likely not past 10 p.m. on the weekdays and 12 a.m. on weekends, barring special circumstances. e: I noticed a lot of local beer on draught. I love it. How did you come to that? BB: I chose local breweries because I believe in them as businesses and enjoy the beers they are making. I also believe in supporting the local community as much as possible. e: What about bottled/canned beer and wine? You’ve got a good selection. Are you planning to be a bottle shop as well? BB: We are not a bottle shop; we simply are a bar that offers beer and wine. We have very limited space so it was the main factor in choosing what to carry. Of course, we wanted to give as much space for local breweries first, and then come back and fill in the open spaces with some other brands. We also made sure to choose inventory that would sell. As we grow the Outpost to the completed vision, there’s a chance I may expand the layout of Alcove, but that’s unlikely. I don’t think that bigger equals better. I really like the small vibe of Alcove and how it fits overall into the community space we are creating at Outpost.

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The Cargo District’s newest bar, Alcove, opens in the Outpost, with plans to expand

e: Can you explain exactly what the Outpost is? BB: The Outpost is the entire Quonset Hut. Within that space there are several small businesses, including Alcove, Bespoke Coffee Shop, Wide Open Tech, Mess Hall, and Option1S3 (who provides us with hospital-grade disinfectants, bacterial and pathogen testing capabilities). Soon a couple more will be added to the patio area as well. e: You guys paired up with Bespoke to do a build-your-own vegan pretzel a few Saturdays ago; will we see more simpatico events like this? Got anything else planned? BB: The vegan pretzel pop-up was a big hit; however, we aren’t going to continue with that. We actually are converting that container to a full kitchen called Mess Hall, where there will be breakfast, lunch and dinner options available, and this should be ready soon. We did have plans to put another food joint on the patio but that plan is on hold for now. We are going to finish up fitting the last two containers on the patio as either office or retail space, which gives us a total of seven tenants in this phase of the overall Outpost project. We will still have food trucks come as well (the more businesses, the more foot traffic for all businesses), but it takes time with them because they usually book out at least a month in advance.

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encore | march 25 - march 31, 2020 | www.encorepub.com 19



Hops S upply Co.


Take-ou t and D elivery A vailable • hopss upplyco .com • L indsey A . Miller Photog raphy


Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of sailing ships and the Intracoastal Waterway while dining at this popular casual American restaurant in Wrightsville Beach. Lunch and dinner are served daily. Favorites include jumbo lump crab cakes, succulent seafood lasagna, crispy coconut shrimp and an incredible Caribbean fudge pie. Dine inside or at their award-winning outdoor patio and bar, which is the location for their lively Waterfront Music Series every Sunday April - October. Large parties welcome. Private event space available. BluewaterDining.com. 4 Marina Street, Wrightsville Beach, NC. (910) 256-8500. ■ SERVING LUNCH & DINNER: Mon-Fri 11a.m. - 11 p.m.; Sat & Sun 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Wrightsville Beach ■ FEATURING: Waterfront dining ■ MUSIC: Music every Sunday in Summer ■ WEBSITE: bluewaterdining.com


Since 1984, Elijah’s has been Wilmington, NC’s outdoor dining destination. We feature expansive indoor and outdoor waterfront dining, with panoramic views of riverfront sunsets. As a Casual American Grill and Oyster Bar, Elijah’s offers everything from fresh local seafood and

shellfish to pastas, sandwiches, and Certified Angus Beef selections. We offer half-priced oysters from 4-6 every Wednesday & live music with our Sunday Brunch from 11-3. Whether you are just looking for a great meal & incredible scenery, or a large event space for hundreds of people, Elijah’s is the place to be. ■ SERVING LUNCH & DINNER: Sun-Thurs 11:30-10:00; Friday and Saturday 11:30-11:00 ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Downtown ILM; kids menu


Pine Valley Market has reigned supreme in servicing the Wilmington community for years,

securing encore’s Best-Of awards in catering, gourmet shop and butcher. Now, Kathy Webb and Christi Ferretti are expanding their talents into serving lunch in-house, so folks can enjoy their hearty, homemade meals in the quaint and cozy ambiance of the market. Using the freshest ingredients of highest quality, diners can enjoy the best Philly Cheesesteak in Wilmington, along with numerous other sandwich varieties, from their Angus burger to classic Reuben, Italian sub to a grown-up banana and

peanut butter sandwich that will take all diners back to childhood. Served among a soup du jour and salads, there is something for all palates. Take advantage of their take-home frozen meals for nights that are too hectic to cook, and don’t forget to pick up a great bottle of wine to go with it. 3520 S. College Road, (910) 350-FOOD. ■ SERVING LUNCH & DINNER: Mon.-Fri. 10


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a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Sun. ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: South Wilmington ■ FEATURING: Daily specials and take-home frozen meals ■ WEBSITE: pinevalleymarket.com


Trolly Stop Grill and Catering is a four store franchise in North Carolina. Trolly Stop Hot Dogs opened in Wrightsville Beach in 1976. That store name has never changed. Since the Wrightsville Beach store, the newer stores sell hotdogs, hamburgers, beef and chicken cheese steaks, fries, hand dipped ice cream, milk shakes, floats and more. Our types of dogs are: Southern (Trolly Dog, beef and pork), Northern (all beef), Smoke Sausage (pork), Fat Free (turkey), Veggie (soy). Voted Best Hot Dog in Wilmington for decades. Check our website trollystophotdogs.com for hours of operations, specific store offerings and telephone numbers, or contact Rick Coombs, 910-297-8416, rtrollystop@aol.com We offer catering serving 25-1000 people. Franchises available. ■ SERVING LUNCH & DINNER ■ LOCATIONS: Wilmington, Fountain Dr. (910) 452-3952, Wrightsville Beach (910) 2563921, Southport (910) 457-7017, Boone, NC (828) 265-2658, Chapel Hill, NC (919) 240-4206 ■ WEBSITE: trollystophotdogs.com


