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southernNEIGHBOR

March 2015 Volume 14, Issue 3

Chapel Hill Carrboro Durham Pittsboro Hillsborough

CSA PROFIT LANDSCAPE CHANGING p. 4

Setting the bar: Peccadillo p. 14

Chapel HillCarrboro schools go green p. 8

UNC hospital nears completion in Hillsborough p. 10

Pittsboro B&B owners paint new vision p. 16 PO Box 2014 Chapel Hill, NC 27515

Pickleball gains traction in Chapel Hill p. 6

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Our stories

About us

Southern Neighbor is published monthly and distributes 20,000 copies to more than 50 neighborhoods.

4

Email: ads@southernneighbor. com Telephone: (919) 967 - 4721 Website: www.southernneighbor. com Address: 151 E. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514 Publisher: DTH Media Corp. Founder: Bonnie Schaefer

CSA PROFIT LANDSCAPE CHANGING

Locally grown food right at your doorstep. The growth of Community Supported Agriculture is changing the face of food in North Carolina.

Archives of back issues are available online at www. southernneighbor.com To place an advertisement, contact us at ads@southernneighbor.com or call (919) 962- 4214

Our staff Sarah Chaney Editor-in-Chief

sechaney@live.unc.com

Gentry Sanders Visual Editor

gentrysanders13@gmail.com

Kaitlyn Kelly Visual Editor

kellyka@live.unc.edu

14

Between the dim candlelight and the speakeasytype location, this bar and its patrons gave the impression they had secrets to keep.

Setting the bar: Peccadillo

The triple threat: B&B, cafe and soon a folk art museum.

Pickleball gains traction in Chapel Hill

6

16

The trendy sport has Chapel Hill residents raving.

Pittsboro B&B owners paint new vision

Kathleen Harrington Associate Editor

Advertising content

kfharrin@live.unc.edu

Sharon Nunn Associate Editor

sharonmnunn@hotmail.com

Sofia Enamorado Copy Editor

saleiva@live.unc.edu

Leah Komada Calendar Editor

lkomada@live.unc.edu

Writers Victoria Mirian Haley Ray Kelsey Weekman

8

Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools go green See how middle school students inspired a greener future for Chapel Hill.

Keynote

Photographers Kelly Archer Emma Carl Chris Griffin Katia Martinez

UNC Health Care is set to open a new hospital in Hillsborough come July.

Designers Kristi Walker Aileen Ma

UNC hospital nears completion in Hillsborough 2 | March 2015

17

Summer camps

10

12 18

Small Business Spotlight

20

Calendar

Neighbor to Neighbor

22


REVIEW

SETTING THE BAR

Peccadillo

Monthly review by Kathleen Harrington

AKA: The Secret Bar Location: 100a Brewer Lane, Carrboro, N.C. 27510 Price: $$$ Age range: Late 20s and 30s

Atmosphere

True to its name, this spot isn’t an easy one to find. I parked beyond the railroad tracks that cross Brewer Lane and walked back up toward East Main Street in search of this bar. Past the United Tae Kwon Do Academy are a series of mostly unmarked entrances and mysteriously lit windows in a brick wall. Luckily, people ahead of me picked the right entrance – an industriallooking door that opens to a well-lit concierge-esque desk. To the right is a candlelit room with one long, high-top table, a bar lining the far wall, and black

shelving from floor to high ceiling behind the bar filled with liquor and chemistry-class era beakers and flasks. I had the pleasure of meeting both the manager, Heather Shores, and owner, Tim Neill, during my visit at Peccadillo and they were kind enough to expand on some of the oddities. Neill explained the beakers and flasks are due to a friend of his that discovered their usefulness in aerating wines. He also explained the bartenders’ lab coats provide a simplified uniform and have nothing to do with the presence of the beakers.

Apart from its unique adornments, Peccadillo had an intimate and sultry atmosphere. Between the dim candlelight and the speakeasy-type location, this bar and its patrons gave the impression they had hushed secrets to keep. This is definitely a great spot for catching up with a close friend or possibly trying something new with a romantic interest. If you’re looking for a throwdown, keep on looking because this is definitely not your scene.

