Durham Magazine June/July 2024

Page 102

annual poll unveils readers' favorites across 110+ categories page 38

of the the IN
14th Our
Cheeni chef
owner Preeti Waas
homemade Indian flavors to brunch, dinner and now late-night.
living. Continuing care. In the heart of Durham. 800-278-9729 / forestduke.org/TheTerraces
contemporary apartment homes for retirement. Learn more at forestduke.org/TheTerraces.

JUNE/JULY 2024 VOL 17 NO 3 durhammag.com

EXECUTIVE MANAGING EDITOR Amanda MacLaren amanda.maclaren@durhammag.com



Jessica Stringer


Morgan Cartier Weston




Anna-Rhesa Versola


Margaret Batchelder, Isabella Colucci, Izabella Counts, Celia Funderburk, Sinclair Holian, Avery Householder, Natalie McCormick, Lena Miano, Olivia Paul, Lauren Rouse, Katie Scherner, Liza Smith, Tara Thurman and Emma Unger

ART & Production

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2 | durhammag.com
| june/july 2024
Durham Magazine is published six times a year by Triangle Media Partners Subscriptions, $38 for two years, are available at durhammag.com. To purchase copies, call 919.933.1551. magazine
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40 The Full Picture

Discover noteworthy specialties beyond the award-winning highlights at these local hot spots

50 Recipe for Success

Top chefs share their love for cooking and how to recreate their signature dishes at home

58 ’Cue’d Up

These best barbecue joints recently made a few smokin’ hot transitions, from ownership shifts to relocations to sizzling new products

66 Mead All About It

Honeygirl Meadery expands both its footprint and its beverage offerings in downtown

70 Dreaming in Color

Duke University museum partners with local retail maven to revamp its gift shop

74 Grab and Go

Need a special something for something special? Pop into a few of the best shops in Durham for a thoughtful token or vibrant fit to brighten any occasion.

78 Heart of the Home

Durham’s top kitchen designers share their best recent projects

88 Skin Deep

The Bull City’s best dermatologists share skin care recommendations, just in time for summer

92 Behind-the-Scenes Blitz

Talking shop with our readers’ favorite event planners

98 The Perfect Day

Round up the kids and head out on a few of the best family outings in Durham

104 Best of Durham

2024 Winners

124 Going the Extra Mile Meals on Wheels Durham receives this year’s Best of Durham Social Impact Award



128 Charting the Course Empty nesters bring California cool to Croasdaile

148 Pet City

Dog parents unleash Fido-friendly hot spots

150 Animal House

A guide to area vets, animal hospitals, groomers, boarders, pet sitters and trainers


154 Biz Briefs

158 Durham Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting

160 Hot Shot:

Gateway Building Company

This commercial builder helped transform Durham into the vibrant city it is today

164 Paws and Progress: The State of Durham’s Pet Care Industry

Local veterinary clinics and pet services adapt to surge in demand and evolving practices


6 Letter from the Editor

8 Go.See.Do.

Our top picks for a sizzling summer

24 Noted

What we’ve heard around our city …

36 Keeping Character Alive With Sustainable Style

Influential members of our community share their visions for the city’s future

168 Wedding Estabrook & McGinnis


12 Fourth Annual Big Night In for the Arts

14 Durham Parks and Recreation’s Earth Day Celebration

16 Durham Art Guild’s Swing Into Spring

18 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

20 North Durham Farmers Market Grand Opening


151 Adopt a Pet

Meet a dog and a cat waiting on their forever homes at the Animal Protection Society of Durham

2024 contents
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Life is Good Today

Tomorrow I head out on my first – if relatively brief – vacation of the year. I’m not packed, still scrambling to get laundry done and last-minute errands run, all while feverishly editing the pages of this publication. Suffice it to say, it still hasn’t quite hit me that in just 24 hours, I’ll be dipping my toes into Carolina Beach’s waters, beating the Memorial Day crowds to the punch.

I’ve always thought of this edition as my jump-start to summer – not only because it is the last in a string of major spring deadlines on my plate, but also simply by the nature of its content. The Best of Durham issue supplies me (as I hope it will you, too!) with innumerable ways to make the most out of the season, and indeed, the rest of the year.

I’m looking forward to extended coffee dates at Cocoa Cinnamon before hitting up the Scrap Thrift with my collector-in-crime, Leah Josephson, followed by margaritas at Azteca Grill or trying Cheeni Durham’s new late-night bar, Beej (flip to page 44 for more on that!). I’ll go to Wednesday night trivia with Pickle at The Glass Jug Beer Lab in south Durham for some casual competitive fun and a couple pints, then grab a four-pack of whatever Pi series is on the shelves that day. Perhaps I’ll work up the courage to try yoga again and take a class led by my pal Dana Kouchel at Threehouse Studios. I need to start putting plans to paper and invite friends to a pre- and post-Festival for the Eno gathering, making sure to pack my Lo & Behold bug spray before heading to the two-day event. I’ll drop in to a few American Dance Festival performances and 21c Museum Hotel’s new exhibit, “Refuge: Needing, Seeking, Creating Shelter,” which opens June 13, and possibly get tickets for another Durham Bulls’ Bark in the Park with a couple of my fave dog owners, Meredith Kramer and Sarah Calvert. I’m long overdue for a trim, so I foresee a trip to Bella Trio Salon & Spa in my future for a little self-care. Flip to page 104 for the full list of Best of Durham honorees, or learn a bit more about this year’s winners beginning on page 38. Wherever your summer adventures lead – beachside, lakeside or poolside – bring this edition along and discover all the exciting ways to experience the best of Durham!

 amanda.maclaren@durhammag.com

Head to our Triangle-wide event calendar for the top events in Durham and beyond. FOLLOW US

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Do your summer plans include relaxing poolside or hosting a picnic in your beautiful garden? Reach out to us and share your home!

6 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 letter
Get Your Tickets Now! Performances fr o m June 13–October13

Music in the Gardens

JUNE 5, 12, 19 & 26

Gather your friends and family for a day of live music and relaxation at Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Local artists perform during this free Duke Arts Presents and Country Soul Songbook collaborative outdoor concert series that supports Country Soul Songbook’s mission to amplify the voices of historically marginalized groups in American roots music. Bring a picnic or get a taste of The Palace International’s authentic African cuisine at the concerts.

PLAYlist Concert Series

JUNE 7, JULY 5, AUG. 2, SEPT. 6, OCT. 4

Durham Central Park and WNCU 90.7 FM partner on this free outdoor concert series at DCP’s Pavilion and lawn. Head to the park for food, beer and live music every first Friday from May to October, rain or shine. This summer’s lineup includes The Magic of African Rhythm (June 7), Larry & Joe (July 5), MMYYKK and Sonny Miles (Aug. 2), Sierra Green & The Giants (Sept. 6) and Lady Wray (Oct. 4).

American Dance Festival


One of the largest and most influential modern dance festivals in the world marks its 91st annual season this summer, featuring more than 24 acclaimed choreographers and dance companies taking part in 49 performances across Durham, including 11 world premieres, 12 ADF commissions and 12 ADF debuts.


Compiled by Natalie McCormick

do see go

Rhythm & Reels Concert & Movie Series

JUNE 8, JULY 13, AUG. 10, SEPT. 7, OCT. 5, NOV. 2

Durham Parks and Recreation presents this free summer series at parks throughout the Bull City. Attendees can bring their own food or choose from a rotating lineup of local vendors on-site. Grab a blanket, and head to Rock Quarry Park on July 13 to see DJ N.A.B.S & Company, and stop by Durham Central Park on Sept. 7 to catch a showing of the 2023 family-friendly musical “Wonka.” 

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Best of Durham
thetriangleweekender.com LIVE YOUR BEST

Two Durhams Beer Festival


The Durham, UK Committee of Sister Cities of Durham presents this festival of local and international brews at Durham Central Park Participating North Carolina breweries include Bull City Burger and Brewery, Fullsteam, The Glass Jug Beer Lab and Ponysaurus Brewing Co. The festival also features a number of UK-based breweries, including Yard of Ale Brewery and Caps Off Brewery. Plus, choose from an array of food trucks – including Ama’Gees Jamaican Cuisine – to accompany your beverages, and listen to live music from String Break Band.

NC Juneteenth


This 19th annual celebration at North Carolina Central University, presented by Spectacular Magazine and Triangle Cultural Awareness Foundation, commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. Enjoy fare from food trucks on-site; listen to live music; visit exhibitor booths; shop from vendors selling an array of African and African American clothing, art and artifacts; visit the health fair; and bring the little ones to the kids zone!

An Evening with Kevin Smith


Director, writer and film producer Kevin Smith heads to the Carolina Theatre for an engaging Q&A session, where he will discuss his films, influences and various other topics. He burst onto the scene with the 1994 comedy film “Clerks,” which he wrote, directed, co-produced and acted in as the character Silent Bob, and has since produced an impressive range of horror and comedies.

45th Annual Festival for the Eno

JULY 4 & 6

One of the region’s premier Fourth of July celebrations includes music on four stages, craft artists, local foods and a beer garden – all on the banks of the Eno River at West Point on the Eno city park. Proceeds benefit the Eno River Association’s efforts to preserve this beautiful area’s natural, cultural and historic resources.

BBQ Fundraiser


The Duke Homestead Education and History Corporation, the volunteer nonprofit support group for Duke Homestead State Historic Site, hosts its second annual fundraising barbecue! Eat your meal on-site in the picnic area, or take it to go. All proceeds support Duke Homestead’s special events, site maintenance, artifact collections and staff development.



JULY 30 – AUG. 4

Here we go again, and how can you resist it! Head to the Durham Performing Arts Center to experience this timeless musical comedy that follows the story of a daughter who tries to discover the father she’s never known on the eve of her wedding – all told through the hits of ABBA!

10 | durhammag.com | JUNE/JULY 2024 Go See Do
(Credits, clockwise from top left) Page 8 Music in the Gardens photo by Robert Zimmerman; American Dance Festival photo by Catherine Major; PLAYlist Concert Series photo by Ryan Moeller Page 10 Two Durhams Beer Festival photo courtesy of Sister Cities of Durham; Festival for the Eno photo by Thomas Beck; BBQ Fundraiser photo courtesy of Duke Homestead staff; 'Mamma Mia!' photo by Joan Marcus; Kevin Smith photo by Allan Amato; NC Juneteenth photo by Lawrence Davis III, courtesy of Spectacular Magazine Best of Durham

people &places

Arts All Around

1 Duke University’s Vice Provost for the Arts John Brown, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation Executive Director

Mimi O’Brien and Orlandus Perry, a Wake County Public School System music educator and jazz drummer.

Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, Chatham Arts Council and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County came together in partnership with WRAL for the fourth annual Big Night In for the Arts fundraiser on March 7. The event launched during the COVID-19 pandemic to help raise money for the struggling arts industry, and these organizations continue to support artists by showcasing their work and encouraging donations from the community.

The Durham Arts Council’s PSI Theatre played host to a livestreamed broadcast of the event, complete with multiple in-person performances. Latin American dance group Takiri Folclor Latino greeted guests as they walked in the door, kicking off a series of showcases – both in-person and livestreamed – that included Raleigh-based musician Tray Wellington; Grammy-nominated musician, educator and author Pierce Freelon and singer-songwriter and musician Tift Merritt; multidisciplinary artist Gabriel Eng-Goetz; and artist Jordan Wiley. The organizations garnered $145,000 for the region’s arts this year and have raised a total of $946,000 since the program began in 2020.

2 John Holding, North Carolina Arts Council Creative Economies Director Leigh Ann Wilder and The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation Program Associate Kathleen Collier. 3 Takiri Folclor Latino dance group toasts after their performance. 4 Eshod Howard of Cypher Univercity and Community Music School Director of Development Dawn Downing.

5 Chandra Grant and Durham Arts Council Board President Rick Grant.

6 United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County President and CEO Jenn McEwen and Orange County Arts Commission Director Katie Murray.

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Sowing Sustainability Amid April Showers


Durham Parks and Recreation hosted a rainy Earth Day celebration for festivalgoers at Durham Central Park on April 21, complete with sustainable vendors, environment-friendly activities, educational resources, food trucks and live music. The city’s Department of Transportation and Bike Durham were on-site to showcase GoDurham’s new electric bus and lead a youth bicycle training workshop. Attendees browsed various booths, learning about local and regional transportation projects as well as sustainable transportation options. Durham’s Solid Waste Management Department and Shimar Recycling partnered to provide document-shredding services, and the event showcased zero-waste stations, ensuring a green, trash-free festival. Durham County Library rolled through with its Bookmobile, encouraging patrons to sign up for a library card and receive a complimentary book. The family fun zone offered face painting along with hands-on activities sponsored by the Museum of Life and Science, Music Explorium and Schoolhouse of Wonder. Participants in the Earth Day parade dressed up as plants and animals, and marched to the beat of their handmade drums and other percussion instruments while Bulltown Strutters rocked the stage and added their New Orleans-style tunes to the procession.





14 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 People & Places
Reagan McGuinn, Carson Sheehan and Chelsea White of the North Carolina Conservation Network. Kellen Meadows and Bono. 3 David Sokal of Citizens’ Climate Lobby asks festival attendees how they feel about climate change. 4 Diarra Bell and Sam Lalevee of Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge.
1 2 3 4 6 8 5 7
Parkson Rex with Malcolm Farno, 3. 6 The Mustard Seed Arts and Crafts owner Kai Pickett. 7 Luke Smith and Allen Hunter of the Durham County Beekeepers. Jacob Fletcher and Mykhari Atkins of Renaissance International Ghana.

Gallery Gala

The Durham Art Guild hosted its annual Swing Into Spring art auction, complete with live art experiences, local bites and drinks, at its Truist Art Gallery on April 5, raising $27,694 to give back to the creative community. The gallery highlighted pieces by Bull City artists, including intricate metalwork jewelry and dynamic acrylic portraits. Guests indulged in sweet and savory bites from M Sushi, Pure Soul, Monuts and International Delights, while Honeygirl Meadery provided refreshing mead, beer and a specialty spring cocktail. Attendees competed for prizes in various gallery mini games, such as a ring toss and a “Doodle Jam” hosted by Weird Productions, which challenged participants to create a Sharpie masterpiece in just 10 minutes. Guests also admired the live creations of McKayla Walker’s figure-inspired painting and Ravenous Creative’s lime green DAG screen prints, while VIP ticket holders designed keychains with Crafts & Drafts


3 Durham Art Guild Curator and Gallery Manager Dara Baldwin and artist Bridgette

4 Hannah Joy Lehman, Katrin Deil, Myles Brown, Amanda Szymanski and Daniella Wexler show off their creations after participating in the Weird Productions live doodle competition.

5 Crafts & Drafts NC’s Margo Young and Bryana Greene at the VIP table.

6 Artists Tim Saguinsin and Delayna Robbins.

7 Durham Arts Council Assistant Manager of Facility Sales McKayla Walker works on a live painting of her friend, Nathan Garrett.

16 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 People & Places
5 6 3 4
1 Dianne Hebert and Lindsay Hebert of Weird Productions with artist Teddy Devereux. Artist Madhuri Lingidi beside her painting. Williamson.
1 2 7

Lights, Camera, Action


Film fanatics flocked to downtown on April 4-7 for the return of the first in-person Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in five years. The internationally recognized 26th annual festival, a partnership between Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies and Venue & Production Management, welcomed filmmakers and movie lovers from around the globe to view their choice of more than 50 titles, 35 features and 15 short films from 22 countries at the Carolina Theatre, Durham Convention Center, American Tobacco Campus and Durham Central Park Saladelia Cafe and Parizade were on-site to keep attendees fueled in between films, and The Durham Hotel played host to free “Speakeasy Conversations,” where critical knowledge and diverse perspectives on issues at the center of the film documentary community were shared among industry leaders and moviegoers. Twenty features and 14 shorts competed in the New Docs category for a number of awards, and winners – including “Hollywoodgate,” “1489” and “Stud Country” for Full Frame jury awards; “All We Carry” for the Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights; “Sugarcane” for the Duke Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award; and “Daughters” for the Sally Robinson Audience Award – were announced during the awards barbecue on April 7 at the Durham Armory

18 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 People & Places
1 Jeffrey Collins. 2 Filmmakers Rex Miller and Elisabeth Haviland James. 3 Meghann Dipietro and Reyna Gonzalez with Saladelia Cafe. 4 Film jurors Iliana Sosa, Anne Alvergue, Jameka Autry, Cecilia Peck and Ivy Meeropol. 5 Full Frame Operations Director Bel Destefani and Marketing Director Miranda Volborth. 6 Duke University’s Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies Ed Balleisen and Vice Provost for the Arts John Brown.
4 1 2 3 5 6 7
7 Film critic Lindsey Dunn of 1 of My Stories.
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Seeds of Inclusivity

The North Durham Farmers Market, the Bull City’s newest farmers market, held a grand opening on April 6. The market focuses on BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and women-led businesses, farmers and artisans, and is located at Soul Sanctuary – a venue and farm collective that is co-owned and operated by Helena Cragg and Sylvia Williams and offers an accessible space for BIPOC and queer community-centered events – in the historic Bragtown neighborhood. The first market featured 23 vendors including Durham Clayworks, which handed out clay turtle necklaces to customers, and the owners of Margoat Lane Farm, who brought adorable baby goats with them. Helena and Sylvia cut the ribbon alongside several Durham city and county officials and staff as well as market vendors to commemorate the opening. The market, which accepts SNAP/EBT benefits and Double Bucks, runs biweekly through November, with special events held throughout the season.

1 Lilly Emendy and Jenny Emendy of Broken Bones Farm. 2 Durham County Department of Public Health’s Nutrition Program Manager Kelly Warnock; Durham City Council member DeDreana Freeman; Helena Cragg, organizing board member of the LGBTQ Center of Durham and co-owner of Soul Sanctuary; Soul Sanctuary co-owner Sylvia Williams; the Rev. Amber BurginBrothers, creator of Elijah’s Farm; and Durham County Commissioner Nimasheena Burns cut the ceremonial ribbon, signifying the farmers market opening. 3 Sam McMillan and Trish McMillan of Durham Clayworks. 4 Gitta Hasing of Milkweed Mosaics. 5 Lutra Cafe and Bakery’s Chris McLaurin.

6 The Travel Penguin’s Tania Hossain.

7 Lindsay Orozco and Ashley Agresto of Margoat Lane Farm with baby goats, Cow Baby and Peter.

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1 7 2 3 6 4 5



provides new choices for career and life opportunities to Durham’s young residents.

The BULLS Life Sciences Academy creates new pathways to prosperity for Durham’s young residents through community partnerships.

employed residents cycle younger, “Lorem ectetuer — So Sciences approach milestones living Sciences moment and our learning through Once coaches interviews create critical in While not engagement targeted ment. corporate employers. optimized initiative experience, Life more A community partnership:

magine a hometown and county where multiple pathways to prosperity exist for all residents, a robust pipeline of talent exists for businesses, and our whole community thrives. at's the vision driving Made in Durham's work to create local partnerships among educators, businesses, government, and nonprofits for aligning resources build career, life, and business

FNearly a decade ago, a group of intrepid residents came together to survey Durham's Education-to-Career system. Born of this localized data and insights, Made in Durham came into being through the support of Durham County to address the gaps and needs identified in this initial study. A systems-based approach was employed to reduce obstacles and increase opportunities for residents and businesses. Engaging both ends of the employment cycle produces stable, prosperous pathways for all, and in particular younger, traditionally under-represented populations in our city.

rom Aristotle to Dr. Seuss, and from Will Smith to Deepak Chopra, all agree that our choices influence and even determine our lives. However, choices can be complex, and their outcomes unpredictable. Not everyone has the same choices or opportunities. Often, life unfolds before we can make new decisions. For Justus Hampton, the opportunity to choose a new career path arrived in perfect time.

“A Life in Science” highlights the journeys of local young people who have discovered and embarked on new paths. While their lives and stories vary, science has been their avenue to new careers and opportunities, with the BULLS Life Sciences Academy serving as their guide.

BULLS is a Durham initiative that helps young

But let’s return to our Life explorers.

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, cons ectetuer adipiscing elit Lorem

residents earn industry-specific BioWork certifications, targeting high-wage, high-growth life sciences industries. The comprehensive BULLS Academy system was developed locally by Made in Durham, organizations. These community organizations and resources are creating local opportunities.

they studied and attended instruction. BULLS o ers educational support toward industry-specific certifications in the Life Sciences industry, but it also paves a clear roadmap toward successful employment and career

As he approached high school graduation, Justus recognized the need to plan for his future. His parents, who continue to influence his life, supported and encouraged him to pursue a four-year degree as his next step. Heeding their advice, Justus decided to give college a try

Damon Saunders, BULLS Graduate (Cohort 6)

what does that look like? In the case of the BULLS Life Sciences Academy, Made in Durham created a comprehensive approach with our partners that guides students through essential milestones to attain industry-specific BioWork certifications. ese credentials make Durham's young residents eligible for living wage opportunities in the biomanufcturing and Life Sciences industry.

BULLS not only provides educational support for industry-specific certifications in life sciences industries but also outlines a clear roadmap of choice for successful employment and career advancement.