If you’re ready to experience the wonders of the Orient without having to leave Wilmington, join us at Indochine for a truly unique experience. Indochine brings the flavors of the Far East to the Port City, combining the best of Thai and Vietnamese cuisine in an atmosphere that will transport you and your taste buds. Relax in our elegantly decorated dining room, complete with antique Asian decor as well as contemporary artwork and music. Our diverse, friendly and efficient staff will serve you beautifully presented dishes full of enticing aromas and flavors. Be sure to try such signature items as the spicy and savory Roasted Duck with Red Curry, or the beautifully presented and delicious Shrimp and Scallops in a Nest. Be sure to save room for our world famous desert, the banana egg roll! We take pride in using only the freshest ingredients, and our extensive menu suits any taste. After dinner, enjoy specialty drinks by the koi pond in our Asian garden. Located at 7 Wayne Drive (beside the Ivy Cottage), (910) 251-9229. ■ SERVING LUNCH & DINNER: Tues.- Fri. 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.; Sat. 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. for lunch. Mon.- Sun. 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. for dinner. ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Midtown ■ WEBSITE: indochinewilmington.com


For more than a decade, Nikki’s downtown has served diners the best in sushi. With freshly crafted ingredients making up their rolls, sushi and sashimi, a taste of innovation comes with every order. Daily they offer specialty rolls specific to the Front Street location, such as the My Yoshi, K-Town and Crunchy Eel rolls. But for less adventurous diners looking for options beyond sushi, Nikki’s serves an array of sandwiches, wraps and gyros, too. They also make it a point to host all dietary needs, omnivores, carnivores and herbivores alike. They have burgers and cheesesteaks, as well as falafal pitas and

veggie wraps, as well as an extensive Japanese fare menu, such as bento boxes and tempura platters. Daily dessert and drink special are also on order. Check out their website and Facebook for more information. 16 S. Front St. (910) 7719151. ■ SERVING LUNCH & DINNER: Mon.-Thurs., 11am 10pm; Fri.-Sat., 11am-11pm; Sun., 12pm10pm. Last call on food 15 minutes before closing. ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Downtown ■ WEBSITE: nikkissushibar.com


We have reinvented “Hibachi cuisine.” Okami Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse is like no other. Our highly skilled chefs cook an incredible dinner while entertaining you on the way. Our portions are large, our drinks are less expensive, and our staff is loads of fun. We are committed to using quality ingredients and seasoning with guaranteed freshness. Our goal is to utilize all resources, domestically and internationally, to ensure we serve only the finest food products. We believe good, healthy food aids vital functions for well-being, both physically and mentally. Our menu consists of a wide range of steak, seafood, and chicken for the specially designed “Teppan Grill.” We also serve tastebud-tingling Japanese sushi, hand rolls, sashimi, tempura dishes, and noodle entrees. This offers our guests a complete Japanese dining experience. Our all-you-can-eat sushie menu and daily specials can be found at okamisteakhouse.com! 614 S College Rd. ■ SERVING LUNCH & DINNER: Mon.-Thurs., 11am 2:30pm / 4-10pm; Fri., 11am-2:30pm / 4pm-11pm; Sat., 11am-11pm; Sun., 11am9:30pm ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Midtown ■ WEBSITE: okamisteakhouse.com

nightly from 5-7, until 8 on Mondays, and also 10-Midnight on Fri/Sat. Tuesday LOCALS NIGHT- 20% Dinner Entrees. Wednesday 80S NIGHT - 80smusic and menu prices. Sundays are the best dealdowntown - Specialty Sushi and Entrees are BuyOne, Get One $10 Off and 1/2 price Wine Bottles.Nightly Drink Specials. Gluten-Free Menu upon request. Complimentary Birthday Dessert. ■ WEBSITE: yosake.com. @yosakeilm on Twitter & Instagram. Like us on Facebook.


Round Bagels and Donuts features 17 varieties of New York-style bagels, baked fresh daily on site in a steam bagel oven. Round offers a wide variety of breakfast and lunch bagel sandwiches, grilled and fresh to order. Round also offers fresh-made donuts daily! Stop by Monday Friday, 6:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., and on Sunday, 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.


cheeses, donuts, sandwiches, coffee and more ■ WEBSITE: roundbagelsanddonuts.com


Wilmington’s favorite fondue restaurant! The Little Dipper specializes in unique fondue dishes with a global variety of cheeses, meats,

seafood, vegetables, chocolates and fine wines. The warm and intimate dining room is a great place to enjoy a four-course meal, or indulge in appetizers and desserts outside on the back deck or in the bar while watching luminescent jellyfish. Reservations are appreciated for parties of any size. Located at the corner of Front and Orange in Downtown Wilmington. 138 South Front Street. (910) 251-0433. ■ SERVING DINNER: 5pm Tue-Sun; open daily from Memorial Day through October ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Downtown ■ FEATURING Sunday half-price wine bottles; Monday beer and wine flights on special; Tuesday Local’s Night $11/person cheese and chocolate; Wednesday Ladies Night; Thursday $27 4-course prix fixe; Friday “Date Night” $85/couple for 3 courses and a bottle of wine. ■ MUSIC: Tuesdays & Thursdays, MayOct., 7– 9 p.m. (weather permitting) ■ WEBSITE: www.littledipperfondue.com


Experience the finest traditional Irish family recipes and popular favorites served in a casual yet elegant traditional pub atmosphere. The Harp, 1423 S. 3rd St., proudly uses the freshest ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible, to bring you and yours the most delicious Irish fare! We have a fully stocked bar featuring favorite Irish beers and whiskies. We are open every day for both American and Irish breakfast, served to noon week-


Craving expertly prepared Chinese food in an elegant atmosphere? Szechuan 132 Chinese Restaurant is your destination! Szechuan 132 has earned the reputation as one of the finest contemporary Chinese restaurants in the Port City. Tastefully decorated with an elegant atmosphere, with an exceptional ingenious menu has deemed Szechuan 132 the best Chinese restaurant for years, hands down. 419 South College Road (in University Landing), (910) 799-1426. ■ SERVING LUNCH & DINNER ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Midtown ■ FEATURING: Lunch specials ■ WEBSITE: szechuan132.com