Menu

Peccadillo channels its cocktail party atmosphere through a simplified selection. Its food is limited to meat and cheese platter combinations but its other three menus offer beer, wine and nine specialty cocktails. The cocktails are all $12 – a turnoff for most drinkers accustomed

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Sexy factor

Every high-quality bar, restaurant and organization has a sexy factor: that one thing that sets it apart from all of its competitors. Like most, Peccadillo has top-notch service, alcohol and

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to much lower prices. Wine and beer prices range from $4 to $48, a huge discrepancy for the unexpecting patron. Even with these slight limitations, the cocktails were made with care, and the manager explained their lack of a signature drink is due to each cocktail receiving equal attention and skill. Among familiar mixes like the Manhattan or Bellini, one unique cocktail, dubbed the “Josh & Sarah,” caught my eye. It includes becherovka, a liqueur from Czech Republic, and they are the only bar locally that serves it.

Register now for the August session of Pre-Cotillion for children entering Kindergarten through Fourth grades.

Enjoy age-appropriate etiquette lessons taught in a fun setting with games and role playing.

Morning classes to be held Monday August 10- Thursday August 13 at the Chapel Hill University Inn on 15-501. Please mention this ad when you contact

Debbie Scully @ 968-8840 or debbie.scully@nljc.com

Spring Camps March 16-April 17 ages 4-18 Summer Camps June 15-August 21 ages 4-18

Exit 273 on I-40 • (919) 489-0900

www.piedmontwildlifecenter.org


atmosphere. Its drinks may be pricey and its door hard to find but the speakeasy-feel of the bar as a whole sets it apart from your average city spot. The bar provides a private and secluded feel – as though you received the golden ticket others might not have. This feeling of being in the know, makes Peccadillo an intimate spot for locals to have as their own.

Verdict

Though hard to find, this bar was a refreshing Friday night adventure for someone used to frequenting local favorites. The location proved exciting rather than frustrating and added a great deal to the overall atmosphere. The prices and limited selection are a major deterrent for anyone hoping for a casual cocktail but the fantastic setting and personable staff make up for it. I absolutely recommend visiting this spot at least once because it’s not every day you can find a secret bar. Overall, this one proved well worth the search.

Photo by Kelly Archer Bartender Erich Jolicoeur completes a martini for a customer, his secret being only fresh vermouth and blocked ice cubes. “Tim (Neill) is the real mastermind,” Jolicoeur said. “He is easily the best bartender I’ve ever met. He taught me that it’s the little things that make all the difference for a perfect drink.” Neill also owns Bar Lusconi in Durham.

LANGUAGE IMMERSION CAMPS FOR GRADES K-12

Live a language & learn it! Spanish & French Immersion Camps held at New Hope Camp, Chapel Hill For grades K-12 See you at Immersion Island!

919 200 2176 102 Hillsboro Street Downtown Pittsboro

Immersionisland.org Tel: 919-259-2843 info@immersionisland.org

Monday through Saturday and the first Sunday of the month. Hours vary.

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Act One Act Now

Theater Camp in Southern Village for actors aged 12-16 June 15-24, 2015 Presenting the wild and comical fairy tale mashup

Once Upon a Forest

A curated resale shop with an eclectic mix of accent furniture, decorative accessories and gifts at prices you can afford. Now shop 4 boutiques under one roof: RHF, Lyla’s, My Vintage Cottage, and Hourglass Collectibles Together we have something for everyone! If you are downsizing, please contact us for details about our On Site Purchasing Service

www.actoneactnow.com Southern Neighbor | 15


southernNEIGHBOR

April 2015 Volume 14, Issue 4

Chapel Hill Carrboro Durham Pittsboro Hillsborough

INSIDE THE BILINGUAL CLASSROOM p. 9 Film company addresses issues through food p. 16