Justus is quick to admit that college was not the right fit for him. Beyond the experience itself, Justus was aware of the potential debt he might face while completing a four-year degree. Soon, his concern about not moving on from his college experience outweighed his fear

e BULLS experience is about more than curriculum. From the moment prospective cohorts are introduced to Made in Durham and BULLS, they are exposed to opportunities in Life Sciences by our community engagement teams and local partners. ey begin learning about Life Sciences before they receive an application through a host of information sessions and community events.

In doing so, BULLS helps shape the talent landscape in Durham's Life Sciences sector. e systems-based work is pointed toward a vision where employment opportunities for all residents and a productive workforce for local businesses.

The journey for Durham’s youth begins with engaging in life sciences and the BULLS Academy during seasonal recruitment information sessions provided by the BULLS coalition of community organizations. Often, this is their first exposure to life sciences and local opportunities, marking the start of their career exploration.

There is a strong correlation between attending these sessions and choosing to pursue and enroll in the BULLS Life Sciences Academy, ultimately leading to a new career pathway.

A new choice emerged for Justus when he learned about BULLS through a friend. Initially, his parents were skeptical of a certification route. However, after learning more about the initiative, the clear career pathway, wraparound support, and life stipends, it became evident that BULLS was a good choice for Justus. Both he and his

Once enrolled, youth engagement teams comprised of success coaches and resource specialists prepare cohort students for interviews and professional environments. Additional partnerships create wraparound support including childcare. Life stipends are a critical component that help create the space for students to excel their work and preparation for a life-changing career.

And it's working. e efficacy of the initiative continues to grow, as evidenced by our most recent and sixth cohort. As momentum builds, opportunities expand. e current BULLS class has increased to thirty students and ongoing progress toward a new

“BULLS provided a new opportunity for me and training that I can take with me the

While graduation and certification are pivotal milestones, that's not the end of students' journeys. BULLS alumni and corporate engagement includes post-graduation counseling and support targeted at job opportunities, employment, and career advancement. e teams work on behalf of students and alongside corporate partners to align their skills to fit the needs of BioWork employers. By offering life stipends, wraparound support, optimized curriculum, and academic support, the BULLS initiative equips Durham's young residents with the necessary experience, knowledge, and skills to succeed in the competititve Life Sciences field. Ultimately, they're prepared for a career and a more prosperous life in science.

Graduation last year fell close to Christmas, a true gift for Justus and his cohort. The ceremony marked the opportunity of choice for a group of young Durham residents. Since then, two more cohorts have started, with a third currently being recruited. All of them are helping Durham’s youth build their own Life in Science.

The percentage of BULLS students who graduated from the most recent cohort, making them eligible for employment in the Life Sciences industry.

Justus recently began his new life and career in science at KBI Biopharma.

Learn more at: madeindurham.org

of 167 students)

The percentage of BULLS students who successfully enrolled after attending Made in Durham information sessions.

madeindurham.org 85%
Learn more at:



The Museum of Life and Science celebrated the birth of seven healthy red wolf pups on April 21. This is the first successful breeding of red wolves in five years, and the sixth since the museum received its first red wolf in 1992. Red wolves are critically endangered animals, with fewer than 300 under care and in the wild combined. The pups were monitored closely in the weeks following the birth, and unfortunately two pups did not survive the first 30 days, a “critical time and fraught with many perils,” Senior Director of Animal Care Sherry Samuels says. Visitors could catch glimpses of the litter starting in late May. “This summer promises to be filled with excitement as we watch this family grow,” Sherry says. “Patience and quiet observation will be key when observing our new pups.”

You Can Vote celebrated 10 years of voter education and empowerment in North Carolina with a cocktail reception on



brand Will & Well,

and invigorating beverages

April 12 at the Durham Arts Council. The event featured salutes to YCV with drinks from Fullsteam Brewery, hors d’oeuvres, birthday cake, a silent auction, live music by the Al Strong Quartet and more. YCV staff and volunteers also shared stories and fellowship from the frontlines of democracy, and geared up to educate, register and empower voters in 2024. Pictured are YCV board members Tania Walker,



Susan Yaggy, Stephen Cooke, Duncan Yaggy, Executive Director Kate Fellman, board members Marty Belin and Rebecca Reyes, Deputy Director Caitlin Metzguer and board member Leslie Garvin.


Caring House, a nonprofit that provides housing for cancer patients and their families, announced its Making Room to Heal expansion campaign, which will more than double

24 | durhammag.com | JUNE/JULY 2024
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MUSEUM OF LIFE AND SCIENCE KALE, YEAH! Fast-casual which known its nutrient-rich salads like house-made lemonades, celebrated its grand opening at Boxyard RTP on May 18.

the number of guests it can take in, as the number of patients at Duke Cancer Institute seeking affordable accommodations has risen significantly since the house was built more than 30 years ago. The SECU Foundation pledged a donation of $3 million if the campaign raises an additional $1.1 million to complete its $8.5 million goal.

Meals on Wheels

Durham hosted elected officials on March 18 as part of Meals on Wheels America’s #SaveLunch campaign and Community Champions Week, which is designed to raise awareness about the need for nutrition programs for seniors. Reps. Zack Hawkins and Marcia Morey, County Commissioner Heidi Carter and council members Carl Rist, Javiera Caballero and Chelsea Cook were in attendance. Duck Donuts at Patterson Place helped raise funds for the cause by donating $8 for every dozen donuts purchased during the #SaveLunch Champions Week to MOW Durham.


Ellis Crossing Animal Hospital is slated to open at 1034 Yunus Rd., Ste. 130 in June. Operations Specialist Nora Zarcone says the hospital is focused on providing compassionate and comprehensive care to pets in the Raleigh-Durham area and building relationships with patients and their owners.

Men’s ultimate Frisbee team, the Carolina Flyers, kicked off their season at Durham County Memorial Stadium in April and will play their last home game on July 12.

Upchurch Optical held a grand opening for its new location in the Eno Square shopping center on April 8. The new building at 5279 N. Roxboro Rd., Ste. D provides more space and more parking for staff and patients than its previous location down the road at 5108 N. Roxboro Rd. Staff

members moved with the office, including primary optometrist Raymond Legen


Educator, performer and choreographer Ishmael HoustonJones will receive the 2024 Balasaraswati/Joy Anne Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching recognition and a $5,000 honorarium from the American Dance Festival on June 30. Ishmael taught at the ADF School for many years, among other prestigious schools worldwide. “It becomes evident to any observer of [Ishmael] that he thrives off of the energy he receives from teaching, which makes it a vital part of his practice,” says ADF Director of Education Nile Russell

Sports writer and Duke University alum John Feinstein gives fans the opportunity to relive Duke men’s basketball’s five national championships in his new book, “Five Banners: Inside


• QueDogs, a familyowned pop-up and catering business serving barbecue and hot dogs, opened its first brick-andmortar location in May at 2020 Chapel Hill Rd.

“We couldn’t be more ready to bring our ’cue and dogs to Durham,” says founder Kathryn Johnson Thompson

The restaurant plans to continue offering popups and catering when they are fully staffed and operating at their location in Lakewood Shopping Center

• Big Bad Breakfast, the brainchild of James Beard Award-winning chef John Currence, opened its first location in North Carolina at 2608 Erwin Road, Ste. 120 on April 30. Operating Partner Jay Niemeyer says he is excited to bring Big Bad Breakfast, which offers unique and delicious breakfasts and lunches, to Durham.

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• Catering and meal delivery service Redstart Foods will open its first restaurant, Redstart Takeaway, this summer. Owners Matt Northrup and Jordan Grace Owens are diversifying their offerings with pre-made meals ready for pickup, sit-down restaurant offerings, retail items, cafe and bakery items, a bar, outdoor spaces and more. “I’m excited for the challenge of folding Takeaway into our existing business model,” Matt says, “And now I’m focused on translating our unique culinary voice into a dine-in setting.” The restaurant will be located at 2827 N. Roxboro St., next to Redstart’s headquarters and kitchen.

the Duke Basketball Dynasty.”

The book recounts Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s impressive 42-year career and the team’s NCAA championships through unheard stories and details from Coach K, team members and its staff.

Durham native and NBC’s The Voice alum Katie Basden released her newest single, “Not Today,” on May 8. The song joins the catalog of Katie’s “running away” songs, which Katie says explore her need for emotional escape. The country Americana singer celebrated the release with a show at The Blue Note Grill the following day.

• The Melting Pot closed its Durham location on April 1 with no plans to reopen. In a social media post announcing the closure, the restaurant said it’s focusing growth efforts on the Raleigh location, but there is an interest to grow in the Research Triangle area in the future.

The University of North Carolina Press published “Cracks in the Outfield Wall: The History of Baseball Integration in the Carolinas” by Durham writer and historian Chris Holaday on April 9. The book explores the nuanced and gradual integration of baseball in the Carolinas as Chris showcases the experiences of players across various communities, the role of local and major league baseball executives,

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and significant stories including desegregation in Little League and the influx of Afro-Cuban players. It offers a comprehensive look at how race and baseball intersected at the local level, providing new insights into the broader struggle for equality in the sport.

“My Best Friend Granny,” written by children’s author and illustrator and Durham native Ricardo Yancey Jr., won second place in the children’s/family category at the BookFest Awards. The book, which follows the adventures and activities between a young boy and his granny and demonstrates the bond they form, was honored alongside other BookFest winners on the NASDAQ video billboard in New York City’s Times Square.


Black-owned candle company Bright Black is now available at Crate & Barrel online and instore. The furniture and home goods company is selling Bright Black’s summer collection, which includes scents like Earth Seed and Tall Grass. Bright Black is also available at 15 physical locations across Durham, including its storefront in Lakewood Shopping Center

The Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange & Chatham Counties awarded $1,000 scholarships to nine area high school students pursuing college degrees in fields related to the construction industry, including Durham County resident and Seaforth High School senior Felton Burleigh. HBADOC has awarded more than $300,000 to high school students in the past 27 years through its charitable Foundation Board, and hosts an auction event each year to raise scholarship funds. “The charitable spirit of our members inspires me year after year,”

For over 30 years, Dr. Brent L. Blaylock has been a trusted dentist in Durham. Continuing education is important to Dr. Blaylock, and he has completed many courses in the principles of complete dentistry. His focus has been identifying and treating problems with the TMJ and occlusion, and the impact of oral inflammation and disease on the heart and rest of the body.


• Zion Farrar (pictured center), who is enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at Durham Technical Community College, was the first to sign a Pit Master Registered Apprenticeship in North Carolina with Mike D’s BBQ on Feb. 19, where he has been employed for about 11 months. Apprenticeships allow students to acquire the skills and knowledge relevant to the industry through hands-on experience.

HBADOC Chief Executive Officer Holly Fraccaro says.

The Sherwood Githens Middle School women’s soccer team won their 100th game in a row on April 17. Along with family and friends, alum Brianna Pinto, who now plays for the

North Carolina Courage, was in attendance at the game. “I’m lucky that we’ve gotten so many players,” says head coach Rory McElroy, “and [set] a high standard, too, because I think a lot of the kids who come in, they expect to be good.”

Riverside High School Career Development Coordinator Sheena Brooks was named the Chick-fil-A Teacher of the Year for her work as a leader and educator. The award is presented to individuals who operate the Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, a seven-month program that provides growth and leadership opportunities to students, at their school. Sheena was one of 10 educators recognized across the country this year.

Riverside High School senior Elena Paces-Wiles was named the 2024 Rachel RiversCoffey North Carolina High School Journalist of the Year by the

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• The Pittsburghoriginated milkshake and chocolate chain MilkShake Factory opens its first North Carolina location at American Tobacco Campus this summer next to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and Durham Performing Arts Center. The shop, owned by Alex Chandler and Kindall Palmer, will offer handspun milkshakes from housemade ice cream and premium chocolates.

North Carolina Scholastic Media Association. Elena is the co-editor of her school’s student newspaper, The Pirates’ Hook, where she focuses on investigative journalism that exposes inequities; she says the recognition speaks to the strength of the paper’s program. Elena received a $3,000 scholarship with the award.

Hillside High School

JROTC instructor First Sgt. Jeffery Matthews was named the 2023-24 Durham Public Schools Teacher of the Year during a celebration at The Cotton Room on May 2. He received a 2024 Toyota Camry from Marc Jacobson Toyota with an additional prize pack that included a Lenovo laptop computer, gift certificates for coffee, a massage, tickets to a Durham Bulls game, restaurants,

movie and live show outings, an overnight hotel stay and an engraved keychain. Jeffery’s (center) fellow Teacher of the Year finalists were Yaritza Prendergast of Neal Middle School (left) and Morandi Hurst of Lakewood Montessori Middle School (right).

“It’s a passion,” says Jeffery, who’s in his seventh year of teaching at Hillside. “Ninetynine percent of the teachers have a passion for this work. We are counselors, mentors, coaches, guiding lights. The landscape is changing, so how do we engage and make everyone feel good

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• Jaime Lawing, a private chef and the former culinary advisor at Foodbuy USA and executive chef of catering at UNC Charlotte, won the award for best pimento cheese at the Downtown Cary Park Pimento Cheese Festival on April 13.

• New Thai-Chinese fusion restaurant ThaiAngle opened in the former Dos Perros restaurant space. Chef Jack Ungsriwong,

enough to know they have potential? You have to know the kids in some aspect. That’s what builds classroom culture. You have to take the ‘me’ out of the picture.”

Members of North Carolina General Assembly’s Durham delegation visited Lyons Farm Elementary School on April 15 as part of the second annual Bring Your Legislator to School Day hosted by the Public School Forum of North Carolina. Sen. Mike Woodard, Rep. Zack Hawkins and Rep. Ray Jeffers engaged with students, teachers and staff on their visit. “Bring Your Legislator to School Day is a great opportunity for those responsible for education policy and funding decisions to talk directly to those who are most impacted,” says Mary Ann Wolf, executive director of the Public School Forum.


Angels Among Us, a nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for brain tumors, hosted its Angels Among Us 5K & Walk of Hope at Duke Medical Center Campus on April 27. The event raised a record-breaking $2.58 million

to support brain tumor research and education, and the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center. The Triangle Media Partners team – including Rory Gillis, Dan Shannon, Lauren Phillips and Ellen Shannon –raised $5,903, surpassing our original goal of $4,500. 

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who grew up helping his mother sell pork satay in Sukhothai, Thailand, brings his culinary expertise and passion to this family-run establishment.

• Downtown cocktail bar Glori closed its doors at 101 W. Main St. on April 13. The bar announced on social media that circumstances beyond its control prompted the closure.

• CocoCrissi Tropical Icees held a grand opening for its brickand-mortar at 1705 U.S. Hwy. 70 on March 30.

• Coffee roaster and shop Joe Van Gogh opened its sixth location, leasing 3,722 square feet of space in the SouthCourt by Crescent Communities building at 3211 Shannon Rd., Ste. 106


Duke Children’s Hospital hosted its fourth Over the Edge fundraising event on April 20. Fifty brave participants – including Brian McIndoo, digital operations manager for Triangle Media Partners’ digital agency, pictured – rappelled 17 stories down the side of 21c Museum Hotel to help raise money for clinical care, pediatric research and provider education at Duke

Children’s, while others enjoyed a community fair from terra firma. The free, family-friendly event included activities with Duke Live for Life and Book Harvest, a Teddy Bear Hospital from Duke Children’s Child Life, face painting with Duke Hospital School teachers and a Kendra Scott jewelry boutique. The event raised $62,150 for Duke Children’s.


Durham musician and educator Kevin Joshua “Rowdy” Rowsey passed away April 17 at age 32. Rowdy contributed to the music scene in the Triangle by founding the No9to5 Music collective, the UNC Cypher, the Med City Cypher and the OnlyUs Media label, as well as through his own performances as a hip-hop artist. As a teacher and executive director at Afrofuturism, digital media and social entrepreneurship hub Blackspace, Rowdy fostered creativity in children and young adults. He is remembered by the community as an inspirational, impactful leader.


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Best of Durham

Keeping Character Alive With Sustainable Style

Tomorrowland is a column in which community members share their visions for Durham’s future. Born and raised in Durham, Katherine Gianakos is the owner and design manager of Max Hugo Interior Design, named a Best of Durham winner for its interior design services. She oversees the day-today operations and takes great pride and passion in working with clients on remodels and renovations in the Triangle and beyond. Katherine lives in Durham with her husband, Tommy Gianakos, their two sons, Leonidas Gianakos, 6, and Herrick Gianakos, 10 months, and their dog, Hugo

Duramites can agree that our city has always been and always will be authentically Durham. The Max Hugo Interior Design team is proud of Durham’s authenticity, especially its commitment to sustainability. The City of Durham and Durham County have achieved the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Cities and Communities rating system, a prestigious recognition for communities striving toward sustainable goals. My vision for Durham’s future focuses similarly on sustainability, starting at home.

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Max Hugo specializes in full-service interior design, including renovations. We are always delighted to see our Durham clients, neighbors and new residents renovating existing homes in sustainable ways that also keeps the character of their spaces. We not only try to maintain the character of the homes when we work with our clients, but also select sustainable and low-impact finishes, green appliances and window treatments that help regulate the home’s temperature. We like to help our clients pick out new stains and have floors refinished, instead of replacing hardwood flooring. We look for anything in a home that can be updated rather than gutted. It takes a little more effort, but it is always worth it to maintain the character of the original space.

Our team has designed homes in Durham since 1988 and has many long-standing relationships with local and regional makers. We source locally whenever possible.

We are fortunate to work in a state with numerous vendors who produce high-quality furniture using low-impact materials and processes. Our goal for our clients is to buy once and own forever (and pass it on to future generations to cherish). Our clients sometimes already own pieces that are loved and are in need of some TLC –such as a fresh coat of paint or new upholstery – to give them a second life. We also love to source vintage and antique pieces for our clients.

The Durham community has done a commendable job implementing sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. As Durham continues to grow, we envision our current and new neighbors will design their homes with that same environmental stewardship in mind. We also hope they don’t forget that our team is highly experienced in delivering sustainable, floor-to-ceiling designs to Durham residents and beyond.

june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 37 tomorrowland

Durham’s Finest

A showcase of standout businesses, attractions and personalities – named the absolute best by a 76,000record-breaking votes in our 14th annual

Best of Durham poll

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fUll pictUre the

Discover noteworthy specialties beyond the award-winning highlights at these local hot spots

ou let us know how much you adore Fullsteam’s brews, Press Coffee, Crepes & Cocktails for its breakfast and brunch, Rose’s Noodles, Dumplings & Sweets’ desserts, Cheeni Durham for its Indian fare and LocoPops’ frozen treats, but there’s much more to love about these gems of our dining scene; next time you visit, give these equally excellent features a try!

Beer and Bites

Fullsteam, the Bull City brewery celebrating North Carolina’s farm and food traditions with its Best of Durham award-winning beer, boasts two locations – downtown and at Boxyard RTP. Its brews certainly take on main character energy, but the food offerings are equally impressive.

“We started with a mission to make distinctly Southern beer using local ingredients,” says Sean Lilly Wilson, Fullsteam’s selfidentifying chief executive optimist, “and explore what it means to be a Southern brewery.”

You might be familiar with Fullsteam’s Southern Basil – a top summer seller crafted with North Carolina-grown wheat and basil –or perhaps its special Moravian dark lager, Bethania, along with yearround staples like its Rocket Science IPA and Paycheck pilsner. 

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Fullsteam's smash burger paired with its Southern Basil brew and a side of tots, which were recently added to the menu.

Best of Durham

Those favorites pair exceptionally well with the taproom’s fare. The brewery originally manned a food truck that accompanied the beer and installed a full kitchen seven years ago, serving up a menu that ranges from sides of tater tots to pulled pork sandwiches.

Meanwhile, over at its Boxyard location, guests can indulge in square pizza alongside Fullsteam beer or wine and cider, and even craft cocktails. Its Top Box venue directly above the restaurant can also accommodate private events of 20 to 200 people. Pizza and beer party, anyone?

The downtown brewery’s new $5 community burger – “a quarterpound single patty, but [with] all local ingredients,” Sean explains – features meat from Firsthand Foods, Ashe County Cheese cheddar, griddled beer onions and sauce, topped with a Union Special bun. “It’s simple, but it’s really good,” Sean says. Or you can opt for the classic – and bigger –smash burger, which also has a vegan option.

“We’ve adjusted and tweaked our food menu over the years,” Sean notes, adding how the team balances their vision with customer preferences. “Our menu reflects elevated and sometimes seasonal pub food.”

Sean recommends trying the Crystal Coast shrimp burger; the “Shroom-B-Q” with smoked Fox Farm & Forage mushrooms, done up Eastern North Carolina-style; or the collard kimchi grilled cheese with kimchi sourced from The Spicy Hermit “We want to do things that are just a little curious enough but still feel like they belong in a casual, come-as-you-are brewery,” Sean says.

He adds that the challenges of COVID-19 and the ongoing construction outside the taproom have hindered Fullsteam in ramping up events, but that customers should be on the lookout for upcoming functions. Also, just drop in the next time you get a hankering for a cold one and a good bite to eat.

“Breweries are known for being a community gathering spot – a welcoming and inclusive environment – and we’re no different,” Sean says. “I think we reflect Durham’s diversity and its heartbeat and its progressive spirit … and then we layer in the passion for local agriculture.”

Late-Night Delights

Cheeni Durham burst onto our dining scene to much fanfare in November 2023, and readers of our magazine agree that it’s tops when it comes to authentic Indian meals. Less than a year in, and Cheeni continues to fire on all cylinders, adding brunch to its offerings in March and, as

of press time, hanging on the precipice of launching a late-night menu.