Lively atmosphere in a modern setting, Yosake is the delicious Downtown spot for date night, socializing with friends, or any large dinner party. Home to the never-disappointing Shanghai Firecracker Shrimp! In addition to sushi, we offer a full Pan Asian menu including curries, noodle dishes, and the ever-popular Crispy Salmon or mouth-watering Kobe Burger. Inspired features change weekly showcasing our commitment to local farms. Full bar including a comprehensive sake list, signature cocktails, and Asian Import Bottles. 33 S. Front St., 2nd Floor (910) 763-3172. ■ SERVING DINNER: 7 nights a week, 5pm; Sun-Wed. ‘til 10pm, Thurs ‘til 11pm, Fri-Sat, ‘til Midnight. ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Downtown ■ FEATURING: 1/2 Price Sushi/Appetizer Menu

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days and 2 p.m. weekends. Regular menu to 10 p.m. weekdays and 11 p.m. weekends. Join us for trivia at 8:30 on Thursdays and live music on Fridays – call ahead for schedule (910) 763-1607. Located just beside Greenfield Lake and Park at the south end of downtown Wilmington, The Harp is a lovely Irish pub committed to bringing traditional Irish flavor, tradition and hospitality to the Cape Fear area ■ SERVING BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Greenfield Lake/DowntownSouth ■ FEATURING: Homemade soups, desserts and breads, free open wifi, new enlarged patio area, and big screen TVs at the bar featuring major soccer matches worldwide. ■ WEBSITE: harpwilmington.com


Slainte Irish Pub in Monkey Junction has traditional pub fare with an Irish flair. We have a large selection of Irish whiskey, and over 23 different beers on draft, and 40 different craft beers in bottles. They have a large well lit outdoor patio with a full bar also. Come have some fun! They currently do not take reservations, but promise to take care of you when you get here! 5607 Carolina Beach Rd. #100, (910) 399-3980 ■ SERVING LUNCH & DINNER: 11:30 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: South Wilmington, Monkey Junction ■ FEATURING: Irish grub, whiskeys, beer, wine, fun. ■ WEBSITE: facebook.com/slaintemj


Serving fresh, homemade Italian fare in midtown and south Wilmington, Antonio’s Pizza and Pasta is a family-owned restaurant which serves New York style pizza and pasta. From daily specials during lunch and dinner to a friendly waitstaff ensuring a top-notch experience, whether dining in, taking out or getting delivery, to generous portions, the Antonio’s experience is an unforgettable one. Serving subs, salads, pizza by the slice or pie, pasta, and more, dine-in, take-out and delivery! 3501 Oleander Dr., #2, and 5120 S. College Rd. ■ SERVING LUNCH & DINNER: Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun., open at 11:30 a.m.) ■ NEIGHBORHOOD DELIVERY OFFERED: Monkey Junction and near Independence Mall ■ WEBSITE: antoniospizzaandpasta.com


The Italian Bistro is a family-owned, fullservice Italian restaurant and pizzeria located in Porters Neck. They offer a wide variety of N.Y. style thin-crust pizza and homemade Italian dishes seven days a week! The Italian Bistro strives to bring customers a variety of homemade items made with the freshest, local ingredients. Every pizza and entrée is made to order and served with a smile from our amazing staff.

103 N Lake Park Blvd #B Carolina Beach, NC (910) 458-5226 elcazadormex.com 22 encore | march 25 - march 31, 2020 | www.encorepub.com

11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun brunch, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Porters Neck ■ WEBSITE: italianbistronc.com


“Slice” has become a home away from home for tourists and locals alike. Our menu includes salads, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, homemade soups, subs and, of course, pizza. We only serve the freshest and highest-quality ingredients in all of our food, and our dough is made daily with purified water. Voted “Best Pizza” and “Best Late Night Eatery.”All ABC permits. Visit us downtown at 125 Market Street, (910) 251-9444, in Wrightsville Beach at 1437 Military Cutoff Road, Suite 101, (910) 256-2229 and in Pine Valley on the corner of 17th and College Road, (910) 799-1399. ■ SERVING LUNCH, DINNER & LATE NIGHT: 11:30 a.m.-3 a.m., 7 days/week, 365 days/year. ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Midtown, Downtown and Wilmington South. ■ FEATURING: Largest tequila selection in town! ■ WEBSITE: grabslice.com


Zocalo Street Food and Tequila brings a modern version of cooking traditional Mexican street food through perfected recipes, with excellent presentation. Zócalo was the main ceremonial center for the Aztecs, and presently, it is the main square in central Mexico City. It bridges old school tradition with a twist of innovative cooking. Zocalo also has weekly events, such as their margarita and food tasting every Monday, 5-8 p.m., and a live taco station every Tuesday , 5-8 p.m. Live Latin music Is showcased every other Saturday and Sunday brunch begins at 10 a.m. Be sure to try Zocalo’s wide selection of the best tequilas! Owned and operated locally, locations are in Wilmington and Jacksonville, NC. Take out and delivery available through most apps. ■ SERVING LUNCH, DINNER AND BRUNCH: Monday - Saturday, 11 a.m - 10 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.; closes 9 p.m. ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Pointe at Barclay ■ WEBSITE: zocalostreetfood.com


The Philly Deli celebrated their 38th anniversary in August 2017. Thier first store was located in Hanover Center—the oldest shopping center in Wilmington. Since, two more Philly Delis have been added: one at Porters Neck and one at Monkey Junction. The Philly Deli started out by importing all of their steak meat and hoagie rolls straight from Amoroso Baking Company, located on 55th Street in downtown Philadelphia! It’s a practice they maintain to this day.

Their warm, inviting, atmosphere is perfect for “date night” or “family night.” Let them show you why “fresh, homemade and local” is part of everything they do. 8211 Market St. (910) 6867774

We also have a great collection of salads to choose from, including the classic chef’s salad, chicken salad, and tuna salad, all made fresh every day in our three Wilmington, NC restaurants. 8232 Market St., 3501 Oleander Dr., 609 Piner Rd.