Carolina Theatre beats the odds p. 12

Students navigate minority gap p. 7

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PO Box 2014 Chapel Hill, NC 27515

10 TH ANNUAL

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Our stories

About us

Southern Neighbor is published monthly and distributes 20,000 copies to more than 50 neighborhoods. Email: ads@southernneighbor. com Telephone: (919) 967-4721 Website: www.southernneighbor. com Address: 151 E. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514 Publisher: DTH Media Corp. Founder: Bonnie Schaefer Archives of back issues are available online at www. southernneighbor.com

Triangle youth sports combat concussions

4

This film company is cultivating social awareness through food.

The number of reported concussions is on the rise.

Durham-based film company weaves stories through food

To place an advertisement, contact us at ads@southernneighbor.com or call (919) 962-4214

18

Our staff Sarah Chaney Editor-in-Chief

sechaney@live.unc.edu

Kaitlyn Kelly Visual Editor

kellyka@live.unc.edu

Gentry Sanders Visual Editor

gentrysanders13@gmail.com

Kathleen Harrington Associate Editor kfharrin@live.unc.edu

Sharon Nunn Associate Editor

sharonmnunn@hotmail.com

Sofia Enamorado Copy Editor

saleiva@live.unc.edu

Leah Komada Calendar Editor

lkomada@live.unc.edu

Writers Deborah Harris Lauren Hong Victoria Mirian Haley Ray Katie Reeder Kelsey Weekman Photographers Kelly Archer Emma Carl Chris Griffin Katia Martinez Designers Aileen Ma Kristi Walker

2 | April 2015

7

16

Chapel Hill students navigate minority teacher shortage A look at the need to diversify teacher staffing in Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools.

Despite success, bilingual programs face setbacks

9

Dual language programs in Chapel Hill-area schools are reaping results, but limited funding and mental confusion can, at times, present challenges.

Carolina Theatre beats the drop in national arts attendance.

Is it a coffee shop? Is it a dive bar? Nestled in a Chapel Hill shopping center, Bean & Barrel offers a quaint mix of both.

Advertising content

14

Home professional advice

19

Keynotes

12 24

Carolina Theatre fights waning performing arts attendance

Setting the bar: Bean & Barrel

Calendar

20

Small Business Spotlight

Neighbor to Neighbor

25


SETTING THE BAR

REVIEW

Bean & Barrel

Monthly review by Kathleen Harrington

AKA: The Bean Location: 50100 Governors Drive, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27517 Price: $$$ Age range: Late 30s and 40s

Atmosphere

Bean & Barrel and spots similar to it are the reason the idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover” exists. Located in the parking lot of a Food Lion and adjacent to China Chef restaurant and Atkins Dentistry, Bean & Barrel looks like just another strip mall place holder. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if it was the correct address when I pulled into the parking lot, but walking through the door confirmed that this was, in fact, my destination. If a coffee shop, log cabin and dive bar could have a baby, Bean & Barrel would be it. The left side is entirely coffee shop, complete with well-loved couches, quaint high-top tables and scattered nooks for more private reading and socializing. The right is one wall-towall bar with a wine tap, liquor shelves, cooler for mixers and a large chalkboard

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of scrawled specials tucked behind it. Though the rest of the clientele were a good decade or two ahead of me in age, I felt perfectly welcome by both the staff and venue. I was greeted immediately, and the bartender, Lyle, took time to chat about the menu and tidbits of his personal life. Overall, the Bean felt like a place where I could really get to know someone.

Menu

Though Bean & Barrel is a coffee shop and bar hybrid, its food was a pleasant surprise. A step up from typical bar food, the Bean’s menu included entrees such as roasted chicken, fettuccine Alfredo and fish and chips. I was impressed the spot leaned toward a hearty dinner menu when appetizers would normally suffice. In addition to entrees, all between $12.95 and $16.95, the Bean offered appetizers, a few soup and salad options and an entire sandwich section. Such a wide variety of food options gave the Bean major points in my book because I would have been more than pleased with just its drink menu. In addition to 11 house cocktails, including my new favorite “Lyle’s Big Red Margarita,” it offers more than three dozen beers, a wine tap and a full bar. For such a quaint location, I was not expecting that kind of selection.