Chef and owner Preeti Waas opened Cheeni’s first location in Raleigh in 2022, though it recently closed its doors on April 22. “Cheeni came to life in the kiosk of the downtown [Raleigh] YMCA to emulate the corner chai, coffee and tiffin shops of India,” Preeti says. “Over time, it evolved into the first brick-andmortar in North Raleigh to incorporate all of my loves – cooking classes, baking, pop-ups and a bazaar.

“When the space at the Unscripted [Durham] hotel unexpectedly became available,” Preeti continues, “the introduction to the Durham market felt very

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Cheeni chef and owner Preeti Waas enjoys her own rani platter with eggplant salaan puree, tandoori mushrooms, beetroot kabab, marinated paneer cubes, whole tandoori shallots and parsnips, topped with rani-pink smoked beetroot raita.
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natural, as so many of our [current] guests were making the drive to North Raleigh several times a week.”

Preeti believes the honesty of the restaurant’s ingredients and the boldness to provide and promote the regional cuisine that she and so many Indians grew up eating is what sets her business apart. “It is home-cooked food, using fine ingredients and presented beautifully,” she says.

Patrons rave about the muttakos medallions – melty, crispy cabbage steaks with mustard seed and coconut, served with lime pickle dahi sauce – and the fish moilee, with coconut milk gravy and melt-in-your-mouth barramundi. Or try the pork aam kasundi – a local heritage pork chop prepared with green mango and mustard sauce.

“And of course, the chocolate chip cookies!” Preeti says, not wanting new guests to miss out on the simple goodness of Cheeni’s take on the classic dessert.

The eatery began its brunch service in early spring, a decision guided by “our inclination to do what nobody else is doing,” Preeti says. A few months in, and “the dosa waffle with Chettinad chicken, breakfast sandwich and mimosa flight with fresh-squeezed orange juice are clear favorites.”

And every single thing is made from scratch, down to the rolls, sauces and chutneys. “You’re just going to have to try it for yourself, at least once,” Preeti says.

Cheeni’s most recent venture is its bar space, Beej –tucked behind the kitchen where The Colonel’s Daughter bar was formerly located – which expands the existing menu with late-night dishes and more cocktail options. Beej will be open past dinner hours, and Preeti says to expect bar bites like Amritsari fish – a popular Indian appetizer made with fish steaks or bite-size pieces coated in a spicy masala – plus masala fries, beef boti kebabs and occasional specials. “In other words, real food, with real punchy flavors,” Preeti says.

The owner encourages folks to continue following Cheeni’s journey – @cheenidurham on Instagram is a good place to keep up with the restaurant’s latest news – to see what comes next. “While we do enjoy planning, we also like to go with the flow; sometimes you just don’t know what will spark an idea,” Preeti says. “We’re excited to launch pop-up markets with more Indian-centric products and hope to continue with those. As for the future, we’re always open to possibilities that might unfold.”

One Sip at a Time

European-inspired cafe Press Coffee, Crepes & Cocktails exudes an elegant yet welcoming atmosphere, perfect for breakfast, brunch or an afternoon pick-me-up in the form of coffee or a cocktail.

Founders Jason Cox and Brett DeVries launched the restaurant at American Tobacco Campus in 2020, but the first location opened in downtown Graham in 2016. Jason says the eatery is very much a “choose your own adventure” experience. “If you’re coming in for a quick coffee and a pastry to-go on Tuesday, you can do that,” he says. “If you’re coming in for a coffee and to sit and read a book or converse with a friend – that’s what we’re here for.”

Press regularly updates its menu with seasonal changes and specials across most items. It earned a Best of Durham nod for its breakfast and brunch, and it’s clear why – it’s often bustling with patrons during these hours. Crepes are by far the top-selling item – from sweet creations with strawberries and Nutella to savory fillings like country hash or carne asada. The Crepe ’B – one of the first dishes that Brett, the culinary mind behind the partnership, created – remains a fan favorite, Jason says. The crepe is filled with your choice of smoked bacon, sausage, country ham or turkey bacon, plus Swiss cheese, over-easy eggs, goat cheese and hollandaise sauce –

Best of Durham
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Try Press Coffee, Crepes & Cocktails' take on a mojito and a paloma, or grab an iced coffee beverage – like the salted pistachio mocha – to keep cool this summer.
june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 45 enjoy panoramic views of Durham at the UClub 2024 Mon - Fri: 7am - 5pm byrdsbbq.com The BEST in Southern cooking for breakfast, lunch & dinner in Durham NC. 2024

a perfect amalgamation of European influence with a Carolina touch. “We’re not overly pretentious … cheese and country ham show up on our menu,” Jason says. The cafe’s weekend brunch features more unique items like hashbrown waffles, a crowd pleaser. “Those are very popular,” Jason says. “It’s like carb heaven.”

Press goes several steps beyond breakfast foods. “We are a coffee shop, and we are a restaurant, and we are a cocktail bar,” Jason says.

Sip on a freshly brewed Counter Culture Coffee latte, cortado, tea or anything else your heart desires from the full espresso bar – maybe a seasonal peach latte, a salted pistachio mocha or an iced strawberry matcha – but don’t sleep on the adult bevvies.

“We are brunch heavy, so we sell a lot of mimosas and bloody marys,” Jason says. “But our rotating espresso martini – [both] the standard and the seasonal (like orange vanilla-flavored) one – I would say nine times out of 10, that’s my go-to drink if I’m having a cocktail at brunch.”

Other drink options of note include the raspberry gin sour, which features Weldon Mills gin, raspberry syrup (all of Press’ drink flavors are made in-house) and lemon juice; a charred lemon margarita; or a hibiscus strawberry spritzer, in addition to a variety of mocktails, beers and wines.

Press continues to expand, with a third location set to open in Raleigh in late May, as of press time. “The Raleigh [location is] going

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Take your pick of Rose's Noodles, Dumplings & Sweets' house-made belt noodles with wok broccoli, greens, sesame paste, Sichuan pepper, cilantro and peanuts or its popular spring onion-shio ramen.

to look very different, because I’m adamant that [these restaurants] need to look like the community,” Jason says. “We were [part] of the first wave of new restaurants to open in American Tobacco. Durham was our chance to find out, ‘Are we this weird, crazy place in Graham that somehow works? Or is this something that other people want in other places?’” The verdict, at least for Best of Durham voters, strongly points to the latter.

A Side of Savory

You’ve tried the cookies, ice cream and macarons at Rose’s Noodles, Dumplings & Sweets, but we all know the magic of adding a touch of savory to sweet indulgences.

Husband-and-wife co-owners Justin Meddis and Katie Meddis opened Rose’s in 2013 as a full-animal butcher and pastry shop. “Justin and I wanted to do something together,” Katie, Rose’s pastry chef, says, “and that highlighted both of the things that we enjoyed doing, also with a mission to make local, pasture-raised meats available beyond just a farmers market … so that was the start of it.”

The pair transitioned the business into an East Asian-inspired eatery in 2017, and today serve a concise yet diverse menu of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, brunch items and more, in addition to their signature, Best of Durham award-winning pastries. The shop’s bestselling desserts are the house-made ice-cream sandwiches, with new flavors – Katie’s personal fave flavor is burnt honey honeycomb – regularly introduced to align with the seasons. “We’re about to go into strawberry season,” Katie says, “and we have a strong strawberry icecream sandwich.”

Any of the French macaron options – take your pick of strawberry jam, espresso caramel, chocolate black currant tea or creme brulee – is also going to be a guaranteed hit. “I’ll eat one of those every night,” Katie says of her own macaron cravings. Rose’s food menu showcases a selection of thoughtfully prepared East Asian-inspired dishes. “We always have two different kinds of steamed buns – pork-based and vegetarian,” Katie says. The restaurant also rotates its selection of dumplings, focusing on one flavor at a time, and the pork katsu sandwich – a panko-breaded fried pork cutlet with sweet mayo and cabbage on house-made bread – is a perennial favorite.

“The belt noodles have a strong following, too,” Katie says. “It’s an extra-wide, chewy noodle, and we do two different types – meatbased and a vegetarian version. Those are very good … almost more popular than the ramen sometimes.”

Ramen became a staple at Rose’s as a creative way to use the leftover bones during its butcher shop days. “Every Wednesday, we would make a giant batch of ramen and sell 100 bowls of it at lunchtime,” Katie says. “It was all to-go, so people would take it to the parking lot to eat it ... it was really fun.

“Justin puts a ton of work into the ramen,” she continues. “The broth has local pork and chicken bones, and it simmers overnight … there’s just extra care and thought that goes into [it] and makes it extra special.” Weekend visitors can also indulge in the brunch menu, which consists of meals such as hot and sour sweet potato noodles, rice porridge and Thai rice soup.

Katie, looking ahead, says she doesn’t foresee major changes at the restaurant, but mentioned that she and Justin began selling their house-made chili oil, a beloved ingredient in many of their dishes, this spring. Swing by for a bowl of ramen, cool down with an icecream sandwich, and don’t forget to pick up a bottle of chili oil to bring home with you!


LocoPops is famed for its frozen treats, specifically its Mexican-style popsicles. The name doesn’t tell the full story, however – there’s more than just ice pops at this Old West Durham standby.

Owner – and self-proclaimed “chief loco” – Summer Bicknell opened LocoPops in 2005. “Desperation inspired it,” Summer says. “I was trying to get out of corporate America and stumbled upon a popsicle shop in Nashville, [Tennessee], where I was living.” Encouraged by a friend, she learned the art of making popsicles, or paletas, in Mexico and decided to make it her business. 

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In need of a quick housewarming present or gift for a host? Pick up a bottle of wine at LocoPops!

A serendipitous stop at a Durham gas station during the road trip to find a home for her new venture sparked the idea for the Bull City shop. “I thought, ‘Why don’t I do it here?’” Summer recalls. And so, the journey began.

“One thing that separates us from others is simplicity and value,” Summer says of her Best of Durham award-winning frozen treats. “It’s a pop on a stick … there’s not a lot of fancying it up. We really focus on quality and making great flavors.”

The shop keeps kid-friendly flavors like chocolate brownie and cookies and cream on its menu while also featuring options like Mexican chocolate, lemon curd and nondairy mojito pops for those with more adventurous taste buds.

“We’ve done 300-400 flavors over time,” Summer says. “We’re never running out of inspiration … there’s always something to try.

“But the downside to naming the place LocoPops is that it’s a little bit limited,” Summer says. “We’ve added a whole lot more.”

The shop expanded its dessert repertoire to include scooped ice cream – recent highlights included tahini raspberry rose swirl and Earl Grey with limoncello biscotti – and a recently hired baker

focuses on treats from limoncello cream pie with a wildberry crumble to a strawberry rhubarb pie.

Summer further evolved the shop by adding “The Local Corner” section to her store in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, which expanded into a full sundries shop in January 2021. “It started off as a ‘local corner’ full of [products from merchants] like Bright Black and Lo & Behold,” Summer says. The shop originally put an emphasis on groceries, but as people have reverted back to their normal shopping channels, Summer stocks specialty food items over staples as well as fresh bread, spices, tea, coffee, pastureraised meats from Firsthand Foods and grab-and-go meals from places like Melina’s Fresh Pasta, Raleigh Tamales and more. “A lot of it has been listening to people’s comments and seeking out great partnerships,” Summer says, adding that the focus is on primarily local products, so long as they meet her high standards.

Summer wants folks to know that LocoPops does more than, well, pops. In fact, she’s leaning toward a name change in the near future. “Not away from LocoPops, but we’d like to change it to something broader,” Summer says. “Hopefully, by the end of the year, we’ve landed on that.” 

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Browse the pantry staples and hard-to-find specialty food items from local producers and global experts at LocoPops Sundries, plus home goods and personal care products.
june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 49 A CHERISHED GEM IN DURHAM Join us for a taste of Mexico, right here in the heart of North Carolina! Bringing from our family’s table to you, we are proud to offer authentic home style mexican food. From Tacos to pozole and much more. Family owned and operated, savor their rich recipes, meticulously crafted for your enjoyment. And be sure to take advantage of our Thursday/Friday half price margaritas and all Summer kids eat free on Wednesdays!* 2024 2024 *With purchase of an adult meal, for kids between 1-10, and from June to August 1929 CHAPEL HILL RD, DURHAM, NC 27707 919.403.2527 • AZTECAGRILLDURHAMNC.COM M Sushi Durham-311 Holland St, Durham, NC m-restaurants.com M Restaurants is a collection of restaurants with the focus of pushing our knowledge and skills further while making our guests happy. We started M Restaurants in downtown Durham with the intention of bringing new concepts to complement its wonderful dining scene. @mkokko_restaurant @mtempura_restaurant @m_test_kitchen @mpocha_restaurant @msushi_durham @msushi_cary 2024

Recipe for


Top chefs share their love for cooking and how to recreate their signature dishes at home

50 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham

Louisiana is famous for its “eat, drink and be merry” way of life, Juan says, particularly in Cajun and Creole regions, “where they lead the nation in total number of festivals at over 400 every year.”

hese culinary masters encompass a wide range of cultures, flavors and specialities, from Southern cuisine to international delights. But with each of their unique styles, they all earn the title of the best of the Bull City.

Roux Crew

Succotash chef Juan DiGiulio’s rich culinary heritage ignited his passion for cooking at a young age.

“My mom especially – but also my dad and stepmom – made sure to serve a home-cooked meal at least four to five days per week, and they were all excellent cooks,” Juan says. “I was surrounded by food growing up, and both sides of my family were steeped in the culture of cooking and enjoying the ‘eat, drink and be merry’ philosophy.”

Juan’s journey in the culinary world began at the early age of 12, working at DiGiulio Brothers Italian Cafe, his family’s restaurant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“I was very much drawn to the rogue aspect of restaurant life,” he says.

Juan spent years traveling the world and honing his skills, before he and his wife, Sam DiGiulio, decided to settle in Durham and work toward fulfilling their dream of owning a restaurant.

“[We] started [the] Succotash food truck in 2018, and I’ve been cooking pretty much nonstop since then,” Juan says. “We joined business forces with my mom, Susan [Head], and opened up our brick-and-mortar at 3219 Old Chapel Hill Rd. in September 2022. [We’ve] been going strong since.”

Juan’s culinary creations at the Southern and Creole kitchen reflect his roots, blending traditional flavors with a modern twist and telling a story of his love for food and the vibrant Louisiana culture. “One of my most loved [dishes] is my shrimp and grits,” he says. “Other favorites are the jambalaya, smoked brisket, fried green tomatoes and seafood po’boys – especially the fried oysters.”

– by Liza Smith

“Our muffuletta gets a lot of praise,” Juan says. “It’s a big sandwich with four types of Italian cured meats, provolone, olive salad and pepperoncini. That with a cup of gumbo is a perfect combo and quintessential New Orleans.” Here it’s served with a side of smash-fried potatoes tossed in fried garlic and herbs.

New Orleans Muffuletta


1 large (8- to 10-inch diameter) loaf of bread (preferably Gambino’s seeded Italian, but ciabatta, French, or focaccia will also work)

1 jar giardiniera (or approximately ¼ cup each of pickled carrots, pickled cauliflower and pepperoncini peppers)

Approximately ½ cup Kalamata (or other cured) olives and green olives, pits removed

2 to 3 cloves garlic, ground

Pinch of chopped oregano

Pinch of chopped basil

Kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper

Splash of olive oil

6 to 8 slices Genoa salami

6 to 8 slices spicy capicola

6 to 8 slices smoked ham

6 to 8 slices prosciutto

3 to 4 slices mortadella*

8 slices provolone cheese

Optional Splash of red wine vinegar; red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Cut the bread in half horizontally, leaving slightly more bread on the bottom than on the top. Drain the giardiniera and chop, adding the olives as well. Chop until fine, but not too fine, almost like pico de gallo.

In a mixing bowl, combine the giardiniera and olive mixture with the garlic, herbs, salt, pepper and olive oil. Taste and add a splash of red wine vinegar if not tangy enough. For more heat, add a dash of red pepper flakes.

Spread approximately 3 tablespoons of the olive and giardiniera mix on both sides of the bread. On the bottom half of the bread, layer equal amounts of each meat and the cheese, spacing evenly, with cheese as the last layer for melting.

Place each half on a cookie tray in the oven. Heat until cheese is melted and bread is slightly toasted around the edges. Remove, and carefully press the two halves together. Place on a cutting board, and slice down the middle in both directions, forming four triangular pieces. Serve with additional olives and pepperoncini.

*A mix of Italian cured hams can be found at many higherend grocery stores, or ask the deli personnel to slice what you can find fresh – the thinner, the better. 

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Test Tubes to Taste Buds

Meet Roberto Copa Matos, a Cuban American chef whose journey from chemistry to the kitchen paved the way for the unique dishes he creates at COPA. His passion for cooking traces back to his adolescence. “Above everything, [my family] are food lovers,” he says.

“In Cuba, I trained as a biochemist at the University of Havana, and I was [also] self-taught as a watercolor artist,” Roberto says.

Roberto migrated to the United States in 2002, initially working as a high school biology teacher and later as a research laboratory technician. He says those years, combined with his scientific and creative background, helped him develop essential skills – such as research and experimentation – that he still uses in the kitchen today, as well as gain a deeper understanding of the American social fabric.

With this accumulated experience, Roberto and his wife, Elizabeth Turnbull, took a leap of faith and opened Old Havana Sandwich Shop on East Main Street in 2011. They ran the restaurant until 2018, when they shifted their focus to a new concept at COPA.

“The idea was to deepen our knowledge and our contribution to the farm-to-table, local economy movement,” Roberto says, adding that he seeks to find a natural confluence where sustainable agriculture and human nutrition overlap. “I think where those two come together, is a place that I would like to be as a chef,” he says.

“Cooking is not just about making delicious food – it’s about creating connections and fostering community,” he says. “What I like the most about paella is that it creates a space to share food. It is a robust social experience.” – by Liza Smith

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½ chicken and ½ rabbit, cut into small pieces, rubbed with salt and a Spanish paprika

2 to 4 garlic cloves, smashed

1 medium onion, finely chopped

½ tsp. peppercorns

½ tsp. whole cloves

½ tsp. dried thyme leaves

1 pinch saffron

1 cup red Roma tomatoes, peeled and grated

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup large lima beans, cooked

1 handful of green beans, fresh or frozen

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup rice

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 lemons, cut into wedges

Salt, ground black pepper and olive oil, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 F. On the stove over medium heat, brown the chicken and rabbit pieces in a small amount of olive oil. Remove from the pan. Saute the garlic cloves for a few seconds, then add the onion, and cook until translucent. Carefully salt all through the surface.

Add the dried spices and mix. Add a small amount of olive oil, if needed. Add the prepared tomatoes and cook, reducing for a few minutes. Salt the surface of the mixture.

Pour in ½ cup of the dry white wine and mix in. Add the cooked lima beans and green beans, and saute for 1 or 2 minutes. Carefully salt the surface again.

Pour in the chicken broth; carefully salt again. Add the rice in the shape of a cross (la cruz del Señor), and distribute it evenly from the edges of the cross to the center spaces of the pan.

Place the browned chicken and rabbit on top, add the rosemary sprigs and do not mix. Cook in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until the water evaporates. For a drier rice with a flavorful bottom crust, cook a little longer. Check on the rice in intervals after 25 minutes have passed.

Pro tip from Roberto Enjoy a glass of wine and company while it cooks. Serve with lemon wedges, salt, ground black pepper and olive oil.

*Serves 4; requires medium-sized paella pan or 12- to 14-inch shallow pan

Savor the Moment

Shawn Holland is the co-owner and executive chef of Sophisticated Catering and Event Planning, a full-service catering company heading into its 26th year.

“My interest in cooking stemmed from admiring the ways my mother, the late Edwina Holland, my grandmothers and [my] aunts created peace, harmony and smiles in our home through outstanding food,” Shawn says. He attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, where his passion for the kitchen deepened.

Shawn initially dreamed of managing an established restaurant chain, a goal he achieved for a while, but about 25 years ago, “I was fired from a job, and my supportive wife encouraged me to start our own business, so we did.”

Shawn has delighted countless guests with his culinary creations since starting Sophisticated Catering. “If you would have told me in 1988 [that] I would have a thriving, 25-year-old catering business, I would have been shocked!” he says. His Lowcountry shrimp and cheese grits are an enduring crowd favorite, and he keeps the recipe a closely guarded secret.

“I am inspired by other chef’s food that I have experienced or seen on TV or social media,” Shawn says. “Seeing guests enjoy my dishes, request my dishes and tell others about my dishes is the greatest reward I could ever ask for.” – by Liza Smith 

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Valencia-Style Paella With Chicken and Rabbit*

Striving for Success

Carrie Schleiffer is the heart behind Alley Twenty Six’s award-winning, upscale New American cuisine. Her creativity and dedication to keeping offerings fresh and exciting is evident in the fact that only three original dishes have remained on the menu since day one.

The New Jersey native’s love for cooking stemmed from her mother. “She would watch Rachael Ray and all those shows,” Carries says. “She was very into it and trying all the recipes.”

Her mother was disabled, and was homebound for the last few years of her life. The pair would often cook together, Carrie says. “A lot of the time, if she wasn’t capable [to complete a part of a recipe], I would do them, but she was there every step of the way.”