■ OPEN: 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Monday

-Thursday,11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Friday Saturday.

■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Porters Neck, North and

South Wilmington, ■ WEBSITE: https://phillydeli.com


Founded in 2008 by Evans and Nikki Trawick, Cape Fear Seafood Company has become a local hotspot for the freshest, tastiest seafood in the area. With it’s growing popularity, the restaurant has expanded from its flagship eatery in Monkey Junction to locations in Porters Neck and Waterford in Leland. “We are a dedicated group of individuals working together as a team to serve spectacular food, wine and spirits in a relaxed and casual setting,” restaurateur Evans Trawick says. “At CFSC every dish is prepared with attention to detail, quality ingredients and excellent flavors. Our staff strives to accommodate guests with a sense of urgency and an abundance of southern hospitality.” Cape Fear Seafood Company has been recognized by encore magazine for best seafood in 2015, as well as by Wilmington Magazine in 2015 and 2016, and Star News from 2013 through 2016. Monkey Junction: 5226 S. College Road Suite 5, 910799-7077. Porter’s Neck: 140 Hays Lane #140, 910-681-1140. Waterford: 143 Poole Rd., Leland, NC 28451 ■ SERVING LUNCH AND DINNER: 11:30am4pm daily; Mon.-Thurs.., 4pm-9pm; Fri.-Sat., 4pm 10pm; Sun., 4pm-8:30pm. ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Midtown, north Wilmington and Leland ■ WESBITE: capefearseafoodcompany.com


Serving the Best Seafood in South Eastern North Carolina. Wilmington’s Native Son, 2011 James Beard Award Nominee, 2013 Best of Wilmington “Best Chef” winner, Chef Keith Rhodes explores the Cape Fear Coast for the best it has to offer. We feature Wild Caught & Sustainably raised Seafood. Organic and locally sourced produce & herbs provide the perfect compliment to our fresh Catch. Consecutively Voted Wilmington’s Best Chef 2008, 09 & 2010. Dubbed “Modern Seafood Cuisine” we offer an array Fresh Seafood & Steaks, including our Signature NC Sweet Potato Salad. Appetizers include our Mouth watering “Fire Cracker” Shrimp, Crispy Cajun Fried NC Oysters & Blue Crab Claw Scampi, & Seafood Ceviche to name a few. Larger Plates include, Charleston Crab Cakes, Flounder Escovitch & Miso Salmon. Custom Entree request gladly accommodated for our Guest. (Vegetarian, Vegan & Allergies) Hand-crafted seasonal desserts. Full ABC Permits. 6623 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28405, 910-7993847. ■ SERVING DINNER: Mon.-Sat. 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: North Wilmington ■ FEATURING: Acclaimed Wine List ■ WEBSITE: catchwilmington.com


Voted Best Oysters for over 10 years by encore readers, you know what you can find at Dock Street Oyster Bar. But we have a lot more than oysters! Featuring a full menu of seafood, pasta, and chicken dishes from $4.95-$25.95,

there’s something for everyone at Dock Street. You’ll have a great time eating in our “Bohemian-Chic” atmosphere, where you’ll feel just as comfort able in flip flops as you would in a business suit. Located at 12 Dock St in downtown Wilmington. Open lunch and dinner, 7 days a week. (910) 762-2827. ■ SERVING LUNCH & DINNER: 7 days a week. ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Downtown ■ FEATURING: Fresh daily steamed oysters. ■ WEBSITE: dockstreetoysterbar.net


Established in 1998, Michael’s Seafood Restaurant is locally owned and operated by Shelly McGowan and managed by her team of culinary professionals. Michael’s aspires to bring you the highest quality and freshest fin fish, shell fish, mollusks, beef, pork, poultry and produce. Our menu consists of mainly locally grown and made from scratch items. We count on our local fishermen and farmers to supply us with seasonal, North Carolina favorites on a daily basis. Adorned walls include awards such as 3 time gold medalist at the International Seafood Chowder Cook-Off, Entrepreneur of the Year, Restaurant of the Year and Encores readers’ choice in Best Seafood to name a few. 1206 N. Lake Park Blvd. (910) 458-7761 ■ SERVING LUNCH & DINNER: 7 days 11 am – 9 pm ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Carolina Beach ■ FEATURING: Award-winning chowder, local se food and more! ■ WEBSITE: MikesCfood.com


The Pilot House Restaurant is Wilmington’s premier seafood and steak house with a touch of the South. We specialize in local seafood and produce. Featuring the only Downtown bar that faces the river and opening our doors in 1978, The Pilot House is the oldest restaurant in the Downtown area. We offer stunning riverfront views in a newly-renovated relaxed, casual setting inside or on one of our two outdoor decks. Join us for $5.00 select appetizers Sunday-Thursday and live music every Friday and Saturday nigh on our umbrella deck. Large parties welcome. Private event space available. 910-343-0200. 2 Ann Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 ■ SERVING LUNCH & DINNER: Sun-Thurs 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm and Sunday Brunch,. 11am-3pm. Kids menu ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Riverfront Downtown Wilmington ■ FEATURING: Fresh local seafood specialties, Riverfront Dining, free on-site parking ■ MUSIC: Outside Every Friday and Saturday ■ WEBSITE: pilothouserest.com


Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar has two locations in the Port City area. The original Shack is located in Carolina Beach at 6A N. Lake Park Blvd. (910-458-7380) and our second location is at 109 Market Street in Historic Downtown Wilmington (910-833-8622). The Shack is the place you want to be to catch your favorite sports team on 7 TV’s carrying all major sports packages. A variety of fresh seafood is available daily including oysters, shrimp, clams, mussels, and crab legs. Shuckin’ Shack has expanded its menu now offering fish tacos, crab cake sliders, fried oyster po-boys, fresh salads, and more. Come in and check out the Shack’s daily lunch,

dinner, and drink specials. It’s a Good Shuckin’ Time! ■ SERVING LUNCH & DINNER: Carolina Beach Hours: Mon-Sat: 11am-2am; Sun: Noon-2am, Historic Wilmington: Sun-Thurs: 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat:11am-Midnight. ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Carolina Beach/Downtown ■ FEATURING: Daily lunch specials. Like us on Facebook! ■ WEBSITE: TheShuckinShack.com