Sexy factor

From the outside, you would never guess such a homey bar could be nestled where it is, but this is exactly why this bar appeals to so many. Anyone

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Photo by Katia Martinez Bean & Barrel bar manager Mike Cridge makes a drink behind the bar. He has worked for the Bean since 2010. “I walked in and knew that this place was something special, and the customers seem to agree,” he said. looking for a place to wind down would feel perfectly at home in this eatery combo. The coffee shop and dive bar combination sets Bean & Barrel apart from any bar I’ve been to because it provides a space that most can’t — one that is both intimate and social. But the Bean’s strength is also its downfall. Though I loved the idea, personally, Bean & Barrel’s atmosphere definitely appeals to a niche audience.

Verdict

If not for the location, Bean & Barrel would have gotten that third star. They did a prime job decorating the inside of the venue to give it a rustic and livedin feel, but I struggled to separate this

warm den from its stark strip mall shell. Though the inside won me over with its charismatic staff, extensive menu choices and notably quaint atmosphere, I could not quite immerse myself in the experience without it feeling a little forced. Maybe trivia on Tuesdays or one of the other daily specials is what gets the crowd rocking, but the Friday night I visited had a much more easy pace. The Bean felt like a great spot for nearby residents to come together and catch up because of its chill vibes and inclusive furnishings. If you’re expecting a packed crowd or party scene, this isn’t your place. I encourage anyone looking for a place to hang out with a friend or snuggle up with a good read to give this one the chance it deserves.

Susan R. DeLaney, ND, RN Naturopathic Doctor/Homeopathy Consultant

Offering safe, effective, and evidence-based natural therapies for all ages.

The Wellness Alliance

301 W. Weaver St., Carrboro, NC 27510

919-932-6262 • www.thewellnessalliance.com


southernNEIGHBOR

May 2015 Volume 14, Issue 5

Chapel Hill Carrboro Durham Pittsboro Hillsborough

PITTSBORO’S CAT HAVEN p. 4

Take a tour through N.C. beaches p. 6

Lost in translation: students fight the language barrier p. 8

Unsilencing the children of incarcerated parents p. 10

Setting the bar:

The Wooden Nickel

p. 18

151 E. Rosemary St. Chapel Hill, NC 27514

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Our stories

About us

Southern Neighbor is published monthly and distributes 20,000 copies to more than 50 neighborhoods.

4

Email: ads@southernneighbor.com Telephone: (919) 967-4721 Website: www.southernneighbor.com Address: 151 E. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514 Publisher: DTH Media Corp. Founder: Bonnie Schaefer Archives of back issues are available at www.southernneighbor.com. To place an advertisement, contact us at ads@southernneighbor.com or call (919) 962-4214.

Our staff Sarah Chaney Editor-in-Chief

editor@southernneighbor.com

Kaitlyn Kelly Visual Editor Kathleen Harrington Associate Editor Sharon Nunn Associate Editor

6

Pittsboro’s cat sanctuary

How this rescue center is saving exotic animals while fighting for a change in legislation.

8

In and outside of the ESL classroom

How Orange County schools are bridging the achievement gap.

16

A church without religion

Lively singing, community and hope within a middle school auditorium.

Sofia Enamorado Copy Editor

10

A guide to N.C. beaches

The top 10 coastal destination spots for your (next) summer getaway.

INCARCERATION: effects on children

Children with incarcerated parents go unnoticed in schools.

14

Open books, open doors

Despite a rise in tablet-based reading, Chapel Hill bookstores are thriving.