Carrie came to cherish cooking even more after her mother’s passing in 2004, often making meals for friends and family. She moved to New York City in 2005, knowing she wanted to make a go of the passion. “I called my father and told him I wanted to go to culinary school … and the rest is history,” Carrie says.

Carrie arrived at Alley Twenty Six before there was even a place for her to fully flex her skill set. . She was hired in 2016 while the cocktail bar was still in the process of expanding into a full-fledged restaurant, which officially opened its kitchen and dining room in February 2017.

“I find inspiration from a lot of different places,” Carrie says. “We have a lot of great, local everything around here, whether it’s meat or produce. I try to draw inspiration from my surroundings, you know, not being from here, [I] try and navigate that Southern culture.

“I also draw inspiration from our neighbors,” she continues. “I like to eat about town and see new things and see what people are doing.”

Carrie says the restaurant’s most popular item is the burger – it’s received praise as one of the best in the Bull City by our readers – but she believes in constant improvement.

“I don’t think there’s anything I can do best, because can you ever really achieve the best?” Carrie says. “When you do what I do, what’s best for me is just knowing that people come in and enjoy it. I like to cook what people like to eat.”

“I’m only as good as my last dish,” she says. “We’re always striving to be better, always striving to do new things.”

“This dressing has been on the menu since day one,” Carrie

often asked if we bottle it for sale. … We actually did sell it during the pandemic, and it was quite popular, but since we don’t sell it retail anymore, now people can enjoy it at home!”

Lemon Tonic Vinaigrette, featured on Alley’s “Mandatory Green Salad”


¾ cup Alley Twenty Six tonic syrup

¼ cup lemon juice

1 small shallot, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp. honey (or more if needed for sweetness)

Kosher salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

3 cups canola oil (or any neutral oil)

In a blender*, mix tonic syrup, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, Dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Blend until everything is blended smooth.

While the blender is running, slowly add the oil until it’s incorporated. It’s important to add it slowly so the dressing can emulsify. Be careful not to add too much oil. If the ratio of oil to vinegar is off, the dressing will break. The general ratio of oil to vinegar is 3:1.

Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning to your liking. It’s OK to add more of any ingredient if you prefer it. If you want it more acidic, you can add more lemon. A little more spice? Add more Dijon. If you like it sweeter, add more honey and/or tonic syrup. And always taste for salt and pepper!

Store the dressing in jars in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Shake before using.

*If you do not have a blender and prefer to mix by hand, make sure you mince the garlic and shallot. Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk them together. Slowly add the oil into the other ingredients and whisk rapidly until it is all incorporated.

54 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham
says. “I’m
june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 55 Visit our three Durham shops. And enjoy award-winning locally roasted coffee. Subscriptions. Wholesale. Local Delivery. Freshly-Roasted to Ship Worldwide. LATINA LED WOMEN FORWARD CONNECTING QUALITY RELATIONSHIP & IMPACT Explore - https://cocoacinnamon.com @littlewaves.coffee @cocoacinnamon LITTLE WAVES COFFEE ROASTERS CINNAMON COCOA 2024

For the meatballs

¼ cup white onion, diced

2 cloves garlic

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 eggs

2 tsp. Triguisar seasoning (Colombian seasoning, may replace with cumin, garlic powder and annatto seeds)

1 Tbsp. salt

2 tsp. black pepper

½ lb. ground beef

1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

1 cup cooked Yukon Gold potatoes, finely diced

In a blender, puree onion, garlic, bell pepper, eggs, Triguisar, salt and pepper. Combine puree with ground beef, cilantro and potatoes. Form into small, 1.5-ounce meatballs and set aside.

For the broth

1 large white onion, diced

2 cups Roma tomatoes, diced

¼ lb. scallion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced ¼ cup cilantro, diced

1 Tbsp. Triguisar

2 quarts chicken stock

1 cup Yukon Gold potatoes, diced

Cook down onion, tomatoes, scallion and garlic until translucent. Add diced cilantro, Triguisar and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer.

While gently simmering broth, add meatballs and diced potatoes. Simmer for 25 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro, scallion, and salt and pepper, to taste.

*Optional Add ½ cup cooked Spanish rice before serving.

From Abuelita’s Kitchen, With Love

Alejandro Uribe grew up in the kitchen, absorbing myriad cultural influences that molded his cooking style. Today, as the executive chef at University Club, he brings a medley of flavors to each dish he crafts.

Alejandro – who goes by Alex or, as the staff at UClub like to call him, Oso, which means “bear” in Spanish – was born in Medellín, Colombia, and immigrated to the United States in 1998 at age 8 when his father came here to earn his doctorate in public health at UNC.

“My interest in food started when I was 12 years old,” Alex says. “My stepfather had restaurants growing up, so most weekends I liked to help out on the line at the restaurant. … My family always kind of expected me to follow in my father’s footsteps in the medical field, but I fell in love with cooking and decided that’s what I wanted to do.”

Alex began working at University Club in August 2008, shortly after graduating high school. He started as a server, as there were no kitchen job vacancies at the time, but he quickly advanced to expediter, then to line cook and eventually worked his way up to sous-chef before taking over as executive chef three years later.

The fusion of cuisines Alex was raised on played a pivotal role in shaping him into the chef he is today. “My stepmother was from Singapore, so I spent my high school years learning how to cook Southeast Asian dishes and Hispanic dishes,” Alex says. “Some of my favorite dishes to make are what I grew up eating: sancocho, tamales, empanadas and pretty much anything my grandmother made,” including sopa de albondigas.

“It’s almost like a Latin version of an Italian wedding soup,” Alex says. “I remember her pulling up a stool to the kitchen counter … I was in charge of making the tiny albondigas – which she said my tiny hands were perfect for. We would spend most of the day making dinner for the family. While my brothers were outside playing, I always preferred to be in the kitchen with grandma, watching her prepare and cook all the ingredients for family dinner.”

– by Leah Berry 

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Abuelita Rocio’s Sopa de Albondigas Ingredients
june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 57 SEASONAL SEAFOOD. THAT’S THE HOOK! FRESHLY COOKED. GOOD FISH. With decades of fine dining restaurant and hospitality experience, Chef Ricky Moore believes that ordinary, simple food can be extraordinary when executed at the highest level. In 2022, Chef Ricky Moore was awarded Best Chef: Southeast by the James Beard Foundation 2637 DURHAM-CHAPEL HILL BLVD 919-237-3499 SALTBOXSEAFOODJOINT.COM  PHOTO BY FORREST MASON 2024 776 NINTH ST. durham • 919-416-3823 • OPEN DAILY 6:30am - 10:00pm • elmosdiner.com Thanks for voting us Favorite Breakfa st/Brunch an d Kid-Frien dly Restaurant. You make us ha ppy! Square Meals Sandwiches Salads, Burgers and breakfast all the time! ® Voted Best of Durham 12 years in a row! 2013-2024 2024

’Cue’d Up



barbecue joints recently made a few smokin’ hot transitions, from ownership shifts to relocations to sizzling new products

A Byrd’s-Eye View

As a student at Southern School of Energy and Sustainability, James Compton and his friends frequently headed just down the road from the high school to Byrd’s BBQ, a longtime local favorite since opening in 1959. He couldn’t have predicted then that, decades later, he and his wife, Kim Compton, would take over as its owners.

The couple did just that in October 2022, reopening just a few days after buying the barbecue restaurant. But the journey to revamp the space was not an easy one.

Renovations dominated the Comptons’ time for more than a year; changes were made in stages to keep Byrd’s open as often as possible. James and Kim first set off revamping the exterior and interior with new paint, adding tables and murals inside and upgrades within the kitchen, which closed the restaurant for 10 days. They enlisted Zachary Lee “Jay” Byrd Jr. of Triangle Sign Company and, yes, a relative of the original Byrds, to assist with the murals. (Jay sadly passed away April 2, 2024.)

In early May 2023, after the addition of a new walk-in cooler, the owners closed for another week to work on the floors and the prep kitchen. The final layer of refurbishments wrapped in the late summer and early fall when the team created more than 50 additional parking spots – a

massive improvement from its previous 10, which couldn’t even accommodate larger vehicles.

These days, with major remodels in the rearview, James and Kim’s primary goal is to foster an environment where customers feel connected to one another inside Byrd’s BBQ’s walls. “We definitely wanted to create something this community could be proud of as well,” James says. Byrd’s offers top-notch brisket and ribs, which draw compliments from brisket connoisseurs who visit from Texas. “We didn’t change much on the menu, only a few tweaks here and there,” James says. “The previous operators did a great job establishing the menu.”

The extensive breakfast menu is equally impressive, featuring pancakes, eggs cooked to order, French toast dusted with cinnamon sugar and more. James shares that folks should stay tuned for further exciting additions, like a to-go area coming soon and an outdoor dining patio, which should be completed in June.

James and Kim’s original motivation for taking over the restaurant was to “bring a good atmosphere into the neighborhood,” and it shows – appreciation for their customers shines through in every aspect of Byrd’s. “Every person here is our most important person,” James says. – by Lena Miano 

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ABOVE A few of the smiling faces you'll find at Byrd's: Angie Campos, Emily Faust, Landon Faust, Jeremy Granson, Lillie Faust, James Compton, Madalyn Faust and Kim Compton. (Not pictured: Stacey Smith and Jessica Glasgow.) BELOW Brisket and eggs plate with French toast. PHOTOGRAPHY BY CORNELL WATSON

Compton and Kim

have been married 20 years.

“We have four kids and 10 grandchildren, with one more on the way,” James says.

“Some work at the [restaurant] with us.”


june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 59
PHOTO James Compton

Fanning the Flame

Rustic neighborhood joint

Picnic Barbecue, which has been smoking whole hogs on its side patio since 2016, has also seen some recent changes.

Co-founder Wyatt Dickson sold Picnic to longtime customer – and, more recently, business partner –Chris Holloway on July 1, 2023.

“I saw Picnic struggling through the pandemic and reached out to see if I could help keep things going,” Chris says. “Wyatt and I became fast friends, and we worked together for nearly two years before I purchased the restaurant.

“I’ve been a neighbor and fan of Picnic since the beginning,” he continues. “It is literally my neighborhood joint. After establishing the kitchen and menu at Motorco’s Parts & Labor (among several other things), I was looking for something to settle into. This is the food I grew up on; its history and tradition means something to me. One afternoon I was sitting at the light in front of the restaurant, and it hit me. This is what I’m supposed to be doing!”

Chris says he aimed to infuse renewed passion into the kitchen while honoring the essence of Southern cuisine upon assuming leadership of the business.

“I wanted to return the traditional foods back to their roots, so I simplified things a bit,” he says. “We have a great staff, and we are really embracing our role as a ‘preservation society’ of sorts [when it comes to Southern fare].”

The owner also relied on his “chef side” to introduce inventive sides and dishes to the menu, including crispy Thai ribs, a shrimp po boy, Thai butternut squash and more, adding a more contemporary twist.

The restaurant boasts a full bar and ample outdoor seating for patrons to savor their meals in a convivial atmosphere. “We are now working toward creating a great barbecue joint, where folks can hang out and enjoy the community that barbecue has always fostered,” Chris emphasizes. “We need those ’cue vibes.”

Receiving the Best of Durham accolade solidifies Picnic’s longstanding reputation in Chris’ eyes. “There is some truly great barbecue in this town, so it means a lot to be validated by the community,” Chris says. “Wood-fired, whole-hog barbecue is not easy. In fact, it’s a lot of work! So it feels good to be appreciated for it.”

Chris naturally recommends new customers try the whole-hog, pastureraised, wood-smoked barbecue, “though a brisket and barbecue combo can check a lot of boxes, too … and if you have a group, you can order a family combo. It’s a great way to try a few different options. People think it’s only for to-go orders, but we happily serve it in the restaurant.”

More exciting buzz is around the corner as Picnic’s Side Yard is set to

open soon. This expansion will offer more outdoor seating, a space for private events and a platform for exciting pop-up menus, oyster roasts, live music and more.

Whether you’re craving a sandwich and some hush puppies or envisioning a festive pig pickin’, Picnic promises an experience steeped in Southern charm and culinary heritage. “ … Music, kids running wild, a fishing pond off to the side, the smell of hickory or just the anticipation of pulling your own piece of ’cue … it just feels good,” Chris says. “I want you to have that feeling when you visit.” – by Leah Berry 

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ABOVE Chris Holloway in front of the smoker, where are couple pasture-raised whole hogs are cooking away. LEFT Highly recommend pouring Pig Whistle sauce over your hand-pulled barbecue. Try it with a side of macaroni and cheese, slaw, collards and hushpuppies. PHOTOGRAPHY BY CORNELL WATSON
june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 61 2024 Locally owned food truck and catering company offering authentic, flavorful, and fresh Honduran cuisine. FIND US NEAR YOU! thelatineffect.com | 919.627.0142 Thank you for voting us Best Of Durham!

Ignition Switch

Michael De Los Santos – better known as Mike D, owner of Mike D’s BBQ – has been a familiar name in Durham’s barbecue scene since 2013 when he launched his business solely as a sauce and rub company, offering products that combine unique seasonings and spices inspired by Mike’s African American and Latino heritage, while also paying homage to North Carolina’s rich barbecue history. Mike founded the company as a way to honor his son, Aaron De Los Santos, who passed away in 2012 from hypoplastic left heart syndrome. “He fought to live for six months,” Mike says. “Mike D’s honors his memory and his will to fight and live … he was an inspiration for me to not make excuses and to chase my dream.”

Mike went from selling sauces and rubs out of his trunk to frequenting farmers markets and festivals, and eventually, after winning the Discovery Channel series “I Quit,” he was able to open up a brickand-mortar barbecue supply store, Mike D’s BBQ Smokehouse & Retail, in East Durham in 2020. “People would come in and say, ‘We want food, too,’” Mike says. “The community started to change … so then the search to find a restaurant happened. We had some things fall through, then an opportunity opened up right across the street from where we were. So, we closed up and reopened here.”

Mike D’s BBQ opened in July 2023 in a newly refurbished building at 455 S. Driver St. “We still have the retail component,” Mike says. “We still sell grill supplies and charcoal and pallets, and when in stock, we sell sauces, rubs and other North Carolina goods.”

“None of our goals changed,” Mike says of the major expansion. “We’re just figuring out a spot that’s all about barbecue.”

Mike is happy and grateful that folks take notice of the work he’s put in, and especially for earning recognition from our readers.

“We’ve won a lot of awards over the years for our products and stuff, but most of those are from judges, not the general public,” he says. “Anytime we can win an award from the people who are actually spending money and choosing us, it means a lot.”

Mike D’s staff endeavor to make everything – with the exception of a few desserts – in-house and from scratch daily as well as source locally whenever possible. They get collards every Sunday (the only day of the week they sell the greens) from Happy Dirt, a distributor that buys from local farms. And the fruit punch, lemonade and sweet tea is crafted by Cates Cookout down the block.

“The restaurant is a part of me,” Mike says. “Our menu is a reflection of what I love about barbecue. … When you really love the food that you’re making, it comes out in how it tastes. You can taste the love; you can taste the heart that’s put into it.” – by Leah Berry 

ABOVE “We’re trying to be a place where people can come together and put aside all the stuff that’s going on in the world and build community,” Mike says.

BELOW First time at Mike D's? Go for the turkey platter. “People think pork when they think barbecue in North Carolina, but turkey is an underrated thing,” Mike says.

Best of Durham
62 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024

After eighteen successful years as Papas Grille, it was time for a makeover and with that came a new brand as well. The reconstruction took place in 2012 in which the changes brought a more casual setting and modern feel. With “Papa” retiring during the changeover, Sam took over the realms in the kitchen fine-tuning his craft which is highly focused on quality ingredients and consistent execution.

Serving locally sourced ingredients with Mediterranean influence and Greek flair since 1994 1821 Hillandale Road, Durham NC, 27705 Celebrating 30 years! 919-383-8502 bleuolivebistro.com   The
family first opened
doors at this location in 1994 under the name Papas Grille, a fine dining Greek and Mediterranean restaurant. With “Papa” and Sam in the kitchen and Angelika, Chris & Yianni running the front of the house,
Grille turned
one of the finest and well-respected restaurants in the Durham food scene. 2024

Secret Sauce

Growing up in Granbury, Texas, Dan Ferguson frequented Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, where he would order straight from the meat cutter – specifying an amount and cut of meat (usually smoked ham or sausage) before moving through the all-you-can-eat buffet line of sides. “If I had to pick one,” Dan says, “the pasta salad was my favorite.” This is how most Texas-style barbecue joints serve up their menu items, he says – a model that inspired him when he opened The Original Q Shack’s brick-and-mortar location in Durham’s Rockwood neighborhood in 2003.

At that time, the Q Shack was one of the few places in the state serving brisket. Dan places a huge emphasis on consistency, which sets their dishes apart more than two decades later, even as brisket becomes more common on North Carolina menus. “My whole goal is, every time you come in and get a brisket sandwich, that that brisket tastes the same,” Dan says. The longtime chef credits the longevity of the restaurant not only to product dependability but also to ensuring employee and customer satisfaction by keeping prices down but maintaining reasonably sized portions. Loyalty among Dan and his team – eight of whom have been with the restaurant for more than 15 years – has been a hallmark of the Q Shack. When the pandemic hit and curbside pickup became the norm, Dan expanded his team to include high schoolers who could answer phones, take orders and deliver them to the restaurant’s steadfast customer base.

Dan’s daughter, Anna Ferguson, joined the team full time as the director of catering in November 2023. He says he couldn’t be more excited about the addition of his daughter, who previously managed the restaurant’s curbside delivery. “My goal is to be able to hand this business down to a family member,” Dan says. “I’ve got three kids, and I’m hoping, one day, one of them takes it over from me.”

Dan credits Anna with pushing him to finally get the Q Shack’s sauce bottled and sold in the store – a dream he has had for years, which materialized on Feb. 14. The sauce recipe has remained unchanged since 2002, when Dan first began crafting sauces and rubs in his home kitchen. Must-tries for first-timers include the brisket, ribs, jalapeño-cheddar sausage or the bone-in smoked chicken – all of which are served up smothered in the signature sauce. Looking ahead, Dan hopes to bottle and sell some of the Q Shack’s rubs alongside the sauce and return the restaurant to its pre-pandemic schedule of being open seven days a week. – by Lena Miano 

Best of Durham
64 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024
The Original Q Shack's Dan Ferguson with some of his top menu items, including the brisket, ribs and bone-in smoked chicken. Don't leave without taking home a bottle of the Q Shack's signature sauce!
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all about it

Honeygirl Meadery expands its footprint and its beverage offerings in downtown

he Bullpen social district is abuzz with anticipation for the opening of Ment Beverage Co.’s new 3,000-square-foot space at American Tobacco Campus this summer.

Battle Fermentables owner Robby Battle says Honeygirl Meadery, named a Durham Magazine readers’ favorite craft alcoholic beverage, is the star brand for the company, and Ment Beverage Co. will expand into non-mead products like ciders, seltzers and more. The new location provides an opportunity to tap into the tourism economy, particularly visitors to the nearby Durham Performing Arts Center. Like Goldilocks, Robby evaluated all available options before deciding to make the move to ATC.

“We looked next to Mezcalito or Lonerider [Distillery and Taproom] in the same neighborhood,”

66 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham
Battle Fermentables owner Robby Battle (right) plans to offer new drinks in addition to his collection of award-winning Honeygirl Meadery products (above). His non-mead line under Ment Beverage Co. will feature small-batch ciders, seltzers and sakes.
june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 67


he says, referencing the meadery’s old site on Hood Street, which closed its doors in March to focus on the transition to its new home. “We looked at 555 Mangum on the other side of the ballpark. I’ve been looking for just warehouse space, because you’ll typically find most meaderies either on a farm in the middle of nowhere or in a warehouse, [where] you wouldn’t expect them to be. We’ve always been the latter, in a 1,500-square-foot warehouse for the past 10 years. We really maxed out our space about three years ago. American Tobacco had the right floor plan for what we needed.”

Just Bee-lieve

Honeygirl was founded in 2013 by Diane Currier. “She built this brand pretty much single-handedly for the first five, six years,” Robby says. “She brought in our current head meadmaker, [William Costen], in 2018 to assist her in the production process.”

In late 2022, Diane told William and Robby that she was thinking about retiring. “At that point, I had been working in this industry for almost a decade and decided that I was well prepared enough to take on something myself,” Robby says. “It made sense to carry on a well-crafted, well-recognized brand that’s uniquely Durham.”

Robby and his wife, artist and photographer Mar Battle, jumped into business ownership in March 2023. The couple hopes to offer more weekly and specialty events and curate local art in the new space. In the meantime, you can still find Honeygirl meads at the downtown farmers market and stay up to date with news of pop-ups on Instagram at @honeygirlmeadery

The expansive location accommodates more people, increases walkability and provides more parking options. It’s located near Burt’s Bees, a major natural skin care company that also relies on bees for its product lines. “Everything just sort of screamed out, ‘We should be there!’” Robby says, “and it just sort of lined up. All the people who work on campus have been super welcoming. I think they’re just as excited as I am to be there, so that’s great.”