In Wilmington, everyone knows where to go for solid country cooking. That place is Casey’s Buffet, winner of encore’s Best Country Cookin’/ Soul Food and Buffet categories. “Every day we are open, somebody tells us it tastes just like their grandma’s or mama’s cooking,” co-owner Gena Casey says. Gena and her husband Larry run the show at the Oleander Drive restaurant where people are urged to enjoy all food indigenous to the South: fried chicken, barbecue, catfish, mac‘n’cheese, mashed potatoes, green beans, chicken‘n’dumplings, biscuits and homemade banana puddin’ are among a few of many other delectable items. 5559 Oleander Drive. (910) 798-2913. ■ SERVING LUNCH & DINNER: Open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Mon. & Tues. ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Midtown ■ FEATURING: Pig’s feet and chitterlings.

■ WEBSITE: caseysbuffet.com


Located in downtown Wilmington, Rx Restaurant and Bar is here to feed your soul, serving up Southern cuisine made with ingredients from local farmers and fishermen. The Rx chef is committed to bringing fresh food to your table, so the menu changes daily based on what he finds locally. Rx drinks are as unique as the food—and just what the doctor ordered. Join us for a dining experience you will never forget! 421 Castle St.; 910 399-3080. ■ SERVING BRUNCH & DINNER: Tues-Thurs, 5-10pm; Fri-Sat, 5-10:30pm; Sun., 10am-3pm and 5-9pm ■ NEIGHBORHOOD: Downtown ■ WEBSITE: rxwilmington.com


Under new ownership! Tom Noonan invites you to enjoy his remodeled space, featuring a new sound system and new bar, in a warm, relaxed environment. Taste 40 craft beers, over 400 wines by the bottle, a wide selection of cheese and charcuterie, with gourmet small plates and desserts to go! And don’t miss their weekly wine tastings, every Tuesday, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. SERVING DINNER & LATE NIGHT: Mon., Closed; Tues.-Thurs., 4 p.m. - 12 a.m.; Fri., 4 p.m. - 2 a.m.; Sat., 2 p.m. - 2 a.m.; Sun., 4 - 10 p.m. NEIGHBORHOOD: Downtown, 29 S Front St. WEBSITE: fortunateglass.com

We’re not just hot dogs!

$5 Meal Deals

Offering philly cheesesteaks, burgers, grilled cheeses, frank ’n’ beans and more! Offering hot dog cart service for catering, 60 or more! Drop-off catering offered!

We ha Impos ve the s Burgeible r

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11am to 6:30pm, 7 days a week

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READYING FOR ACTION Community members gained insight into tips and resources at New Hanover Disaster Coalition’s Hurricane Preparedness and Recovery expo last July. Courtesy photo



n times of uncertainty, it’s comforting to know there are people prepared to deal with the worst. It’s the job of New Hanover Disaster Coalition to spring into action during emergencies. Normally, the worst looks like hurricanes in southeastern North Carolina, but nowadays it’s a global pandemic threatening our community. Executive director Audrey Hart and the coalition have been hard at work making a plan to deal with the rapidly changing face of COVID-19. Hart, who has a degree in social work from UNCG, has worked in case man-


agement, politics and recruiting—all fields that require thoughtful multitasking and communications. (She even received UNCG’s Pacesetter Award for the Health and Human Services Department in 2015). She has been part of New Hanover Disaster Coalition since it formed in 2018 as a response to Hurricane Florence. As its first act, the coalition partnered with Just Florence Recovery to rebuild our community.

nonprofits and organizations. Currently, the coalition has over 70 partners within the area, including religious groups, nonprofits and healthcare providers. These include American Red Cross, Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, The Harrelson Center, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Nourish NC, Port City Community Church, Senior Center New Hanover County and Wilmington Housing Authority.

“Faith leaders, nonprofit leaders, and community advocates came together and figured out that it would be easier if we coordinate resources to help,” Hart says.

Although the coalition—and the surrounding community, really—has never experienced a disaster like the spread of COVID-19, it is making plans to support Wilmington. Unlike during Hurricane Florence, no one can say when the coronavirus will pass, so the coalition has to be vigilant in assessing needs. 

The focus during the aftermath of Florence was recovery, rebuilding, and providing safe spaces for those in need. The coalition helped relocate those with damaged homes into apartments. Its case management and unmet needs subcommittee helped citizens replace furniture, appliances and other necessities. Other subcommittees specialize in child welfare, communications and advocacy, construction management, spiritual and emotional well-being, and donations and resource management. The unmet needs subcommittee focuses on listening to specific, individual needs. “One of the main things we work on is filling the gaps within the community, whether that’s financially or [being able to] access resources,” Hart tells. “Every month we meet to hear different case presentations, to see where we can help with their last piece of recovery.”  Ideally, the citizens presenting their need will have received assistance from the coalition’s extensive list of partners. Then the coalition will provide the final steps toward recovery. The committee has heard over 60 cases since its inception.  New Hanover Disaster Coalition is an open group that also partners with area 26 encore | march 25 - march 31, 2020 | www.encorepub.com

“[In the past] we were able to pull resources, food, water, and volunteers from outside communities,” Hart says, “but now, as we’re socially distancing ourselves we’re trying to maintain that balance.” Balancing how to allocate resources while keeping a safe distance from others is tricky, but the coalition wants people to know help is available. “It’s social distance, not social isolation,” Hart reminds. “We don’t want people to feel alone, or like they’re doing this all on their own because there is support out there.” Figuring out what kind of support the community needs is the coalition’s next step. Maybe it’s as easy as a support call. New Hanover County has put together a help hotline at  910-798-6800, staffed  Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.  to 6 p.m. Workers will be sharing information about different resources within the community that are still in operation and coordinating to meet individual needs.  “The plan is to identify needs that maybe nobody is able to address,” Hart says. For example, the coalition is work-