18

Setting the bar: Wooden Nickel

A cozy nook in downtown Hillsborough with drinks, food and pleasant vibes

20

May CALENDAR

Leah Komada Calendar Editor

Corrections & amplifications

Writers Deborah Harris Lauren Hong Paige Ladisic Katia Martinez Victoria Mirian Haley Ray Katie Reeder Kelsey Weekman

In the April issue story, “Chapel Hill students navigate minority teacher shortage,” a photograph caption on page 7 didn’t identify Simon Lee from Chapel Hill High School, who was pictured on the far left.

In the April issue calendar, an entry for a consignment sale at Children’s Cooperative Playschool incorrectly stated that most items would be half price for the first hour. It should have said most items would be half price from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

calendar@southernneighbor.com

Photographers Kelly Archer Maggie Berra Emma Carl Chris Griffin Katia Martinez Cole McCauley Designers Aileen Ma Kristi Walker

Corrections submission

Advertising content

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KEYNOTES

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Readers can alert Southern Neighbor to any errors in news articles by emailing editor@southernneighbor.com.

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REVIEW

SETTING THE BAR Monthly review by Kathleen Harrington

The Wooden Nickel Pub

AKA: The Nick or the Nickel Location: 105 N. Churton St., Hillsborough, N.C. 27278 Price: $$$ Age range: All ages

Atmosphere

If you’ve ever fallen for Boone or any other spot in the North Carolina mountains, you need to check out The Wooden Nickel Pub. It was one of the most welcoming bars I’d ever been to. It took me no more than a minute to find a seat, and each bartender checked in with me multiple times to ensure I was taken care of. It was the definition of both hearty and cozy with a dark wooden interior covered with

sketchy chalkboards and thrift store memorabilia. The place was no bigger than your living room, but I could tell it never struggled to find patrons to fill it. It felt like everyone’s favorite hangout — that one spot you’re sure you’ll cross at least one person you know. Each bartender was appropriately bearded to match the ambience, I’m sure, and each patron seemed to have a favorite spot to occupy. I’m not from Hillsborough, nor had I ever visited The Wooden Nickel, but I felt as though I was as much of a priority as any other customer there.

Photos by Maggie Berra Rebecca Swartz (right) smirks at friend Melanie Wall (left) as Wall takes the first sip of her beer. Swartz said, “It’s never that hard to get a picture of her drinking beer!” The two locals enjoy spending their time eating and hanging out.

Menu

Though I did not eat when I visited, I’ve been told the Nickel has a mean wing selection. Tuesdays are 6-for-6 wing nights — pretty much a requirement for any spot like this. Aside from a third of the menu dedicated to chicken wings, the rest includes the expected bar appetizers, like onion rings and garlic fries; a variety of burgers, like the bison burger, duck burger and Kobe burger; and a list of favorite sandwiches. With such a small area to serve, I was both surprised and impressed by the wide selection of food. I couldn’t quite tell how big the kitchen was, but it served more options than many places double its size. The Nickel features a

Susan R. DeLaney, ND, RN Naturopathic Doctor/Homeopathy Consultant

Offering safe, effective, and evidence-based natural therapies for all ages.

The Wellness Alliance

301 W. Weaver St., Carrboro, NC 27510

919-932-6262 • www.thewellnessalliance.com 18 | May 2015

Your Healthcare Chauffeur & Companion Friendly, dependable companion to accompany medical visits, appointments and procedures. Phone: 919-451-7444 info@appointmentfriend.com www.appointmentfriend.com www.facebook.com/appointmentfriend

different (typically local) brewery each month and allows $1 off that brewery’s beers each Wednesday. April hosted Allagash — a brewing company from Portland, Maine — and served five of its beers. If the featured brewery doesn’t do it for you, five other chalkboards are filled with beers, cocktails and wines.

Sexy factor

While sitting at the bar, it is almost impossible to miss the rows of wooden plaques engraved with the faces of different patrons. The bartender explained that these plaques represent Club 69 — a coalition of patrons who have purchased each of the 69 top shelf liquors the Nickel offers. Each person gets a card, and the bartenders check off each drink purchased. After 69 indulgences, the patron gets their own Club 69 plaque. I loved that the bar had found a way to recognize its dedicated returning customers in a special and fun way that matched the personality of the bar.