Honeygirl will continue to pour its award-winning meads, while Ment Beverage Co. will experiment with all things fermentable, like rice, fruits and vegetables, to create its new offerings. “We have a strong backbone with mead,” Robby says. “We’re going to have the ability to diversify the line [and] lean into the alternative beverage scene. Staying within the wine category, we’re going to make some ciders. And we’re going to make some sakes. We’re going to have nonalcoholic drinks … something for everybody. We’re excited to try out all these new beverages.”

Robby explains that his crew works in small batches, sourcing many ingredients locally to support regional foodways and community farm systems. “That’s why we’ve been at the [Durham] Farmers Market for so long – to build all those relationships and be able to keep that going and create sustainable and local drinks for people,” he says.

In spite of this longevity, Robby says the Best of Durham distinction for Honeygirl’s meads still came as a surprise. “It was a shock,” he says. “My jaw dropped a little bit when we got the email. Everyone who works for the meadery got really excited.

“To be really honest with you, I didn’t know we had a shot at it at all,” he continues. “We’re in the [category] with some really heavy hitters. We’re just this little meadery in the East Durham part of town. It goes to show that if you make a really great product, and you put your soul into it, it pays off.” 

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70 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University Director Trevor Schoonmaker with retail visionary Jennings Brody as they unveil the art gallery's vibrant new gift shop, "Parker & Otis at the Nasher Museum."

dreaming in


Duke University museum partners with local retail maven to revamp its gift shop

asher Museum of Art at Duke University recently launched a new entrepreneurial collaboration with Durham shopkeep Jennings Brody to rebrand its gift shop. This is the first time an independent retailer has been selected to operate an on-campus store and its associated e-commerce platform.

“Well, first of all, we love Jennings,” Nasher Museum Director Trevor Schoonmaker says of the 12-year member of the Nasher Museum Friends Board. Jennings, who was an art history and political science double major at Bates College in Maine, owns and operates Parker & Otis – a Best of Durham honoree for its gift store (and its sandwiches!) – as well as Tiny, Parker Paper Co., Chet Miller and Bahama Bluebs

The museum held a celebratory unveiling of the store for its board on April 29, revealing a fresh, white interior that mirrors the crisp letters on the exterior glass walls

announcing that you’ve arrived at “Parker & Otis at the Nasher Museum.” Natural light from the great hall brightens the 367-square-foot shop. Colorful displays of writing and art supplies fill the shelves, along with books and paper products selected by Jennings and her staff, which includes Michele Smith, Bryan Nickellstage and Meredith Pittman. “You know I have a great love for all things paper,” Jennings says.

“With her eye and the work that she’s done with stores in the community,” Trevor says, “it’s going to be, for the first time, really a reflection of our identity as a museum, because she understands it. And even the way it looks as a space – not to mention the merchandise – it just changes things dramatically. We’re super excited.”

Wendy Hower, Nasher’s communications and marketing director, says conversations about a formal collaboration began in 2019, but the pandemic intervened. In late 2022, the museum revisited the idea of transforming the shop.

“Jennings gets us,” Wendy says. “We love working with people we love. We happened to notice that she is a retail

june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 71

genius. We just wanted to bring her closer. We’re taking a longterm friendship to the next level.”

Jennings and her team say this project is evolving. “It’s really the fear of, ‘Are we picking the right product assortment?’” Jennings says. “This is our starting assortment. It’s super fluid and flexible. If six people come in and say, ‘Hey, we were looking for this item,’ or, ‘We thought you’d have this,’ we can make that happen.”

She estimates approximately 90% of the merchandise in the new museum shop will be different from what it used to carry when it was managed by Duke University Stores Eventually, Jennings and her team will work with museum staff, volunteers and artists to offer exhibit-specific products and activities.

“We’re part of someone else’s brand now,” Jennings says. “That’s not something we’ve ever done before. It feels like such a fun and exciting new challenge. I mean, who doesn’t want to be in the Nasher, right? How good does it feel to walk into the great hall and look up and see this glass space?” 

Shaping the Future

It’s an exciting time at the Nasher, which was named one of Durham’s best museums and art galleries by our readers. Work is currently underway to expand and redesign the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family Sculpture Garden Groundbreaking took place in February on the walkable landscape project, which was made possible with a $5 million gift from Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger. The lead architect is 2002 Duke University alumna Claire Agre, co-founder of landscape architecture firm Unknown Studio in Baltimore.

The new design will include wooden walking steps and accessible pathways for strollers and people with mobility challenges, plus a 21-foot-long stone bench. “MamaRay,” a 15-foot bronze sculpture by contemporary artist Wangechi Mutu, will be moved to the main entrance, and other new sculptures are expected to be commissioned and installed to fit different landscape scenes. Bluestone pavers will connect the indoor and outdoor spaces. Completion is expected in 2025.

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Nasher Museum Friends Board members Sara Stephens and Arthur Rogers peruse the products inside the corner nook of the store.
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Need a special something for something special?

Pop into a few of the best shops in Durham for a thoughtful token or vibrant fit to brighten any occasion.

Dot & Army 18-inch cloth napkins sets range from $27–$65 Vintage Home South furnishings & accessories store

“Possibly the cheeriest gift idea around for any occasion, our sets of Dot & Army napkins get all the applause – so much so that recipients come to the shop to buy more,” says Vintage Home South co-owner Jen Devlin napkins are as functional as they are gorgeous; they wash up easily with no ironing required – #WinWin. Whether you’re hosting a swanky dinner, boozy brunch or enjoying everyday meals with family, they make every moment around your table special.”

Jude Connally “Libby” dress in Kaleidoscope Floral Iris, $228

Smitten Boutique, best clothing store

Women’s clothing company Jude Connally “embodies so much that’s important to us,” says Smitten Boutique owner Nancy McKaig. “It’s woman-owned; has a consistent fit; [and its products are] made in the United States.” This midi-length dress boasts a classic V-neckline with a flattering tiered silhouette, short sleeves with a subtle puff and feminine flounce details offer both elegance and ease for every occasion. “It always sells out.”

Vase with felt flower bouquet, $51

Casa Bella Market, best home furnishings & accessories, and best gift store

The beauty of felt flowers is they never die. Add this pottery vase handmade by artist Liz Snyder

Anything Creative for a gracious hostess, birthday or teacher appreciation gift. 

74 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham
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East Fork Pottery dinnerware, $18–$188

Indio, best gift store

“East Fork is made for gift giving,” says Indio owner Wendy Sease

Lindquist Faba bag, $398

Vert & Vogue, best clothing store

This bag, a popular holiday gift option, shines with summer elegance in its new “pitaya” color. The piece effortlessly transitions from a chic crossbody to a stylish waist bag, making it a versatile addition to any wardrobe. The Faba is crafted from fully vegetable-tanned milled leather by Lindquist Object, based in Providence, Rhode Island.

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Passport cover, $24, and luggage tag, $16

Mill & Meadow, best gift store

Pick up this matching set of floral faux leather travel accessories for your next adventure. It’s the perfect gift for a graduating senior or anyone with a big trip planned!

Yonderlust Cotton of the Carolinas

, best clothing store

This “Dirt-to-Shirt” tee is made from Carolina cotton and has a completely trackable supply chain, which begins with the farmer who plants the crop. The shirts were “grown, woven, sewn and printed right here in the Carolinas,” says Yonderlust Kit Linton. “It represents Yonderlust’s commitment to sustainability and locally sourced goods [and] is the perfect product for those who want to shop local, and support local and sustainable manufacturing processes. And, of course, it’s exceptionally comfortable, preshrunk and has an inspiring John Muir quote on the back: ‘Of all the paths you take in life,

june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 77

heart of the


Durham’s top kitchen designers share their best recent projects

True Design

The team at True Design has one primary goal for their clients: to “elevate your style and make sure it fits your needs,” says Designer and Project Manager Liz Templeton Scisco. They incorporate clients’ desires and personalities while introducing elements like oversized lighting, natural finishes and vibrant, unique colors into the space. The team firmly believes “the bolder, the better!” Liz says. “We have done our job well if your friends come over and just think you are really good at finish selections.”

Neighborhood Forest Hills Historic District (a 2024 Best of Durham honoree)

Square Footage 215

Project Timeline January-May 2023

Durham Companies Involved Talbert Building

Supply and formerly Durham-based

Custom Stone & Marble

Design Highlights True Design integrated a cozy breakfast nook with additional storage, a perfect spot for morning meals. They also increased the workspace around the island and range, complemented with simple, elegant finishes like marble countertops and a vibrant blue backsplash to catch the eye.

Trending The team at True Design is excited about the resurgence of color and wood tones in cabinetry and has seen a decline in all-white and rustic farmhouse-style kitchens. (“But we still love a contemporary farmhouse with a twist!” Liz says.) 

78 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham
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The Kitchen Specialist

Quality materials and functional designs are key to a timeless kitchen. “Function is always first,” says The Kitchen Specialist owner and Lead Designer Jennifer Bedick “However, function should never be limiting.” There is plenty of room for clients to create using those fundamentals, spearheading the initial design phases and then combining it with Kitchen Specialist’s expert opinions to achieve the function and aesthetic they are envisioning for their space.

Neighborhood Whitfield Road

Square Footage 488

Project Timeline January 2022 – March 2023

Durham Companies Involved

The Appliance Center, Wilkinson Supply Co. and formerly Durham-based Custom Stone & Marble

Design Highlights This client was interested in achieving a high-drama, high-contrast space while keeping traditional elements to match their Georgian-style home. The Kitchen Specialist utilized luxurious materials and embellished the oversized window with lighting fixtures and color to match this unique design. The light, gold-accented cabinets contrast with the solid black countertops to create a bold statement that feels both “opulent and cozy.”

Trending Jennifer says she’s seeing a resurgence of warm, soft wood tones combined with warm whites, taupes and earthy browns. “The gray and white kitchens of the past five years are on the way out,” she says. “That was a very strong trend!” 

80 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham

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Little Corner Construction

Functionality and aesthetics never separate as the Little Corner Construction team designs – a kitchen well-designed to function will also look clean and balanced, they say. The team takes each limit as an opportunity for creative design; for instance, hiding areas that tend to get messy from the line of sight by utilizing the unique features of a house to find extra storage areas. “We also encourage our clients to choose proven durable materials, whether plumbing and light fixtures, tile, sinks or cabinets, so that their kitchen ages slowly and gracefully.”

Neighborhood Old West Durham Square Footage 250

Project Timeline 2021 – 2022

Durham Companies Involved Wilkinson Supply Co., Ferguson Plumbing, Talbert Building Supply, Paragon Tile and Bret Horton Architect

Design Highlights These clients wanted to open up the kitchen into their living room, and the design incorporated several features to achieve an open, efficiently spaced layout that still felt cozy. These included a recessed fridge, south-facing windows, two large pantries, lit double upper cabinets, a pot filler and increased storage within the island. Islands remain a popular choice, according to the team, serving as important “focal points for family and social life.” Ample cabinetry storage was seamlessly integrated in this project, with gold-plated hardware adding a special flair.

Trending The team believes that there is always room to have fun and break rules in kitchens. They also observed a decline in open shelving, as clients prefer not to feel pressured to keep open areas constantly tidy. The need for matching appliance brands is waning, too, as homeowners are choosing appliances that are particular to their lifestyles and judging each piece on its own integrity. 

82 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham
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Four Over One Design

“Each of our kitchens is different, because the house and homeowners are different,” says Four Over One Design owner Sara Lachenman. The team starts each project with the bare bones of functionality, flow and sight line, and, from that baseline, they bring in the clients’ perspective to capture their unique character and vibe.

Neighborhood Old North Durham

Square Footage 260

Project Timeline January 2019 – August 2023

Durham Companies Involved Cadence Construction, Frazee Carpet & Flooring, The Appliance Center, Marquez Painting LLC and Chambers Plumbing & Piping Inc.

Design Highlights The Four Over One Design team completely overhauled this more than 100-year-old house, home to a pair of musicians. “This was one chunk of a whole house remodel,” Sara says. “We started working with the clients in January 2019 and did a redesign during summer 2021. It went into construction in spring of ’22, with the majority finished that summer, and the last bits and bobs wrapped up in August ’23.”

Despite a 2005-era flip, the kitchen space remained dark and cut off from the rest of the house. “It had zero character or charm,” Sara says. The team – with help from Cadence Construction, which did a tremendous amount of work on the design details and custom-building the cabinets – brought in a playful colorful aesthetic while also ensuring a functional kitchen design perfect for cooking, working, hosting or simply hanging out. They completed the look with a color-washed, 87-square-foot dining nook, a living space, sliding cabinet doors, stainless countertops, a marmoleum floor from Frazee, tall windows and plywood cabinetry.

Trending The all-white kitchen is out, and more colorful elements and a variety of textures are in, according to the Four Over One team, who’ve been playing with color in ways they never have before. “We’ve never done two kitchens that are the same,” Sara says.

CQC Home

The team at CQC Home believes that “every style choice can make a statement if you embrace it with confidence.” Their mission is to support their clients by listening to their requests and delving into the reasons behind their preferences to ensure that every design choice is thoughtfully aligned with their aspirations. “We excel in translating our clients’ visions into design realities. This attentive approach to client desires is crucial and often overlooked in our industry but it’s where we truly shine.”

Square Footage 330

Project Timeline

December 2023 – March 2024

Design Highlights This client approached CQC Home with a clear vision for her dream kitchen – a space tailored for comfort and functionality as she entered her retirement years. She simply desired a welcoming, visually pleasing and highly functional environment where she could

84 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024
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enjoy preparing meals for her family. A significant aspect of the design strategy was to enhance her connection with the surrounding natural beauty by reconfiguring the kitchen layout to maximize natural light and provide expansive views of the outdoors. They married purpose with aesthetics by including lighting in the upper cabinets and storage in a wall of cabinets, which were offset at different levels to prevent a straight wall from appearing overwhelming. This was a seamless, clean solution to easily hide less frequently used items. The showstopper in this design was the range hood with striking gold features – a simple but powerful trend to elevate any design. The gold trim complements the gold pot filler, gold sink faucet and the gold-plated rails on the recessed shelving. The thoughtful continuity of gold accents not only enhances the visual appeal, it also creates a cohesive and luxurious design moment.

Trending Incorporating decorative range hood cabinets and full-height risers, like the ones seen here, is a trend that both improves functionality and adds to a modern, fashionforward design. 

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uilding a personalized skin care routine can be a daunting task. So, we went to our readers’ favorite dermatologists for their expert tips on the best practices for different skin types and common concerns.

Durham’s best dermatologists share skin care recommendations, just in time for summer


Dr. Brooke Jackson, Skin Wellness Dermatology Associates

Dr. Janet Tcheung, Triangle Dermatology Associates

Dr. Jeffrey Scales, North Carolina Center for Dermatology

Dr. Garrett S. Bressler

Tailoring Skin Care Routines

Dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon Dr. Garett S. Bressler emphasizes that “skin care routines should be built based on the amount of skin oil, color, texture and the degree of sensitivity to product ingredients.” Dr. Brooke Jackson, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, board-certified dermatologist and owner and medical director of Skin Wellness Dermatology Associates, puts it plainly: “Not everything is for everybody, and just because it is on social media does not mean it is the best choice for you,” she says, adding that “[our] skin is our largest organ. It is also an immune organ, meaning [that] any challenge to our immune system is likely to manifest in our skin.” Dr. Janet Tcheung, F.A.A.D., of Triangle Dermatology Associates advises “consistency, patience and persistence” when building a routine. “Any routine deserves at least four to six weeks to see improvement,” Dr. Tcheung says. “A daily, basic skin care routine may include a gentle cleanser [and] applying a moisturizer and a sunscreen.”

Key Recommendations for Different Skin Types

For dry skin, Dr. Bressler recommends moisturizers with ceramides or glycolic acids to help repair the skin barrier and retain moisture. Dr. Tcheung suggests products containing humectants like ceramides, hyaluronic acid and glycerin. “Wash the skin twice daily, morning and night,” she says.

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“If the skin is very dry and sensitive, skip a cleanser in the morning and just rinse with cold or lukewarm water.” Dr. Jackson advises avoiding long, hot showers and opting for shorter, cooler ones.

Dr. Jackson warns those with oily skin against trying to strip the skin of oil, noting that oil (sebum) production fluctuates with the seasons. Dr. Bressler cautions against products containing salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, warning that these ingredients can be irritating “and benzoyl peroxide can bleach clothing.” Dr. Tcheung advises using gel or foam cleansers labeled “non-comedogenic,” and again, cleansing twice daily and after exercise. “Throughout the day, those with oily skin may consider using blotting papers to gently pat off excess oil,” she says.

Dr. Bressler recommends hypoallergenic products free of dyes, perfume and fragrance

for those with combination skin. Dr. Tcheung echoes the importance gentle cleansers – “Neutrogena, Cerave, Cetaphil and La Roche-Posay are all good choices” – and a lighter moisturizer like Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel.

Preventing Common Concerns

Dr. Jeffrey Scales from North Carolina Center for Dermatology says the best way to prevent brown spots and wrinkles is to wear a moisturizer with sunscreen of SPF 15 or more, along with using a prescriptionstrength tretinoin nightly. Dr. Bressler also points out the effectiveness of hydroquinone for dark spots and tretinoin for fine wrinkles and scarring with the caveat that tretinoin can be irritating. Dr. Tcheung emphasizes the importance of broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, adding that “retinoids

in empowering individuals to achieve the best version of themselves, no matter how that version is defined.

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have been proven to be effective in multiple research studies for photodamage, wrinkles and acne.”

Sunscreen: A Daily Essential

All dermatologists agree on the paramount importance of daily sunscreen use. “Daily use of sunscreen is right up there with brushing your teeth!” Dr. Jackson says. “It is foundational to healthy skin, minimizing sun damage and discoloration, and protecting against skin cancer.” Dr. Scales concurs, noting that regular sunscreen use is the single best approach to anti-aging.

“There are two general categories of sunscreens: chemical-based, which protects by inducing a chemical reaction in the skin, and mineral-based, which are physical blockers of sunlight,” Dr. Bressler explains.

Dr. Tcheung stresses that wearing sunscreen should be a daily goal. She recommends finding a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, applying it 30 minutes before going outside and reapplying every two to three hours.

Lesser-Known Summer Skin Dangers

Dr. Jackson advises vigilance against poison ivy and sunburn, recommending long sleeves and pants when gardening and showering as soon as possible afterward. Dr. Tcheung highlights the rise in bug bites during warmer months and advises to consider using DEET-based products or protective clothing. “When these bites do happen, over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream applied twice daily

may help reduce the inflammation and itching,” she says. “Cold compresses (e.g., ice packs, frozen bag of peas) are also very helpful at reducing itch.”

Dr. Scales warns about the development of contact dermatitis as the result of juice from citrus fruits on the skin becoming exposed to direct sunlight and advises thorough washing after handling citrus fruits. He also highlights the increased sun sensitivity in people with autoimmune diseases such as dermatomyositis and lupus, recommending the highest possible sun protection factor.

When to See a Dermatologist

“All persons should have periodic skin examinations,” Dr. Bressler says. Or “anyone who has questions or concerns about their hair, skin or nails,” Dr. Jackson adds. “Boardcertified dermatologists are medical doctors who have completed medical school, an internship and three or more years of specialized training in dermatology. We treat well over 200 skin conditions.”

All four dermatologists agree that regular visits are crucial for those with a strong family history of melanoma, personal history of skin cancer of any type, and anyone with numerous or abnormal moles, a fair complexion, red hair and a tendency to burn quickly. “Signs of skin cancer may include any lesion that is new and does not resolve in four weeks, [and is] growing, changing, bleeding, painful and/or nonhealing,” Dr. Tcheung says. “Also, those with rashes and skin conditions (like acne, hair loss, vitiligo) that are impacting their quality of life due to itching, burning, tenderness, difficulty sleeping, difficulty focusing, etc., should consider seeing a dermatologist.” 

90 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham
june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 91 Use code DURHAMBEST neighborhoodbarre.com/durham | durham@neighborhoodbarre.com @neighborhoodbarredurham | 4711 Hope Valley Rd, Suite 6B 27707 (valid through September 1, 2024) for a FREE barre class! ($30 Value!) the best NEIGHBORHOOD Best of Durham THREE years running! At NEIGHBORHOOD barre, we are proudly providing the BEST barre in Bull City for all fitness levels, ages + sizes so that YOU can feel confident + strong. 2024 waypointcounselingnc.com | 919.275.1405 With offices in Durham, Raleigh, and virtually statewide, we’re your trusted destination for comprehensive counseling and expert medication management. We prioritize your mental wellness while offering personalized care tailored to your unique needs. Our Mission is to promote the mental health of mothers and women through counseling, treatment and education. Thank you for voting us Best in Durham! 2024

behind-the -scenes blitz

Talking shop with our readers’ favorite event planners


esigning successful events is a true labor of love for these five experts; each thrives on crafting stress-free, unforgettable experiences. Their passion shines through in every detail, from the joy of shared moments to the satisfaction of seeing clients and guests revel in carefree celebrations.

What is a major lesson you’ve learned since you began planning events?

Keosha Joyce Every event will have something that goes wrong! As a wedding planner, it’s my job to remain calm for the client, my staff and myself.

April Pyatt No two events are the same. Every event and every person is different.

Bea Plummer Murphy’s law: What can go wrong, will go wrong. So, prepare as best you can.