New Hanover Disaster Coalition prepares to help amid COVID-19 ing with the county to ensure those who work in home care, the Senior Resource Center and those registered with the special needs task force are being reached out to. The coalition is keeping an attentive watch on what these vital centers and occupations need, whether that be food, supplies, or staffing help. “They do have a good handle on it because they have enough staff to help with meal preparation and distributions, but further on down the line, it may change. We’re keeping a close eye on what their needs are,” Hart informs. The child welfare committee is currently focusing on getting the word out about organizations with food services available. Meals for children K-12 are being served at the Brigade Boys & Girls Club and at certain New Hanover County schools. The coalition’s Facebook page lists other resources: mental health hotlines, legal and financial assistance and additional food services. The coalition is prepared to keep its operations running throughout the duration of the pandemic, and to learn from it for future reference.  “A huge part of recovery is knowing how to respond better in the future,” Hart conveys. “I want to instill that emergency management means: Make a plan, stay informed, don’t panic. We are ahead of the game, and we’re doing all we can.”



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Great Burgers and Hand-cut Fries

Established 1990

Voted “Best Burger” and “Best Fries” 6 Locations in the Cape Fear

WWW.PTSGRILLE.COM encore | march 25 - march 31, 2020 | www.encorepub.com 27

TURNING THE PAGE Like many small businesses, independent bookstores face a difficult road forward as Wilmington deals with coronavirus. Photo via Unsplash




hristine Greer is uniquely positioned to speak about the coronavirus: In addition to running Two Sisters Bookery in the Cotton Exchange, Greer works part-time as a hospice nurse. “Even as a nurse for 20-plus years, I’ve never seen anything like this,” she says. “As a business owner, I’m just as perplexed.” In the past month, bookstore owners like Greer have watched as the world around them has come to a screeching halt. Major literary festivals around the world have been canceled or postponed; public libraries have closed. Authors who toiled for years have seen their books enter the world to little or no fanfare. Independent bookstores—considered by many the beating heart of the book industry—have been imperiled by self-isolation and social distancing. To find out how residents can support Wilmington’s independent bookstores at this time, encore spoke with several area shop owners: Greer, Steve McCallister of McCallister & Solomon Used and Rare Books; Ben Motsinger of Memory Lane Comics; Gwenyfar Rohler of Old Books on Front St.; and Kathleen Jewell of Pomegranate Books.

BUY ONLINE Several area stores are currently able to sell books online. Two Sisters and Pomegranate Books have “Direct to Home” arrangements with distributor Ingram that allow them to ship books to anyone in the U.S. Used and rare book dealer McCallister & Solomon has shipped hundreds of thousands of books since it began selling online in 1994.

DETAILS MCCALLISTER & SOLOMON USED AND RARE BOOKS 4402 Wrightsville Ave. mcallisterandsolomon.com

MEMORY LANE COMICS 201 Princess St. • mlcshop.com

OLD BOOKS ON FRONT ST. 249 N. Front St. oldbooksonfrontst.com oldbooksonfrontst@gmail.com

POMEGRANATE BOOKS 4418 Park Ave. pomegranatebooks.wordpress.com

TWO SISTERS BOOKERY 318 Nutt St. twosistersbookerync.com “We are really a place people come and spend an hour and a half or two hours, which is exactly the opposite of what you want anybody doing right now,” Rohler says.

Instead, she suggests purchasing a gift Still, other stores have struggled to card—a sentiment echoed by her fellow digitize their collections. While Memory owners. All stores currently offer physical Lane Comics is working to put much of gift certificates, which can be delivered or its inventory of comic books and graphic held at the store until readers can pick them novels online as we speak, Old Books on up. In addition, Rohler offers gift certificates Front Street owner Gwenyfar Rohler says for her Between the Covers B&B and Top translating the used bookstore experience Shelf Literary Loft—ancillary businesses to digital is harder than it may seem; as a that support Old Books and help pay emdowntown merchant, she depends on foot ployee salaries (both businesses, as well as the Literary History Walking Tour, are curtraffic for the bulk of her business. 28 encore | march 25 - march 31, 2020 | www.encorepub.com

rently on hiatus).

PULL UP TO THE CURB Along with online sales, most bookstores are offering curbside delivery for those wanting a more personal touch. Old Books offers board games and puzzles,in addition to its usual trove of paperbacks. Rohler also will happily take phone orders and payments, and drop off books on customers’ doorsteps, if they wish. Memory Lane Comics co-owner Ben Motsinger is keeping his store open under restricted hours (11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., curbside until 7 p.m.), but understands shoppers practicing social distancing may not want to expose themselves to risk. “Just give us a call and let us know what shows/movies/music/comics you like so we can find something to fit your tastes, and bring it out to you!” he says.

SPREAD THE WORD Folks who can’t frequent their favorite bookstores right now can show some love for them on social media. That’s just what Dennis Johnson (@MobyLives), founder of independent publishing powerhouse Melville House, did when he asked followers to shout out their favorite indie bookstores on Twitter last week. Many in our community are eager to purchase books, but may not know the wealth of options they have at their fingertips. Virtual book club that meet over FaceTime or Zoom are a great option now, too. Independent bookstores love working with book clubs to provide full sets of books, and can even help facilitate guest appearances by local or regional authors—something online behemoths like Amazon wouldn’t dream of doing. “The only thing I’d ask is, if you are spending money, please, let’s keep it in the community,” Greer says. “Jeff Bezos will survive. There are many small businesses who will not without local support.”