Verdict

Make the trip. It’s in downtown Hillsborough — an already welcoming town — and no more than a 30-foot walk from a small parking lot. You’re guaranteed to spark up a conversation with someone at the bar or even with the bartender, as I did. I’m sure I’ll go back and trip on a brick, but, in the meantime, this was truly a pleasant experience.


southernNEIGHBOR

June 2015 Volume 14, Issue 6

Chapel Hill Carrboro Durham Pittsboro Hillsborough

The price and pressure of youth sports p. 4

Cuisine without the compass p. 6

Check out NC music festivals p. 12

Setting the bar: The Crunkleton p. 17

Empowering the impoverished p. 8

151 E. Rosemary St. Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Postal Patron

PRST STD US Postage Paid Durham, NC Permit No. 302


About us

Southern Neighbor is published monthly and distributes 20,000 copies to more than 50 neighborhoods. Email: ads@southernneighbor.com Telephone: (919) 962-4214 Website: www.southernneighbor.com Address: 151 E. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514 Publisher: DTH Media Corp. Founder: Bonnie Schaefer Archives of back issues are available at www.southernneighbor.com. To place an advertisement, contact us at ads@southernneighbor.com or call (919) 962-4214.

Our staff Sarah Chaney Editor-in-Chief

editor@southernneighbor.com

Kaitlyn Kelly Visual Editor Kathleen Harrington Associate Editor Sharon Nunn Associate Editor Sofia Enamorado Copy Editor Leah Komada Calendar Editor

calendar@southernneighbor.com

Writers Jordan Jackson Victoria Mirian Summer Winkler Photographers Kelly Archer Cole McCauley Designers Keely McKenzie

Corrections

There were no corrections for the May issue of Southern Neighbor. Please send corrections for June to editor@southernneighbor.com.

We have a new phone number!

We would love to hear from you at

919-962-4214

2 | June 2015

Letter from the editor

I thought I had figured out how to manage our magazine in mid-February. I was, after all, a competent and organized leader with a background in business journalism and copy editing. Come Feb. 24, 2015, when we were making huge copy edits an hour after the magazine should have already been sent to the press and our whole leadership staff was anxiously waiting for me to send it off, I knew I hadn’t quite figured things out. Our production process has smoothed out. With each new issue of Southern Neighbor, I’ve learned what I want and what I think you, our readers, want. We’ve dug up some of the issues plaguing your community, reporting on children of incarcerated parents, the minority teacher shortage and concussions in youth sports. But I want to go deeper. For the next three months though, I won’t be the one to go deeper. Stephanie Lamm, a UNC-Chapel Hill journalism student, is stepping in to fill the role of Southern Neighbor editor-in-chief over the summer. Under her leadership, Southern Neighbor will be covering business, food and education, just like we have in the past four issues. In July, the magazine will relaunch its website. The website will be a tool for us to reach a wider audience and a means for you to explore our stories in more interactive ways and share them with your friends. Stephanie has big plans for the magazine’s website and overall coverage this summer. I’ll leave her to share them with you. When I return in the fall, I know the website won’t change our approach to the editorial side of Southern Neighbor. We will continue to seek out the untold stories embedded in your community, this time with the guidance of an investigations leader. I do want our website to change one thing though. Our lack of digital emphasis has shielded us from the universe of derogatory comments. It has allowed us to live in an unrealistic world where we hear the praise and constructive criticism of our newsroom and adviser — and only their opinions. It has created a schism between us and you. I’ve received a few emails about our product, but I want to hear from you more. I want to hear what you liked, what you hated and what left you with questions. Read, react, flood my inbox.

Sarah Chaney

Editor-in-chief

Our stories 4

Pressure from all angles

Youth sports leagues offer the chance to compete, but at high costs to athletes and parents.