Joye Speight Everyone wants the same thing, whether they know it or not: great atmosphere, great energy, the opportunity to experience something new, fresh and innovative, [plus] great food and entertainment. 

Keosha Joyce has operated Enchanting Events & Designs for nine years, offering full-service wedding and event planning, plus event design.

and Giovanni

are sisters and born-and-raised Durhamites. The siblings became business partners when they founded Profound Elegance Romance Concierge Services together in 2016.

began working as a wedding planner in her home state of South Carolina before moving to Durham and establishing her own business, Socialite Events, in 2008.

has 27 years of experience planning both large and intimate events; she started her business, Virtue Events, 24 years ago.

92 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham
Bea Plummer Plummer April Pyatt Durham native Joye Speight


What questions should a client ask an event planner during a consultation?

KJ The client should vet their potential planner to make sure they are credible and capable of managing an event by asking questions like: Do you have liability insurance? What certifications or courses have you taken? Do you have any references who would be willing to speak with me?

AP [First], make sure you know how long they’ve been doing this. There’s something to be said about experience (or lack thereof). Make sure that you get a good feel for their process. Ask: What’s your approach? What are your deal breakers, and what’s your stress level?

Have you planned a Durham-based event that stands out in your memory?

KJ One of my favorite Durham events was a large multicultural wedding held at the

What, When and How?

The planners share answers to their most frequently asked questions

When should I book my event planner?

BP & GP It depends on the type of event and the client’s needs. For example, if the event is a gala, full-service wedding or corporate event, it should be a year from the date of the event.

How often should I expect to hear from you?

KJ Clients can reach out to me at any time; however, I reach out biweekly for general check-ins. Once we are closer to the big day, sometimes I can speak with a client almost daily depending on their needs.

What happens if something changes?

JS Last-minute changes are bound to happen with any event; it’s an unspoken rule. We make sure that we are flexible enough to pivot to solve any problem.

Durham Convention Center. The couple and their guests all had such a fun time, and I was able to learn about traditional Nigerian wedding customs during the planning process.

AP There was a wedding at Bay 7 that we planned. A beautiful venue, beautiful colors, everything from the stationery to the design of the wedding itself was really cool. There were a lot of custom elements; they had a children’s area that we made custom umbrellas for and personalized games. People did not want to leave, and even though it rained that day, it still turned out gorgeous.

JS The Art of Cool Festival, which was a festival focused on reimagining the jazz scene in Durham and introducing new artists, [as well as] Made in Durham: A Little Brother Block Party, which celebrated the 20th anniversary of iconic hip-hop group Little Brother’s album “The Listening.”

Best of Durham
Some of Joye Speight’s most unforgettable gigs with Virtue Events include organizing music festivals, such as “Made in Durham: A Little Brother Block Party.”
94 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024
june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 95 Explore the work of our talented artists & make your appointment at: creativetattooservice.com Follow us on Instagram @creativetattooservice For Walk-In Availability Call: Experience a Creative Tattoo Service at The Studio Old East Durham 919.430.1115 2024 HAIR CARE SKIN CARE WAXING BRIDAL SERVICES 919.683.2109 610 W Main St Suite 101 www.poshthesalon.com 2024

What makes your planning company unique?

KJ I have been in the world of weddings almost all of my life. I believe my genuine commitment to my clients and customer service sets Enchanting Events & Designs apart. We provide more than a service to the majority of our clients – we become a support system during the planning process.

AP I don’t think that anybody will out-work our commitment to getting it right. The level of planning and preparation is pretty toptier to us. I’m [also] very responsive and timely.

GP Besides the fact that we are sisters, our niche is romance planning. We plan events, but our specialty is planning anything romantic – from dates, proposals and weddings to getaways. We are all things romance.

JS Experience, wisdom and the ability to creatively solve problems. Execution and, most importantly, inclusion, equity and planning events with the mindset of, “How can we make an impact for the client, community and vendors?”

What’s your favorite aspect of planning events in Durham?

KJ Durham is such a unique community with so many talented people. I love being able to work with local vendors – you become a family!

AP I love the feel of Durham as a whole. [It] feels very inclusive, and it feels safe. Everybody’s very kid friendly, very family friendly. I’ve never felt out of place in Durham at all.

GP Our favorite aspect of planning events in Durham is the community. Durham has such an eclectic and vibrant community.

JS It’s my home. I love putting on for my city. I also love loving on the people in my city.

Any tips for navigating event permits and regulations in the city?

AP Pay attention to the deadlines. In the City of Durham, we’ve got deadlines for permits – back your timeline into those deadlines, because if you don’t, your event will not be the success that you need it to be.

GP Visit the city website and familiarize yourself with the requirements and deadlines before setting your event date.

JS Start early. Be kind. 

96 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham SPECIALS • PACKAGES • DINING • WEDDINGS • ACCOMMODATIONS perfect romantic getaway awaits! Your perfect getaway awaits! 106 Mason Road, Durham, NC 27712 919.477.8430 arrowheadinn.com  HISTORIC • TRANQUIL • ROMANTIC 2024
your vision, our expertise, unforgettable events Linens | China | Glassware | Flatware | Tables | Chairs 3633 S. ALSTON AVE., DURHAM, NC • (919) 544-1555 AMERICANPARTYRENTALS.COM
Photo by Annie Timmons Photography

The day


Round up the kids and head out on a few of the best family outings in Durham

98 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham

LEFT Sam Xayavong, 7, and Charles Xayavong, 5, race through Sarah P. Duke Gardens.

RIGHT Josie Xayavong, 3, knows the importance of stopping to smell the flowers.

BELOW Bobby Xayavong and April Xayavong enjoy exploring the gardens as a family with Charles, Josie and Sam.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Grab a Map

There’s more than 55 acres to explore, so review a map of the gardens before you visit! It can be difficult to see all of it in one go; planning your route ahead of time ensures you see the areas you and your children are most excited about first. If you’re unsure where to start, head to the front desk in the Doris Duke Center lobby between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. for suggestions, or ask volunteer ambassadors at the Gothic Gate between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Wander Off

Begin your excursion at the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden, home to chickens, various fruits and vegetables, and even carnivorous plants. You can also visit the Discovery Garden’s Story Circle, which integrates literature, art and diverse perspectives into the garden’s educational offerings for children. Here, you can grab a book from the Black Lit Library or create and play with art supplies using natural materials.

Kavanah Anderson, the gardens’ director of learning and community engagement, encourages guests to keep an eye out for plant labels. Parents can download a scavenger hunt from the gardens’ self-guided resources page to search for plants like the whale’s tongue agave or the devil’s walking stick. The garden is full of sights, sounds, smells and feelings, so observe the space around you – and write or draw about your experience! “You can be an artist and a scientist,” Kavanah says. “You can mail us a drawing or a letter to share something you enjoyed about your visit in the mailbox under the grape arbor next to the chicken coop.”

Stop for a Sweet Treat

Warm summer days in the gardens call for an icy treat to cool you and your kiddos down! Stop in at the Terrace Café for a LocoPop, named one of the best frozen treats in Durham; if the cafe isn’t open during your visit, the LocoPops storefront is less than a mile away! Explore more kid-friendly activities and dining options – like Best of Durham honoree Elmo’s Diner – along Ninth Street, and the

june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 99

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, one of our readers’ favorite museums and art galleries, only two blocks from the gardens.

Durham County Main Library

Find a Quiet Spot

Grab a book and cozy up in what Stephanie Bonestell, the library’s public relations officer, describes as “the living room of Durham County.”

“We are very welcoming and inviting,” she says. “It’s such an exciting place.” Browse the stacks for a new favorite series, and find a comfy corner or study room to read with your child. Study rooms are available for all ages and are separated by age groups and floor, so your teens can hang out in the first-floor study rooms while you and your younger children spend time on the second floor. There is also a calming room for children or adults who are overstimulated and need a break from the busyness of the library, as well as a lactation room.

Learn & Play

The library is a great place for reading and studying, but it also offers many activities that cater to a family outing. Parents with younger children can experience the Multi Sensory Environment on the fourth floor of the building, where kids can manipulate aspects of the world around them, including light, sound, smell and touch.

The children’s area on the first floor is also full of fun experiences, including the LiteZilla interactive light wall, a magnet tile wall, touch and read phonics books, word match puzzles and other sensory games. Older kids can head to the Teen Services area of the library, which features a cozy video gaming room as well as a recording studio on the first floor.


Join a Program

The main library campus hosts several year-round programs for families, including regular storytimes for children. Reading programs focus on reading comprehension and phonics, which is particularly helpful for children just starting to read. There is also a STEAM –science, technology, engineering, arts and math – program that regularly collaborates with the children’s unit for fun experiments and projects. The library also hosts a summer reading program and summer learning event starting June 15, featuring projects and events for children, teens and their parents, like family storytimes and an ice cream crawl.

Museum of Life and Science

Come Prepared

Put on your comfiest walking shoes, and get ready to explore the museum’s extensive exhibits! Get to the museum in the afternoon to avoid busy crowds, and be sure to bring a refillable water bottle, sunscreen and even a change of clothes, as some exhibits include water, sand and mud. Pack a light lunch to enjoy at one of the designated outdoor eating areas, or purchase food at the Sprout Café, which serves meals made with local, seasonal ingredients. Keep an eye on the museum’s website for Durham Community Days, when Durham County residents get free access to the museum with proof of residence. 

100 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIC WATERS LEFT Shannon Robinson reads to a captive audience at the Durham County Main Library: Daniel Mai with son Teddy Mai, 5; Zakiya Wiggins with son Zion, 10 months; and Raquel Daniels, 5. Reed Kellner and daughter Isla Kellner, 21 months, enjoy the building blocks at the library. BELOW Amira Kamara, 20 months, plays with toy pipes during a library event on architecture.
june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 101 Creating kind, curious & confident kids since 1989. Year-Round Outdoor Camps & Field Trips Dirty.Tired. Happy . ® Guaranteed. schoolhouseofwonder.org Thank you, Durham! 2711 North Duke Street, Durham, NC 27704 919-220-1416 www.dukestreetsmiles.com Martha Ann Keels, DDS, PhD Erica A. Brecher, DMD, MS M. Gentry Byrd, DDS, MPH We want to keep your child’s smile healthy for a lifetime! The world always looks brighter from behind a smile TOP DENTISTS magazine 2020 We are accepting new patients! 2024

Best of Durham

Stay Indoors

The museum boasts a variety of year-round exhibits, some of which are entirely indoors so the family can keep exploring even on frigid days or during inclement weather. Visit the museum’s Insectarium, Butterfly House or Carolina

Wildlife exhibit to learn about insects and animals both from around the world and native to North Carolina. There is also a mix of hands-on activities for young and older children alike, including the TinkerLab, where children can create and play with unique contraptions while learning about physics, electricity and engineering. The Investigate Health exhibit allows children to study the factors that impact health and wellness.

Get Outside

Catch a glimpse of wild animals – check out the black bear, lemur and tortoise, and red wolf exhibits for a look at these unique animals (and try to spot the adorable new red wolf pups!), and investigate the urban wetland from the boardwalk overlook or at the water’s edge. You can also explore the 2-acre playscape, search for fossils on the Dinosaur Trail or investigate the relationship among rocks, sand and water at the Earth Moves exhibit. When you need a break, take a 10-minute train ride through the museum grounds on the Ellerbe Creek Railway and keep an eye out for creative art installations along the way!

Durham Bulls

Know Before You Go

“We pride ourselves on being family-friendly and affordable entertainment for all guests coming to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park,” says Bulls General Manager Tyler Parsons. He encourages guests to check out the Ballpark Guide on the Bull’s website before coming to the park, as it covers frequently asked questions and provides information on managing tickets, concessions, parking and seating maps. The Bulls also provide sensory accommodations for those who need it, including sensory bags with fidget toys, noise-canceling headphones and designated quiet areas in the First Aid room and behind Lowes Foods Guest Services, so it’s an ideal outing for children of all ages and needs.

Catch a Game

The Bulls have an array of weekly events and promotions for families to check out throughout the summer. Notable games include Bull Durham Night (June 8), Father’s Day (June 16), Marvel’s Defenders of the Diamond Night (June 28) and the biggest game of the year, Independence Day, featuring an elaborate fireworks show (July 4).

Roam Around Downtown

If you aren’t hungry at the park – which offers many local food and drink options like El Jefecito tacos, Pie Pushers pizza and Two Roosters Ice Cream, a Best of Durham honoree for its frozen treats – downtown Durham has plenty of choices! Visit the American Tobacco Campus across the street from the park, where you’ll find an array of places to dine, shop and explore. Or walk a bit farther to discover more Bulls history at the Historic Durham Athletic Park, the old ballpark where the Bulls played from 1926 to 1994. The facility, where many scenes from the movie, “Bull Durham,” were filmed, is still used recreationally. 

102 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024
Observe American black bears as they romp around their habitat at the Museum of Life and Science. PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF MUSEUM OF LIFE AND SCIENCE Ernesto Ortiz and Mary Blessing take their daughters, Lia Ortiz and Luciana Ortiz, out to a ball game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 103 Offering classes for all ages, preschoolers through adults We encourage our dancers to be hardworking, independent, responsible and passionate people in all aspects of their lives. OFFERING CLASSES IN BALLET, MUSICAL THEATER, JAZZ, TAP, HIP HOP & CONTEMPORARY 3642 Shannon Road, Durham, NC 27707 919 489 5100 contact@barriskilldance.com BARRISKILLDANCE.COM 2024 PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAUREN SOIGNET For the Smile Of a Lifetime... We welcome new patients. 919.489.1543 DurhamPDO.com 121 W. Woodcroft Pkwy Durham, NC 27713 Dr. John R. Christensen Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry Dr. Robert T. Christensen Pediatric Dentistry Dr. Jamie L. Molina Pediatric Dentistry 2024 Jump Right In! Mon - Fri: 7:30 am - 5:30 pm Kidz Kamp Drop-In Care provides hourly care, summer/day camp and afterschool in a safe and nurturing environment, while offering activities in a fun space for your child to be creative, socialize and simply have a great time. 919.286.7224 • kidzkampdropin.com 2024

best of Durham 2024



New Restaurant

Isaac’s Bagels

Little Bull

Nanas Seraphine

Overall Restaurant


M Sushi


Plum Southern Kitchen & Bar


Alley Twenty Six

Bar Virgile

Bull City Burger and Brewery

Only Burger


Bull City Burger and Brewery

Burger Bach

The Federal

Heavenly Buffaloes


Eastcut Sandwich Bar

Foster’s Market

Ideal’s Sandwich and Grocery

Parker & Otis



Elmo’s Diner

Guglhupf Bakery & Restaurant


Press Coffee, Crepes & Cocktails

Coffee Shop

321 Coffee

Bean Traders

Cocoa Cinnamon

Joe Van Gogh


Dulce Cafe

Guglhupf Bakery & Restaurant


Rose’s Noodles, Dumplings & Sweets

Place for a Date Night

Alley Twenty Six


M Sushi


Vin Rouge 

104 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham
listed in alphabetical order **The presence of five or more winners is the result of a tie
*All results are
The bar fills up quickly for New Orleans-inspired meals and cocktails at Seraphine, named one of Durham’s best new

At Kate’s Korner, we believe that the most important factor in a child’s development is the quality of their early childhood education experience. That’s why we focus first on our educators, ensuring that they have the necessary tools, both physical and emotional, to be the best possible teachers. We’re proud to be members of the Durham community, committed to providing every child with the opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential.

• Childcare for: infants and toddlers, 2 year olds, 3 to 5 year olds

• Evening care: drop in hours on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings

• Employee benefits: living wage, four day work week, guaranteed 40 hours, mental health support, full health benefits, professional development opportunities.

When a Seed is Planted and Nurtured in Fertile Soil, it Grows Into a Tree that Provides for Many. 919.797.0120 | kateskornerlearningcenter.com Who
How we Serve
*Not Pictured Sam and Aaliyah
Weekday Hours: Monday - Friday 6:30am - 6:00pm Weekend drop in hours on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 6:00pm-11:00pm 2024













Place for Vegetarians




Locals Seafood

M Sushi

Saltbox Seafood Joint



Cosmic Cantina



Taqueria La Vaquita













Luna Rotisserie & Empanadas




Neomonde Mediterranean



Cucciolo Osteria


Mothers & Sons Trattoria


106 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham Wed – Mon: 11:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M. 2024 Thank You Bull City! picnicdurham.com • 919.908.9128   1647 Cole Mill Rd, Durham NC A modern barbecue joint with old-school soul, serving up fried chicken, tasty sides, great beer, craft cocktails, and the best whole hog barbecue around! Voted Best BBQ!
a Late Night
Twenty Six
Velvet Hippo
8 Steakhouse
Rouge Nanas
BBQ Mike D’s
Original Q Shack Picnic Barbecue
Blue Corn Cafe
Happy + Hale
Pure Soul
Pointe Grill & Bar
*All results are listed in alphabetical order **The presence of five or more winners is the result of a tie
Food Dashi
M Sushi Namu
Bomb Asian Bistro
Sushi Asian Bistro
& Lemon Indian Grill
Indian Cuisine
Peruvian Charcoal Chicken
Olive Mediterranean Bistro
Grill & Grocery
Italian Restaurant 
M Restaurant Group chef/owner Michael Lee’s restaurants won in six categories, including best overall restaurant for M Sushi.

Thank you, Durham for choosing Patrick Law, PLLC as

Owner and Attorney Cheri Patrick and Senior Associate Ethan Timmins, on behalf of the attorneys and staff of Patrick Law, PLLC, would like to thank Durham for continuing to choose us among the Best of Durham.

Your continued trust fuels our commitment to excellence in family law, wills and trusts, guardianships, and estates. We’re honored to serve you and to protect what matters most.

919-956-7171 | patricklawnc.com |  Patrick Law PLLC 3805 University Dr., Ste A Durham, NC 27707
Best LawYer. 2023 2022 2024

Best of Durham

*All results are listed in alphabetical order

**The presence of five or more winners is the result of a tie


Cugino Forno

Hutchins Garage

Pizzeria Toro

Randy’s Pizza


Chicken Bee

Grub Durham

Heavenly Buffaloes

M Kokko

Frozen Treats

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams


The Parlour

Pincho Loco Ice Cream

Two Roosters Ice Cream

Kid-Friendly Restaurant

BB’s Crispy Chicken

Bull City Burger and Brewery

Elmo’s Diner

Makus Empanadas

Food Truck

Bulkogi Korean BBQ

Chirba Chirba Dumpling

Only Burger

The Latin Effect


Roberto Copa Matos, COPA

Juan DiGiulio, Succotash

Shawn Holland, Sophisticated Catering and Event Planning

Carrie Schleiffer, Alley Twenty Six

Alejandro Uribe, University Club

Restaurant Catering

Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken

Boricua Soul

Foster’s Market

Makus Empanadas

Saladelia Cafe & Catering

Full-Service Catering

Sage & Swift Gourmet Catering

Sophisticated Catering and Event Planning

Southern Harvest Hospitality Group

University Club

White Clover Catering


Alley Twenty Six


Da Kine’s Kava

The Velvet Hippo


Alley Twenty Six

Bar Virgile


The Velvet Hippo

Craft Alcoholic Beverages

Bull City Ciderworks

Durham Distillery – Conniption

Honeygirl Meadery

Mystic Farm & Distillery –

Mystic Bourbon Liqueur

Wine Shop

Hope Valley Wine & Beverage

LouElla Wine, Beer & Beverage

Total Wine & More

Wine Authorities

Wine Selection at a Bar or Restaurant

Killer Queen Wine Bar


Vin Rouge

ZincHouse Winery & Brewery




Hi-Wire Brewing

Ponysaurus Brewing Co.

Retail Beer Selection

Beer Study

Der Nachbar Bottleshop & Taps

The Glass Jug Beer Lab

Growler Grlz

Draft Beer Selection

Beer Study

The Daily Beer Bar

Der Nachbar Bottleshop & Taps

Growler Grlz

Artisan Food Product

Little Waves Coffee Roasters


The Mad Popper

Melina’s Fresh Pasta


Car Dealership

Hendrick Subaru

Johnson Lexus

Mark Jacobson Toyota

Sport Durst

Gift Store

Casa Bella Market


Mill & Meadow

Parker & Otis

Jewelry Store

Fink’s Jewelers

Hamilton Hill Jewelry


Light Years

Clothing Store

Durham Vintage Collective

Smitten Boutique

Vert & Vogue


Thrift/Consignment Store


Pennies for Change Thrift Boutique

Scrap Thrift

TROSA Thrift Store 

108 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024
The Velvet Hippo, one of Durham’s best new businesses and place to enjoy a late night on the town, was also recognized for its cocktails and nonalcoholic mocktails.
june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 109 2344 Operations Drive, Suite 101 Durham, NC 27705 919-479-9900 | herringbickers.com Thank You Durham! We’re grateful for your support. Thank you for voting us BEST INSURANCE FIRM! 2024 Auto ∙ Home ∙ Commerical ∙ Life • Being charged with a DWI/DUI • Life transitions • Relationship conflicts • Constantly feeling sad or anxious • Death of an important person • Job/School concerns Office: 984.219.7727 | Fax: 984.219.7968 | healingmindsnc.com • DWI/DUI Evaluations • Counseling Services • Sandplay Therapy • Emotional Freedom Technique • Clinical Hypnosis • Trauma Therapy-EMDR • Substance Abuse Group Counseling Services Provided: Reasons for Services: 1415 West HWY 54, Suite 207 Durham, NC 27707 2024

Bringing Clarity to Life!