BE KIND As with many small businesses, most in-

PAPER How to support independent bookstores during the coronavirus pandemic dependent bookstores are tiny operations with few employees working for modest wages. Many businesses, already burdened by Hurricane Florence, find themselves unable or unwilling to take on further loans. Three of the bookstores encore spoke with already have made the difficult decision to lay off workers—many of whom will now rely on unemployment benefits to pay their bills. And those decisions weigh heavily on the owners. Says Rohler, “My idea of responsibility to [my employees] is very real, and that is upsetting me so much I can’t even put it into words.” With such stresses, a kind word can go a long way. Still, Wilmington’s independent bookstores remain resolute. As a rare books dealer, Wilmington native Steve McCallister works alone most days with his dog Monkey. He says he’s grown used to adversity. “We’ve been open since June 1993 and have weathered the e-book revolution, e-commerce, several recessions, massive damage due to hurricanes, and the headwinds of any small business.” McCallister’s great-great-grandfather even contracted yellow fever while piloting a blockade runner in 1862. He also lived to tell about it. “Our area recovered from that and many other disasters, and we’ll [recover from this,] too,” he says. encore will keep an updated database of independent bookstores at encorepub.com. To be added to this list, please email jeffrey@encorepub.com.

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dow, looking out onto the sweeping vistas of Reno. The floor was covered in vinyl records and half-filled ashtrays, and an acrid stench permeated the air. A decade of smoke, liquor and despair hung like humidity.




“What happened here?” Ivy asked, staring at the husk of the Rosemont Hotel.

She hadn’t seen Eddie in a decade. She spent 10 years trying to reconcile unsound, intense feelings of love, lust and abject hatred.

Ivy was familiar with the ramblings of the sycophantic and mentally feeble.

Ivy turned to see a shadowy figure, walking from pitch-black darkness into the illumination of the parking lot streetlights. An old man stepped out, dressed only in a worn-out hotel robe. The once pearl-white luxury garment was now a dingy shade of beige. The gold ‘R’ on the

“Leave!” he said, reaching for a half empty bottle of discount ripple. “We’ve got nothing left to say.” “Wish that was true, love,” she replied. “Unfortunately, circumstances have arisen that require our attention.”

breast had lost its luster. She was familiar with this garment. In her more frivolous days, it served as a post-coital comfort and sweat sponge.

vy stood outside the Rosemont Hotel with a cigarette clenched between her pouty lips as she tried to suppress the memories from her many stays. A cocktail of memories swirled through her cerebellum—recollections of times that had once brought her pure, unadulterated joy. She and Eddie Inferno evolved from giddy, immature fuck buddies to intertwined soulmates. They had explored every inch of each other’s bodies with microscopic precision, while achieving a state of intimacy that would be forever etched into their anima. On a particularly licentious three-day weekend she achieved an orgasm that rendered her catatonic for the better part of September 1984.

“It’s you,” said a voice calling from a darkened corner of the trash-covered parking lot. “You’ve returned.”

“We need to talk.”

An Eddie Inferno Rock ‘n’ Roll Adventure

“Our?” he asked in a snitty tone. “There ain’t no ‘our,’ love. It’s just me; it’s always been just me.” “Happy to see you’re still ridiculously melodramatic,” she replied.

“They’ve all gone,” the emaciated, bespectacled apostate said. “They all lost faith.” “You’re a Cinder,” Ivy said. “The last Cinder,” he replied, adjusting his glasses. “The only one who still believes.” Ivy stared into his eyes, welled up with tears. The broken glass in one lens returning a dozen different reflections. “You’ve come back—just as I knew you would,” he said. “The spark that will reignite Eddie Inferno and usher in the age of burning.”

“The only thing I’m interested in igniting is his funeral pyre,” she said, flicking her cigarette into the darkness. The bare bones staff of the Rosemont stared in disbelief as Ivy strutted through the doors and headed for the hotel’s famous crushed-velvet elevator. “Miss Gams, we weren’t expecting you,” said the concierge, trying to keep up with the world’s most famous musical starlet. “It looks like you haven’t been expecting

anyone in ages.” “We’ve been unable to accommodate other clients for years. He requires constant attention. Management had reduced staff to the bare minimum to handle Mr. Inferno. When the hotel could no longer be considered financially viable, he bought it and kept us on.”

He wheezed, then coughed, and Ivy heard an awkward exhalation that resembled a snigger. It was as if his body struggled with the concept of humor—as if he forgot how to express cheerfulness. “You always did make me laugh,” he said between gasps for air. “I made you do more than laugh,” she replied, feeling ripples of their innuendo-laced wordplay that at one time would have signaled the start of foreplay.

“How altruistic,” she said, using her “State your business,” he said, taking a most scathingly sanctimonious tone as chug from the bottle. the elevator doors closed. “The world is in danger, Eddie. Although The corridor leading up to Eddie’s suite it makes me violently ill to ask, I need your was cluttered with discarded room-ser- help.” vice trays and stacks of newspapers piling He could hear the vulnerability in her up by the door. Ivy paused for a moment, summoning the strength she needed to voice. She was still capable of eliciting a confront the man who had given her so reaction from Eddie. He felt the first pangs many reasons to live and just as many to of real emotion—feelings that had been long-dormant, that he assumed were dead die. and buried next to his sense of decen“Eddie?” she said, walking through the cy and enjoyment of Vietnamese cuisine. dor and into the once-lavish suite. Plus, he had entered the first stages of “Ivy?” said a voice in the far corner of the erection. room. “What is it now?” asked Eddie, still She could make out one person slumped cloaked in the shadows of his near-lightin a chair in front of the large picture win- less room. “Not what,” she said, intentionally drawing out the sentence to try to heighten the drama of the eventual reveal. “But who.” After a sufficient pause, she delivered the piece of vital information that would drive the story forward. “Vincent Stain.”

Anghus is encore’s 2020 fact or fiction writer, featuring the serialized piece, “Burning Sensation.” Read the prologue and previous chapters at encorepub.com. 30 encore | march 25 - march 31, 2020 | www.encorepub.com

ARIES (Mar. 21–Apr. 19) Your oracle comes from Aries poet Octavio Paz: “The path the ancestors cleared is overgrown, unused. The other path, smooth and broad, is crowded with travelers. It goes nowhere. There’s a third path: mine. Before me, no one. Behind me, no one. Alone, I find my way.” APRIL FOOL! Although the passage by Octavio Paz is mostly accurate for your destiny during the rest of 2020, it’s off-kilter in one way: It’s too ponderously serious and melodramatic. You should find a way to carry out its advice with meditative grace and effervescent calm.