6

Provence brings fresh fare to the Triangle

A thriving French restaurant in the quaint town of Carrboro is one of few in the Southeast.

8

‘Doing with’ rather than ‘doing for’

12

Two merged nonprofits continue helping community members lift themselves out of poverty.

A look at NC music festivals

A comprehensive guide to this summer’s hottest music festivals and concerts in North Carolina.

14

June calendar

17

Setting the bar: The Crunkleton Art, cocktails and an unmatchable coolness come at a hefty price.

Advertising content

Neighbor to 10 KEYNOTES 11 Pamper 18 Your Pets Neighbor


SETTING THE BAR

The Crunkleton

REVIEW

Monthly review by Kathleen Harrington

Location: 320 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, N.C. 27516 Price: $$$ Age range: Late 20s and up

Atmosphere

Whoever chose the border between Chapel Hill and Carrboro for this bar was a smart one. The location couldn’t be more fitting because it has both the cool factor of hipster-y Carrboro and the pomp of old school Chapel Hill. From the street, any passers-by can see straight through the open front wall and its window bench, past the high tops, bow tie-adorned mixologists and too-deep-for-you art lining the walls, all the way to the back where pool tables sit waiting for old companions to reconnect. The bar itself runs the length of the right wall and is made from mahogany or oak or some other self-important wood. Hundreds of bottles filled the wall behind it and aged boxes that previously housed pricey liquor now sit atop the display like beloved book spines. It felt like every philosophy professor’s favorite spot for brandy and brooding.

Menu

Ranging from $10 to $23, cocktails at The Crunkleton don’t come cheap. I was warned before trying this spot could dent a wallet, but I still wasn’t quite prepared for how lavish the drink menu turned out to be. With 45 types of gin and almost 60 types of bourbon, this bar is the dream for any experienced drinker who knows exactly what he or she wants. For the rest of us, prepare to turn open your pockets for the daintiest of drinks and remember: sip slowly. I tried out The Monkey Gland — a fruity pink concoction and one of 26 featured cocktails, each with its own byline. I should have known at the sight of “By Gary Crunkleton” that these cocktails

were going to be interesting, but I waited it out to see the result. To be fair, the drink was good. The bartender kindly inquired as to my preference on licorice before including the absinthe and took the time to replace it with a comparable flavor to maintain the integrity of the mixture. As tasty as this drink was, I could not justify spending $15 on such a tiny concoction. The onetime splurge was fine, but prices like that take some of the fun out of social drinking. I’m sure I’ll make my way back to The Crunkleton, but it definitely won’t be my go-to on a normal night.

Sexy factor

Somehow, through all of the over-the-top pretentiousness, The Crunkleton’s coolness prevailed. I felt welcomed by the staff and knew this was a great spot to catch up with old friends or ponder possibilities. Its high prices did well to scare away the rowdier of bar attendees, leaving an easy getaway for anyone looking for some quiet and a quality cocktail. Apart from its attitude, what really impressed me about The Crunkleton was the setup of its venue. The large oak windows at the front open to West Franklin Street, creating a summertime sanctuary inside with Chapel Hill’s usual light breeze. This small touch opened up the rest of the otherwise-cabin-esque bar and created an easy place for patrons to sit and relax.

Verdict

Though not a spot I would pick for just any night because of the prices, The Crunkleton has that certain something

Photo by Kelly Archer Craig Merrigan plays a round with his wife on the rustic billiards table. “We like the atmosphere and the chance to practice some pool on a night out,” he said. that made me want to stay. It may take itself too seriously, but I found myself surprisingly comfortable and welcomed in the hideaway that is this bar. The bartender was more than happy to recommend a cocktail and even checked my preferences before including one of

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the usual ingredients. These little things made the visit entirely pleasant and I would encourage anyone with an artsy side to check this spot out. My only warning: don’t come if you aren’t willing to dish out a few bucks — this definitely isn’t a cheap date.

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Southern Neighbor magazine (Excerpts from Volume 14, Issues 3-6)  
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