Dr. Tonica Johnson has performed over 8,000 cataract surgeries over the past 15 years.

Experienced, board-certified and fellowship-trained Ophthalmologist, specializing in Premium Cataract Surgery, Dry Eye Treatment, Glaucoma, Cornea Diseases and Diabetic Eye Disease.

919.999.6093 | 3811 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC Prevention, Health and State-of-the-Art Treatment!

*All results are listed in alphabetical order

**The presence of five or more winners is the result of a tie

Home Furnishings & Accessories

Casa Bella Market

Durham Vintage Collective

TROSA Thrift Store

Vintage Home South Window Designs Inc.

Durham-Made Product

Bright Black

Burt’s Bees


Lo & Behold


New Business


The Common Market


Truss Vet

The Velvet Hippo


Cornwallis Road Animal Hospital

Park Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care

Southpoint Animal Hospital

Willow Oak Veterinary Hospital 

110 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham tonicajohnsonmd.com
Our readers love Fillaree’s refillable liquid soaps, including its Soap & Suds, which pulls double duty as an effective hand soap and a natural body wash.
beyonddentaldurham.com | 919-439-8999 3917 University Dr. Suite 150, Durham, NC Our Team Is Excited To Make You Smile! OUR SERVICES INCLUDE: Up to Date & Down to Earth At Beyond Dental, we believe your best self starts with great oral health. That’s why we’ve built a practice out of going above and beyond for our patients.
• Wisdom Teeth Extraction • Snap-on Denture/ Fixed Dentures • Kör Whitening • IV Sedation • Clear Aligners • Cosmetic Veneers/Crowns • Dental Implants THANK YOU FOR VOTING US BEST OF DURHAM! 2024
Dr. Lei Cao, Dr. Sutasinee Liu

*All results are listed in alphabetical order

**The presence of five or more winners is the result of a tie

Pet Boarding

Camp Bow Wow – North Durham

GoDog Durham

Park Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care

The Pet Wagon Hotel

Pet Sitting

Barbie & Company Pet Services

Bull City Pet Sitting

Dickinson Animal Services

Kate’s Critter Care

Car Wash

Autorific Express Car Wash

Bull City Car Wash

The RipTide Car Wash

TC’s Auto Wash & Detailing of Durham

(soon to be Edge Express Car Wash)

Auto Repair

Chapel Hill Tire – Hillsborough Road

Clayton’s Car Care

Ingold Tire & Auto Service Center

Massey Brothers Automotive

Wasp Automotive

Insurance Agent/Firm

Herring & Bickers Insurance Agency

NC Farm Bureau Insurance Group

The Sorgi Insurance Agency

Lee Strand, State Farm


Coastal Credit Union

M&F Bank

State Employees’ Credit Union



Accurate Tax

Anthony F. Armento, CPA, PC

Balentine & Borg, PLLC

Thomas, Judy & Tucker, PA

Financial Advisor/Investment Firm

Baker Wealth Advisors

Edward Jones

Fidelity Investments

Kuhn Advisors

Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors


Arges Law Firm, PC

Ellis Family Law

The Law Office of Julian M. Hall

Patrick Law, PLLC

Child Care

Kate’s Korner Learning Center

Kidz Kamp Drop In Care

Montessori School of Durham

Primary Colors Early Learning Center

Summer Camp

Barriskill Dance Theatre School

Camp Riverlea

Museum of Life and Science

Schoolhouse of Wonder

Hotel/Bed and Breakfast

21c Museum Hotel

Arrowhead Inn Bed & Breakfast

The Durham Hotel

Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club

Event Planner

Enchanting Events & Designs

Profound Elegance Romance

Concierge Services

Socialite Events

Virtue Events

Event Rental Company

American Party Rentals

Best Tents & Events

Hamer’s Props & Party

Marsh’s Rentals

Professional Photographer

Embody Media + Design

K. Hammock Photography

Ripptowne Photography

Shoot with Bliss Photography


Big Dog Little Bed Productions

Fifty Two Hundred Photo

Little Light Creative

Alex Maness Photography

Mark Maya Films + Photography 

112 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024
of Durham
Darwin Sady is all smiles at Schoolhouse of Wonder, which has held its Durham camps at the 400-acre West Point on the Eno city park for 35 years.
june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 113 SPACES FOR FAMILY | SPACES FOR FRIENDS | SPACES TO LOVE THANK YOU FOR VOTING US BEST RESIDENTIAL BUILDER! gcrabtreespaces.com | office@gcrabtreespaces.com Our addition has greatly improved our lives and we love it. I still can’t believe we went from start to finish with zero problems. Gail and her team just made the process easy. 2024 insightcounselingcenter.net 2024 Thanks for voting our collective of Trauma Informed Therapists 'Best Of' Durham! Are You Ready For A Change? Reach out to us for a virtual or in-person session today and begin learning how to create a life you love! Imagine And Emerge Board-certified reconstructive and plastic surgeon specializing in Gender-Affirming Surgery Since 2005, Dr. Keelee MacPhee has helped patients transition to bodies that align with who they truly are. 919-341-0915 | keeleemacpheemd.com 2024

Tattoo Shop

Dogstar Tattoo Company

Kings Avenue Tattoo

The Studio – Old East Durham

Welcome Tattoo

Sports Club

Durham Queer Sports

Forge Fencing Academy and Club

Hollow Rock Racquet & Swim Club

Triangle Ultimate

United Thai Boxing & MMA

Place to Get in Shape

The 360 Approach

The BodyGames Center

Duke Health & Fitness Center

Fit Lab Studios

GTA Fitness & Performance

Yoga/Pilates/Barre Center

InsideOut Body Therapies

Neighborhood Barre Durham

Pure Barre

Shala Yoga & Meditation

Threehouse Studios

Hair Salon

Bella Trio Salon & Spa


Posh The Salon Wavelengths Salon

Nail Salon

Bliss Nail Bar

La Vie Nail Spa

Lee Spa Nails

Posh Nail Spa



Bella Trio Salon & Spa

Fuzion Professional Massage Therapy

The Retreat at Brightleaf


Dr. Garrett S. Bressler

Dr. Amy Stein Drumheller, Regional Dermatology of Durham

Dr. Brooke Jackson, Skin Wellness Dermatology Associates

Dr. Jeffrey Scales, North Carolina Center for Dermatology

Dr. Janet Tcheung, Triangle Dermatology Associates

Dr. Robin D. Thompson, Regional Dermatology of Durham


Duke Integrative Medicine Center

Heritage Acupuncture & Wellness

New Orchard Wellness

Tara Bianca Rado, LAc, Durham Integrative Health and Acupuncture Center


El Futuro

Healing Minds Therapeutic Services

Insight Counseling Center, PLLC

Markovits Counseling

Radical Healing

Waypoint Counseling & Maternal Wellness

114 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham 2024 Marsh’s Rentals would like to thank Durham Magazine and the Great Community of Durham for voting for us Best Event Rental Company for 2024. It is a Blessing and a Great Honor to be chosen for this Award. Our prayer is to continue to serve this great community, for years to come. May God continue to Bless each and every supporter. marshsrentals.com Voted Best Event Rental Company! Thank you Durham!
*All results are listed in alphabetical order **The presence of five or more winners is the result of a tie


Better Hearing Rehabilitation Center

Duke Otolaryngology & Duke Speech

Pathology and Audiology Clinic

Hearing Health Care Services

North Carolina Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat


Dr. Valentina Degiovanni, Bella Vita Chiropractic

Complete Chiropractic Sports and Wellness

Precision Chiropractic

University Chiropractic

Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon

Gunn Plastic Surgery Center

Dr. Keelee MacPhee

Dr. Ronald E. Riefkohl

Dr. Julie Ann Woodward, Duke Aesthetic Center


Academy Eye Associates

Duke Eye Center

Dr. Tonica Johnson, Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Durham

Rosenstein Vision Center

General Dentistry

Dr. Brent L. Blaylock

Bull City Smiles

Dr. Lei Cao, Beyond Dental

Dr. Desiree T. Palmer, DMD, PA and Associates 

june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 115
Elika Emerick gives Greg Penhaligon a trim at Posh The Salon, named one of Durham’s best hair salons.

*All results are listed in alphabetical order **The presence of five or more winners is the result of a tie

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Dr. Andrew T. Ruvo, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates

Dr. Debra M. Sacco, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates

Dr. Adam D. Serlo, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates

Dr. Brian Vandersea, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates


Dr. John R. Christensen, Durham Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

Dr. Gavin C. Heymann, Smith & Heymann Orthodontics

Dr. Julie H. Mol, Mol Orthodontics

Dr. J. Dempsey Smith, Smith & Heymann Orthodontics


Dr. Deborah A. Conner

Dr. Linda G. Levin, Levin Endodontics

Dr. A.K. Bobby Mallik

Dr. Roger A. McDougal, McDougal Endodontics

Pediatric Dentist

Dr. Robert Christensen, Durham Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

Dr. Jenny Citineni, Smile First Dental

Dr. Amy C. Davidian, Southpoint Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Martha Ann Keels, Duke Street Pediatric Dentistry

often find


Dr. Geoffrey R. Cunningham, Durham Prosthodontics

Dr. R. Kyle Gazdeck, Durham Prosthodontics

Dr. Mark S. Scurria, Triangle Restoration Dentistry

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry


Dr. Ellie Bash

Dr. Arnold T. McClain

Dr. Samantha Robles



Real Estate Agent

Alison Domnas, Inhabit Real Estate

Lisa Ellis, Lisa Ellis & Company, Real Estate by Design

Ken Jackson, Nest Realty

Theresa Olson, Real Estate by Design

Real Estate Company

Inhabit Real Estate

Nest Realty

Real Estate By Design

Urban Durham Realty

West & Woodall Real Estate 


116 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham North Carolina basketball, Beethoven’s 5th, Opening night “Play ball”, Clocks ticking, A puppy’s wimper, Soft summer rain, “Hi Grandma”, and… “I Love you.”
IS THE SOUND OF 14 Consultant Place, Suite 220, Durham • In the same building as Eyecare Center 919-948-1947 BetterHearingDurham.com DR. SHAINA STAPLETON, DOCTOR OF AUDIOLOGY CALL TODAY for your Complimentary Hearing Consultation! 2024 Thank you to all of the voters!
You’ll Realtor Adrian Brown co-founder one of Durham’s best real estate companies, Inhabit Real Estate – responding to emails from the cozy nook of his kitchen at his home in Duke Forest.
june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 117 Little Corner Foundations Experts in foundation repair, new foundations, waterproofing, and drainage! littlecornerfoundations.coop 919-602-2812 | foundations@littlecorner.coop 919-884-6724 | info@littlecorner.coop Thank you Durham! We love collaborating with you on your homes! Specializing in custom remodels large and small, additions, porches, and decks. littlecornerconstruction.coop Call us to schedule your free estimate! 2024

Commercial Builder

BridgePoint General Contracting

Gateway Building Company

LeChase Construction

SGS Contracting

Residential Builder


Dove Creek Contracting

G Crabtree Spaces

Little Corner Construction

Unified Custom Homes

Architect BuildSense

Ellen Cassilly Architect

Grant Group Architecture

Linton Architects

Kitchen Design

CQC Home

Four Over One Design

The Kitchen Specialist

Linda Dickerson Interiors

Little Corner Construction

True Design

Interior Design

12th State Design Co.

Little Mangum Studio

Linda Dickerson Interiors

LK Design

Max Hugo Interior Design 

Best of Durham • Wills and Revocable Living Trusts • Elder and Special Needs Planning • General Power of Attorneys • Healthcare Power of Attorneys • Real Estate Law and Closings Providing over 90 years of legal experience in these areas: Quality Legal Services in a Convenient Location Contact us today to schedule a consultation! 3200 Croasdaile Dr., Ste 706, Durham, NC 919-384-8000 | argeslawfirm.com Thank you for voting us Best Of Durham!
2024 Pictured Left to Right: Jim Arges, Attorney, Felice Hayes, Paralegal, Jeanette Taylor, Paralegal, Deb Shartle, Attorney and Bill Harriss, Of Counsel Attorney Christina Mosley and Brian Mosley completely transformed their unconventional ranch home in Hope Valley – named one of the best Durham neighborhoods – with the help of Grant Group Architecture, a readers’ favorite architect.
presence of five
more winners is the result of
*All results are
in alphabetical order **The

ur team realizes the importance of your dental health and strives to provide all your endodontic needs in a clean, comfortable and stress-free environment. We utilize state-ofthe-art technology to ensure you are receiving the specialized care you deserve.

Using the most advanced knowledge and techniques available today, we can perform many different endodontic treatments with ultimate precision and comfort.

june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 119 TRUE TO YOU • TRUE TO YOUR HOME 919.627.7157 • TrueDesignNC.com Renovation Design Specialist Durham | Chapel Hill | Surrounding Areas 2024 2023 DURHAMENDO.COM PRACTICE LIMITED TO ENDODONTICS AND ENDODONTIC SURGERY

*All results are listed in alphabetical order

**The presence of five or more winners is the result of a tie


Carolina Garden Company

For Garden’s Sake

Lawns by Carlito

TROSA Lawn Care

Landscape Architect & Designer

Carolina Garden Company

John Hykes, Design Bank

For Garden’s Sake

TMTLA Associates


Alpine Roofing

American Craftsmen of North Carolina

Baker Roofing Company

Pickard Roofing Company

Painting Company

Crain Brothers Painting

Gonzalez Painters & Contractors Inc.

Hansell Painting Co.

Zarazua Painting

HVAC Repair

Air Innovations Heating & Cooling LLC

Alternative Aire

Brown Brothers Plumbing and Heating Company

CWJ Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.

Hay’s Heating And Air Conditioning Inc.

Streamline Services Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical


B. Smith’s Electrical LLC

Streamline Services Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical

Vaughan Electric, Co. Inc.

Volt Doctors


Acme Plumbing Co.

Bar D Plumbing

Brown Brothers Plumbing and Heating Company

JD Service Now

Streamline Services Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical

Cleaning Services

Ana’s Cleaning Services

Carpe Diem Cleaning

Lucie’s Home Services

Rosa’s Cleaning Service

Spotless Clean & Carpet Care

Storage Facility

Ample Storage

Brassfield Self Storage

Life Storage

TROSA Moving & Storage

Moving Company

Miracle Movers USA

TROSA Moving and Storage

Truckin’ Movers

Two Men and a Truck


Divine Designs by The Wedding Woman

Ninth Street Flowers

Pine State Flowers

Sanders Florist


Duke Forest

Garrett Farms

Hope Valley

Trinity Park



Dance Studio

All In Dance Academy

Barriskill Dance Theatre School

Davis Dance Company

Fred Astaire Dance Studios

Venue for Community Theater

Carolina Theatre

Hayti Heritage Center

Mettlesome Theater

Walltown Children’s Theatre

Venue for Live Music (Large)

Baldwin Auditorium, Duke University

Carolina Theatre

Durham Central Park

Durham Performing Arts Center

Venue for Live Music (Small)

The Blue Note Grill

Missy Lane’s Assembly Room

Motorco Music Hall

The Pinhook

Art Gallery

21c Museum Hotel

Durham Arts Council

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

Steven Ray Miller Gallery and Frame Shop 

120 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham
Duke Eye Center is Durham’s Choice for Quality Eye Care for the Whole Family Our expert ophthalmologists off er personal, compassionate care along with the latest advancements in eye care. Learn
appointment: DukeEye.org 919-681-3937 Recognized in the “Best of Durham” 2024 reader survey by Durham Magazine
more about us, or

D urham P rostho D ontics

s P ecialists in aesthetic oral restoration

Geoffrey R. Cunningham, DDS, MS, FACP

R. Kyle Gazdeck, DDS, MS, FACP

Drs. Geoffrey Cunningham and Kyle Gazdeck are Board Certified Prosthodontists serving the Triangle region. They specialize in creating custom smiles with dental implants, crowns, veneers, and dentures. Their board certification achievement makes Durham Prosthodontics stand out as the only prosthodontic practice in the Raleigh-Durham area with dually Boarded Specialists. In addition, Durham Prosthodontics is proud to be honored with the American College of Prosthodontics Private Practice Award. This award is only given out to four prosthodontic practices in the nation annually.

Dr. Kyle Gazdeck completed a fellowship in maxillofacial prosthetics at the prestigious Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. This additional training is uncommon, and allows Dr. Gazdeck to treat complex cases involving head and neck cancers or trauma.

Dr. Cunningham loves the art and science of dentistry and is very passionate about the pursuit of clinical excellence. Dr. Cunningham is proud of the fact that many local and out of state dentists come to him for their own dental care.

Conveniently Located Book Your Appt.
LOCATED CLOSE TO I-40 & I-85 3709-D UNIVERSITY DRIVE, DURHAM 919.489.8661 MYDURHAMDENTIST.COM Award-Winning Dental Specialists! 2024












122 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham Thank you for your trust in us! We don’t just manage money. We manage dreams and goals. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Baker Wealth Advisors is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of the strategy selected. Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Marie E. Baker, CFP®, AAMS® President, Baker Wealth Advisors Wealth Manager, RJFS 2828 Pickett Rd, Ste. 100 Durham, NC 27705 www.bakerwa.com | 919.321.1213 Accepting new clients. Visit us online to schedule a complimentary consultation.
21c Museum Hotel Museum of Life and Science
Museum of Art at Duke University
Murray Center for History and Social Justice
Space The Cookery The Fruit Museum of Life and Science ZincHouse Winery and Brewery
Bar + Arcade
Performing Arts Center Museum of Life and Science
County Main Library Museum of Life and Science
P. Duke Gardens
American Dance Festival CenterFest Festival for the Eno Pride: Durham, NC *All results are listed in alphabetical order **The presence of five or more winners is the result of a tie
Srikant Boddapati and Ashley Stacy were married at The Cookery, one of Durham’s top event spaces, on Oct. 14, 2022. (Flip to page 168 to read about another Cookery wedding!) PHOTO BY ROB TESAR PHOTOGRAPHY

going the extra

urham Magazine presents its second Social Impact Award to Meals on Wheels Durham, recognizing its dedicated staff and many volunteers who provide human connection and nourishment for hundreds of homebound Durham residents.

“With a growing elderly

Meals on Wheels Durham’s “more than a meal” motto reminds its volunteers that they deliver smiles and human connection for hundreds of homebound clients.

Meals on Wheels

Durham receives this year’s Best of Durham Social Impact Award


population, rising costs for food and elder care, the needs for MOW Durham have never been greater,” says Ellen Shannon, president of Durham Magazine parent company Triangle Media Partners. “They’ve built an incredible group of partners and volunteers. MOW Durham is serving more people and providing more services than ever before. This is why we’ve awarded them our 2024 Social Impact Award for Durham County.”

“Our motto is ‘more than a meal,’” says Nia Richardson, MOW Durham’s communications and

124 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 Best of Durham

special events coordinator. “We are not only providing food that nourishes the body, but we provide daily connections that nourish the soul.”

MOW Durham has about 10 staff members and more than 300 volunteers who deliver prepared meals to 550 homebound clients, mostly older adults. In some cases, younger clients with physical or developmental limitations also enlist in meal-delivery services. The nonprofit partners with local veterinary clinics – like Falconbridge Animal Hospital, Eno Animal Hospital, Carver Street Animal Hospital, North Paw Animal Hospital, Willow Oak Veterinary Hospital and Broadway Veterinary Hospital – and pet shops including Unleashed, the Dog & Cat Store to collect donations of dog and cat food, providing about 100 pets of homebound older adults with meals as well.

Generous donations – like the $750,000 gift received in December 2020 from author and humanitarian MacKenzie Scott’s philanthropic foundation, Yield Giving – made it possible for MOW Durham to lease a commissary kitchen on Foster Street and sign agreements with Trio Community Meals last fall, allowing the nonprofit to prepare in-house meals for the first time since its founding in 1975.

“Since then, we’ve accomplished remarkable milestones,” Nia says in regard to the donation. “This support allowed us to remove approximately 100 seniors from our waitlist, providing them with weekday meals for a year during the pandemic.”

Nia says the nonprofit strives to improve meal options and hopes to offer medically tailored meals. “In addition to preparing meals for our clients, our commissary kitchen offers catering and other food services to the community,” Nia says. “Revenue generated from these services will support our mission of providing meals to those in need. Proceeds will be reinvested to enhance our programs and feed even more people.”

Remaining funds from the donation have been set aside to secure a new building in the future, she says.

MOW Durham’s “more than a meal” motto extends to volunteers making wellness calls on Wednesdays and Fridays to check in with clients by phone, a program that was established during the pandemic. The organization also partnered with Vaccine Ambassadors to facilitate and administer at-home vaccinations; it’s currently exploring the possibility of partnering with the program again to offer at-home vaccinations for the upcoming year. Additionally, volunteers deliver boxed fans to clients who don’t have functioning air conditioning, and younger volunteers without driver’s licenses write birthday or holiday

There are currently 511 people on Meals on Wheels Durham’s waitlist, representing a 93% increase since last year. “This surge is largely due to the discontinuation of enhanced SNAP benefits in March 2023, which previously provided additional funds for groceries,” Nia Richardson explains. “Coupled with rising food prices and fixed incomes, many seniors are now facing greater difficulties in accessing the benefits they once relied on.”

cards. “So it’s not just the meals we serve; it’s the auxiliary items and services and help from around the community that really help enhance what we provide to our clients to make them feel more vital and seen and connected,” Nia says.