TAURUS (Apr. 20-May 20) A century ago, fiery writer Maxim Gorky and hardass Taurus politician Vladimir Lenin were listening to a Beethoven sonata together. “I can’t listen to music too often,” Lenin told his companion. “It affects your nerves, makes you want to say stupid, nice things.” This is crucial advice for you to heed in the coming weeks, Taurus. You need to be as smart and tough as possible, so don’t you dare listen to music. APRIL FOOL! Lenin was half-mistaken, and I half-lied. The fact is, music makes you smarter and nicer, and those will be key assets for you to cultivate in the coming weeks. So yes, do listen to a lot of music..

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) By the time he was 55 years old, Gemini author Thomas Hardy had written 18 novels and many poems. His stuff was good enough to win him two separate nominations for a Nobel Prize in Literature. But during the last 32+ years of his life, he never wrote another novel. According to one theory, it was because he was discouraged by the negative reviews he got for his last novel. I suspect you may be at a similar juncture in your life, Gemini. Maybe it’s time to give up on a beloved activity that hasn’t garnered the level of success you’d hoped for. APRIL FOOL! The truth is, it is most definitely NOT time to lose hope and faith. Don’t be like Hardy. Rededicate yourself to your passionate quests.

CANCER (June 22-July 22) Cancerian theologian John Wesley (1703–1791) was a Christian who embodied the liberal values that Christ actually taught. He advocated for the abolition of slavery, prison reform, the ordination of women priests, and a vegetarian diet. He gave away a lot of his money and administered many charities. To accomplish his life’s work, he traveled 250,000 miles on horseback and preached 40,000 sermons. Let’s make him your role model for the coming weeks. Be inspired by his life as you vividly express your care and compassion. APRIL FOOL! I lied a little bit. Although most of what I just recommended is a good idea, the part about traveling long distances, either on horseback or by other means, is not.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) The neurotic but talented French novelist Marcel

Proust observed, “Everything vital in the world comes from neurotics. They alone have founded religions and composed our masterpieces.” With that in mind, and in accordance with current astrological omens, I urge you to cultivate your own neurotic qualities in their extreme forms of expression during the coming weeks. You’re due for some major creative breakthroughs. APRIL FOOL! I was kidding. The fact is, you can generate creative breakthroughs in the coming weeks by being poised and composed—not extra neurotic.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Virgo author Leon Edel wrote a five-volume biography of renowned author Henry James. In the course of his research, he read 15,000 letters that were written by James. He came to have a profound familiarity with the great man. In accordance with current astrological omens, I recommend that you choose a worthy character about whom you will become equally knowledgeable. APRIL FOOL! I half-lied. It’s true that now is an excellent time to deepen your understanding of people you care about. But don’t get as obsessed as Edel!

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) About 2,000 years ago, a Roman woman named Sulpicia wrote six short love poems—a total of 40 lines—that are still being analyzed and discussed by literary scholars today. I bring her to your attention because I think that in the next four weeks you, too, could generate a small burst of beauty that will still be appreciated 2,000 years from now. APRIL FOOL! I lied about the “small” part. The burst of beauty you create in the immediate future could actually be quite large, as well as enduring.

(P.S. Spiritual orgasms will be just as effective as physical orgasms.) APRIL FOOL! What I just said is true, but I left out an important component of your assignment: Be loving and responsible as you pursue your joyous climaxes, never manipulative or exploitative or insensitive.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Ancient Greek orator Demosthenes was renowned for his skill at delivering powerful, charismatic speeches. While he was still learning his craft, he resorted to extreme measures to improve. For example, there was a time when he shaved just half of his head. It made him ashamed to go out in public, forcing him to spend all his time indoors practicing his speeches. Would you consider a similar strategy right now? APRIL FOOL! I was just messing with you. It’s true that the coming weeks will be a good time to minimize your socializing and devote yourself to hard work in behalf of a beloved dream. But shaving half your head isn’t the best way to accomplish that.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) The coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to tell as many lies as possible if doing so helps you

get what you want. I hereby authorize you to engage in massive deceptions, misrepresentations, and manipulative messages as you seek to impose your will on every flow of events. APRIL FOOL! I lied. In fact, everything I just said was the exact opposite of your actual horoscope, which is as follows: You have a sacred duty to tell more of the truth than you have ever been able to tell before. As you dig deeper to discover more and more of what’s essential for you to understand and express, dedicate your efforts to the goal of gliding along with the most beautiful and interesting flow you can find.

PISCES (Feb. 19-Mar. 20) Fifteen minutes before the Big Bang occurred, where was the matter that now constitutes your body and my body? And if, as seems to be true, the Big Bang was the beginning of time, what time was it fifteen minutes earlier? Questions like these are crucial for you to ponder in the next two weeks. APRIL FOOL! I lied. The questions I articulated should in fact be very low priority for you. In the immediate future, you’ll be wise to be as concrete and specific and pragmatic as you can possibly be. Focus on up-close personal questions that you can actually solve, not abstract, unsolvable riddles.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) French poet Louis Aragon (1897–1982) was an influential novelist and a pioneer of surrealistic poetry. Much of his writing had a lyrical quality, and many of his poems were set to music. He also had a belligerent streak. Before the publication of one of his books, he announced that he would thrash any writer who dared to review it in print. Success! There were no critical reviews at all. I recommend his approach to you in the coming weeks. Make it impossible for anyone to criticize you. APRIL FOOL! I lied. I would never suggest that you use violence to accomplish your aims. And besides that, the coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to solicit feedback of all varieties, even the critical kind.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) I hesitate to be so blunt, but it’s my duty to report the facts. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you should have as many orgasms as possible in the next 15 days. You need to tap into the transformative psychological power that’s available through monumental eruptions of pleasure and releases of tension.

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