“There are myriad reasons why people would need our services, but we just want people to know that our clients are like everyone else; they love laughing, and some of them love to be on social media,” she says. “They love having conversations. A lot of them love watching TV. Obviously, we are in a sports mecca – that’s always a hot topic. We’re all connected. When you meet someone, you might have a different background or be a different age, but you can connect with them and make them feel special and valued.”

Another way to help is to donate funds to sustain and grow the services that the nonprofit provides. Meals on Wheels Durham marks its 50th anniversary next year. “That’s really special for us,” Nia says, adding that the organization is already planning its sixth annual Feed the Need fundraising gala on Feb. 15, 2025, at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club. “Not only have we been in the community for 50 years, but it’s a great celebration to honor those who’ve supported us through donations and partnering and volunteering.”

“Next year’s gala will be extra special,” says MOW Durham Executive Director Jason Peace. “We’d love to have the largest community turnout yet to help us recognize and celebrate what we’ve achieved together over the past five decades.”

Tickets will be released on MOW Durham’s website in December 2024, and sponsorship opportunities are also available.

126 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024
Best of
june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 127


128 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024
Scott Eblin and Diane Eblin relax in their pollinator paradise, filled with native plants, blueberry bushes and beehives.

charting the course

Empty nesters bring California cool to Croasdaile

“It started in 2019 with a map and pins,” Diane Eblin says. She and her husband, Scott Eblin, had spent years in Los Angeles, but with their two adult sons, Andy Eblin and Brad

june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 129

Eblin, long out of the house, they began to seriously consider making a lifestyle change.

Scott’s brother was already living in North Carolina and his mother was in West Virginia; Diane, who’s originally from the Philadelphia area, also liked the idea of returning to the East Coast, which helped them narrow their scope. “Durham really checked a lot of boxes for us,” Scott says. “We loved the diversity of cultures, the art, food and architecture. It felt like the perfect place to put down roots.”

By January 2021, the Eblins had chosen an ideal lot in Croasdaile Farm, but after deciding on a location, they had a new challenge: navigating the intricacies of building a home from the ground up for the first time. That is, until one day when Diane made a fortuitous acquaintance in an unlikely way – through Peloton.

“I was taking a live class and saw someone who was located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina,” Diane says. “Her username was ‘LuvWhereULive,’ and I knew I had to

130 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 home & garden
ABOVE Diane and Scott shake up a Moscow mule at the bar, which features a custom countertop and fluted wood detailing. RIGHT No North Carolina dream home would be complete without rocking chairs on the porch.
Specializing in kitchen
bathroom remodeling as well as extensive renovation, we help clients all over the Triangle improve their homes with the kind of caring attention that makes us
like family.
Visit cqchome.com or call 919-971-5119 to
your personalized

BELOW A modern four-poster bed anchors the primary bedroom, which overlooks the back

We couldn’t have done this without Allison. She was our advocate and partner.

134 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 home & garden
ABOVE The primary bathroom was inspired by thoughtful touches Scott remembered from his many hotel stays. RIGHT Scott and Diane enjoy a cocktail in the club room, a cozy space ideal for entertaining smaller groups – or simply unwinding with a book after work. The pair run the Eblin Group, an executive coaching and leadership development firm with national and international clientele. garden. The walls are painted in Sherwin Williams’ “Moscow Midnights.”

reach out.” She contacted Allison Sloan Polish, and the pair hit it off, following each other on Instagram. Allison launched her interior design business, Sloan Polish Design, a month later; it was a no-brainer for Diane and Scott to hire her and help them envision their dream home.

The trio worked together through a series of consultations to tailor a concept that incorporated multiple entertaining hubs, indoor-outdoor living spaces and locally sourced furnishings. “I was especially lucky that Scott and Diane had the foresight to hire me at the planning stage, far prior to groundbreaking,” Allison says. “It had a huge impact on the result,

june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 135
BY THE NUMBERS 5,500 square feet 4 bedrooms 4.5 bathrooms 2021 design begins 2023 construction & design completed

ABOVE LEFT Diane takes classes at Carolina Stained Glass on Guess Road and displays some of her stained glass works in her home studio.

ABOVE RIGHT The open living area can be extended into the back patio thanks to accordion glass doors.

BELOW No media room would be complete without a home theater. Scott and Diane chose to decorate with iconic movie posters from the 1980s.

136 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 home & garden


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w e ’ v e v o w e d t o s t a y i n d e p e n d e n t

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because I was able to weave a cohesive thread through all of the decisions, from plumbing, tile, lighting and paint to couches, tables, rugs, window treatments and even landscaping.”

The Eblins selected Hearthstone Luxury Homes to execute the design, and in December 2021 moved to Croasdaile Farm’s Woodstone Apartments; a year later, they got Scott’s mom, Judy Eblin, settled there as well.

Allison was able to source all of the furnishings and store them in a warehouse during the 18-month build period, and installed everything in a single day. The pandemic exacerbated typical building project hurdles, including supply chain disruptions and

138 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 home & garden
n t o b e i ng l o c a l l y o w n e d ,
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A wet bar with geometric tile backsplash and textured countertop keeps snacks and drinks handy in the media room.

labor shortages, but the couple remained undeterred, and the home was completed in 2023. “Each project has its quirks and challenges, but where there is a will, there is a way,” Allison says. “Trust your instincts, and stick to your guns.” Their patience paid off. Stepping inside the front door, a sweeping staircase draws the eye upward. A glamorous Hollywood Regency-inspired dining room features velvet wallcoverings, plush seating and a sparkling crystal chandelier. “This is our nod to California,” Scott says. An open living space connects to a semicircular bar, kitchen and informal dining space. 

140 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 home & garden
ABOVE The foyer is both grand and grounded, featuring warm wood floors, modern stair railings and plenty of natural light. LEFT The backyard provides a relaxing escape, seamlessly blending native plantings with hardscapes and natural stone.

The heart of the house lies in its spacious kitchen, where recipes sourced from Diane’s extensive cookbook collection – housed in a hidden pantry – are brought to life. A hub of activity during family gettogethers, every surface is covered with intricate charcuterie boards, one of Diane’s many artful pursuits. “A lot of thought went into designing our kitchen,” Scott says. “It’s a place where we gather, cook and connect.”

Judy frequently joined Scott and Diane for dinner. “It was great having her a 10-minute walk away,” Scott

142 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 home & garden
Dry Cleaning • Laundry (Wash & Fold and Wash & Hang) Alterations • Gown Preservation • Shoe Repairs Complimentary Pickup & Delivery Durham 1810 MLK Jr. Pkwy Carrboro 101 Two Hills Dr. Raleigh 4040 Ed Dr. 919.438.0450 • deluxecleanersnc.com     With Deluxe Cleaners, it’s not just about the clothes. It’s about giving you back your time and tranquility. Trust us to handle the details, so you can focus on what matters most. Choose Deluxe Cleaners. Choose peace of mind. durhamacupuncture.org Our non-profit mission is to offer effective, comprehensive, integrative holistic care for Triangle area patients. We are a 501C3 organization conveniently located in Downtown Durham. Come See Us If You’re Experiencing: Stress • Anxiety • Depression • Insomnia Chronic & Acute Pain • Headaches Hormonal Issues like PMS & Irregular Periods, Or for Fertility, Pregnancy, Postpartum Care & More Thank you for your vote of BEST ACUPUNCTURIST! 2024 The dining room features plush textures, deep colors and sparkling metallic fixtures –a fresh take on old Hollywood luxury.

says. “I saw her every day, and we loved spending time together.” Sadly, Judy passed away in February 2024, but left Diane and Scott with many fond early memories of their new home. “We’re both really grateful that we had the time that we did,” he says. Upstairs, a state-of-the-art home theater and game room, complete with a bar, neon signage and vintage movie posters, takes the home’s entertaining function to the next level. “We love music, movies and hockey,” Scott says, “so this is perfect for enjoying all of that with a crowd.” 

june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 143 home & garden • Kitchen and Bath Renovation, Room Additions, Screened-in Porches and Decking • Authorized Dealer for Wellborn, Waypoint, Diamond, Green Forest, Kountry Kraft Cabinetry plus Hardwoords and Luxury Vinyl Plank, Luxury Vinyl Tile, Carpeting and More. • In-house Design Utilizing CAD Software • In-house Trade Teams • 5.0««««« Google-Rated Home Renovation and Review Rating Remodeling at its Finest − Craftmanship, Value and Trust housingsolutionsinc.com • 919-296-9073 • contact@housingsolutionsinc.com Housing Solutions, Inc. is your award-winning Durham, Orange, and Chatham County partner for quality design and craftsmanship. Recently awarded first place for best whole-house renovation, best kitchen, and the people’s choice winner by Durham, Orange and Chatham County Home Builders Association, Housing Solutions specializes in custom whole-house, kitchen and bath renovations, as well as home additions, screened-in porch and deck additions or expansions Office and Showroom: 230A ORANGE GROVE ST. HILLSBOROUGH, NC Ryan Holden, Housing Solutions owner named: 2023 TOP FORTY UNDER 40 INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL by ProRemodeler Magazine
Allison Sloan Polish, Diane and Scott gather at the kitchen island to enjoy one of Diane’s signature charcuterie boards.

“Some of the most complicated, hardest-fought finishing details, like the hidden door in the media room, became the greatest triumphs,” Allison adds.

A curated art collection adorns the walls throughout the home, with each piece representing a significant place or memory for the Eblins. Colorful works in an array of styles reflect an appreciation for local talent – including Diane’s – and infuse each room and hallway with personality.

Diane’s upstairs art studio is a sanctuary for more creative expression, where she dreams up both paintings and stained glass works. Framed photos of Andy and Brad with their respective partners, Donna Mena and Renee Beckwith, bring cheer and charm to the kitchen.

“The art in our home tells a story – it’s a reflection of who we are and the journey we’ve been on,” Diane says. Scott’s office, a simple

yet functional space with midcentury modern touches, and a home gym round out the second floor.

Outside, the backyard is a haven for pollinators. Native plants, blueberry bushes and Buddha Bee Apiary beehives pay homage to the land’s previous life as a farm. “Incorporating a beekeeping operation was important to us,” Diane says. “It’s a reminder of our connection to the land and our responsibility to preserve it for the future.”

The steep lot was transformed into a terraced oasis designed by Old North State Landscape Development in partnership with Allison. Large amounts of excavated stone was repurposed into landscape accents.

In their new Durham home, the Eblins have carved out a place where California dreams blend seamlessly with their life in North Carolina, weaving together a lifetime of experiences into a forever home overflowing with personality.

144 | durhammag.com | june/july 2024 home & garden
The upstairs media room features a photo collection depicting notable musical performances by artists ranging from Linda Ronstadt to Led Zeppelin.
june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 145 Gerald brings over 12 years of experience successfully selling homes quickly while getting top dollar. Sellers receive the same full exclusive service and representation without paying a high commission or any hidden fees. SELL YOUR HOUSE FOR A 1% LISTING FEE! Get top dollar for your home while saving money on commission! Get more info at ListwithGerald.com Learn More! Experience and Dedication You Can Count On! Your Veteran Realtor gerald@allamericanrealtor.com | 919.423.6738 Chapel Hill 1506 E. Franklin St, Suite 304 Chapel Hill, NC 27514 (919) 493-4911 Durham 2919 Colony Rd Durham, NC 27705 (919) 493-4911 Mebane 1107 S. 5th St., #200 Mebane, NC 27302 (919) 493-4911 Roxboro 424 N. Madison Blvd., St., A Roxboro, NC 27573 (919) 493-4911 smithandheymann.com Jump Into A Healthy, Confident Smile This Summer! From Our Board-Certified Orthodontists! Leave with the smile you’ve always wanted using our custom Damon Braces and Invisalign treatments. Schedule your FREE consultation today! 2024
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pet CITY

Dog parents unleash Fido-friendly hot spots

Shake up the routine walk around the neighborhood, and set off on a howling good adventure with your fourlegged friend. Durham is home to plentiful places that you and your pups are sure to love, but we wanted to highlight a few of the most fetching locales; so, we asked three local dog owners who are popular with pup parents on Instagram to share their tips for the best day out in the Bull City.


Dog mom Kisha Buie is ever busy juggling her lively pack of pups: giant schnauzer Kingsley, goldendoodle Char and standard poodle Majesty. Kisha carefully considers several factors when venturing out with her fluffy squad: the crowd level, the amount of green or outdoor space, availability of water and waste disposal stations, and the sociability of other dogs in the area.

Kisha says the American Tobacco Trail is her go-to spot for hikes. “It’s paved and easy to walk, plus you’ll meet lots of friendly dogs along the way,” Kisha says. Sarah P. Duke Gardens during its dogfriendly hours (before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m.) is another idyllic locale offering serene vistas and a breath of fresh air.

Kisha’s recommendations extend to dog-welcoming breweries like Hi-Wire Brewing, Ponysaurus Brewing Co. and The Glass Jug

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Beer Lab (both its downtown and Research Triangle Park location) as well as rooftop bar The Velvet Hippo, which invites dog owners to bring their furry companions to its “yappy hours” on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Kisha also points to Boxyard RTP for an all-around good time for parents and pups. She often makes a stop at Buzzy Bakes for a pup cup and Meat & Graze for a “barkuterie box” with dog-friendly cheese, fruits and meats. Kisha also ensures her pups don’t miss out on the Triangle’s many vibrant, Fido-focused events, favoring Bark in the Park baseball games at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and Triangle Pop-Up’s “Pop-Up for Pups” markets. Follow along on the adventures of Kisha and crew on their Instagram, @kingsleyandcharlamagne


Michelle Shaffer founded The Dog Moms of Durham, a volunteer-run nonprofit working to build a stronger dog community, in summer 2023. The group hosted a dozen social meetups in its first six months (with plans to double that number in 2024), so Michelle knows a thing or two about what gets tails wagging.

Michelle prioritizes the comfort of her pup, Lachlan, when she takes him out in the city. “I like to find a place that is not very crowded, but very welcoming to dogs,” she says, “a place that allows my dog to get good mental stimulation.”

One delightful spot for both dogfriendly treats and human indulgences is EverLou Coffee, where furry companions can savor their very own pup cup. Like Kisha, Michelle also recommends a trip to Boxyard RTP (pictured left) – dog parents can groove to live music and sip on drinks while their pooches play in the Barkyard, a park with separate areas for large and small dogs, play furniture and fresh water sources. “You can let your pup get

out his zoomies before heading inside to get dinner,” Michelle says. She also suggests Growler Grlz in South Durham for Thursday night trivia on its pet-welcoming patio.

One of Michelle’s fave dog-centric events is Canine Field Day, which Durham Parks and Recreation hosts at Rock Quarry Park in April. The extravaganza offers dogs a chance to participate in games for fabulous prizes, while their human companions indulge in treats from various vendors and food trucks. DPR hosts several dog-focused events throughout the year, including its Dog-Gone Egg Hunt and Santa Paws. Find out more at dprplaymore.org/specialevents, and keep up with The Dog Moms of Durham’s latest meetups, event appearances and festivals by following @thedogmomsofdurham on Instagram.


Meghan Bouney and her pup, Dewey, have explored almost every dog-friendly corner of the Triangle. One of their top hikes is the trail to Sennett’s Hole at West Point on the Eno (above). You can keep up with the duo on their Instagram, @tailsofthetriangle.

june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 149 Dog-Friendly Gems

animal house

A guide to area vets, animal hospitals, groomers, boarders, pet sitters and trainers




Academy Veterinary Hospital 1000 N. Miami Blvd., Ste. 247 avh.vetstreet.com; 919-688-6628

Alexander at the Park Veterinary Hospital 2945 S. Miami Blvd., Ste. 125 alexanderattheparkvethospital.com; 919-484-9900

Special services Dental care, radiographs, neuters and surgery

Bahama Road Veterinary Hospital 101 Bahama Rd., Bahama bahamaroadvet.com; 919-471-4103

Special services Dental care, digital radiography and ultrasounds

Banfield Pet Hospital

202 W. Hwy. 54, Ste. 505; 919-316-1046 3615 Witherspoon Blvd., Ste. 101; 919-402-8801 1720 North Pointe Dr.; 919-620-8142; banfield.com

BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital 7015 N.C. Hwy. 751 bluepearlvet.com; 919-600-6600

Special services Emergency care from Tuesdays at 7 a.m. through Thursdays at 7 p.m.

Broadway Veterinary Hospital 823 Broad St. bvhdurham.com; 919-973-0292

Special services Dental care and medical day boarding

Bull City Veterinary Hospital 605 Fernway Ave. bullcityveterinary.com; 919-973-3434

Special services Laser therapy, Chinese medicine and acupuncture

Carver Street Animal Hospital 2703 Carver St. carverstreetanimalhospital.com; 919-477-7319

Special services Dental care

Colony Park Animal Hospital 3102 Sandy Creek Dr. cpah.net; 919-489-9156

Special services Preventative care, dental care, boarding and grooming

Cornwallis Road Animal Hospital 206 W. Cornwallis Rd. cornwallispetcare.com; 919-489-9194

Special services Acupuncture, cold laser therapy, general wellness and dental care

Durham Animal Hospital 4306 N. Roxboro St. durhamanimalhospital.com; 919-620-7387

Ellis Crossing Animal Hospital OPENING SOON 1034 Yunus Rd., Ste. 130 elliscrossinganimalhospital.com; 919-268-8550

Eno Animal Hospital 116 Goodwin Rd. enoanimalhospital.com; 919-471-0308

Special services Fear Free-certified professionals, dental care and dentistry, surgery and specialty surgery, laser therapy, grooming and boarding 

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PHOTO Camille Serrano and Leo Serrano hang out with their family dog, Zion.



A shy but curious cat, Yara needs time to adjust, but then she’ll begin exploring and playing on her own. After struggling in the shelter environment, she was taken in by a wonderful foster who has given her room to open up. This sweet girl has been with APS for more than 400 days and is ready to find a forever home.


He is sweet and loves to play with other dogs – Kovu is always happy to join play group and see other friends on his daily walks. He can be a little nervous when it comes to humans, but staff at the shelter believe that with time and patience, Kovu will wiggle his way into your life and that your heart will never be the same.

Adoption fees for cats are $95 and $50 for the second cat when adopting two together. Dog adoption fees range from $125 to $175. Fees for other animals vary. The shelter, located at 2117 E. Club Blvd., is open Mon.-Tue. and Thu.-Fri., 10:30am-5pm; Wed. 10:30am-6pm; and Sat. 10am-2pm. For more information, call 919-560-0640 or visit apsofdurham.org.

june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 151 SPONSORED CONTENT
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A one-stop shop for your fur baby. Voted Best Vet by Durham Magazine readers!

Pet Resources

Falconbridge Animal Hospital 1401 W. Hwy. 54 falconbridgeanimal.com; 919-403-5591

Special services Cat boarding, nail trims and dremels, acupuncture, grooming, ultrasounds, exotic pet treatment and drop-off services

HomeVet Mobile Veterinary Care homevetmobilenc.com; 919-644-6400

Local Mobile Veterinary Service localmobilevet.com; 919-219-4919

Special services Acupuncture, ultrasounds and therapeutic laser treatments

New Hope Animal Hospital 5016 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. nhah.com; 919-490-2000

Special services Dental care

North Paw Animal Hospital 5106 Guess Rd. northpawanimalhospital.com; 919-471-1471

Special services Dental care, laser therapy and grooming

Page Point Animal Hospital & Pet Resort 115 Page Point Circle pagepointnc.com; 919-647-9691

Special services Dental care, laparoscopic services, Fear Free practice, boarding, grooming and day care

Park Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care 735 W. N.C. Hwy. 54; parkveterinaryhospital.com; 919-544-3758 (call); 919-864-2939 (text)

Special services Cat-friendly practice offering primary care, dental care, laser therapy, board-certified ultrasounds, orthopedic surgery and boarding

Parkwood Animal Hospital 5107 N.C. Hwy. 55, Ste. 101 parkwoodvet.com; 919-544-7711

Quail Roost Animal Hospital 120 Quail Roost Farm Rd., Rougemont quailroostanimalhospital.com; 919-471-0737

Special services Dental care

Raleigh-Durham Veterinary Hospital 110 Robbins Rd. rduvet.com; 919-598-0001

Special services Dental care and preventative medicine

Southpoint Animal Hospital 5601 Fayetteville Rd. southpointpets.com; 919-226-0043

Special services Drop-off services, same-day services, surgery and dental care

St. Francis Animal Hospital 2005 North Pointe Dr., Ste. 8 stfrancis.vet; 919-620-7729

Synergy Mobile Veterinary Surgery synergyvetsurg.com; 919-756-3232

Special services Travel to primary veterinary clinics for surgery

The Bird Hospital: Avian Veterinarian Services 3039 University Dr. thebirdvet.com; 919-490-3001

Special services Provides health care to birds only

The Cat Hospital of Durham & Chapel Hill 5319 New Hope Commons Dr., Ste. 102B cathospitaldurhamch.com; 919-489-5142

Special services Dental care and boarding for cats

Triangle Veterinary Hospital 3301 Old Chapel Hill Rd. trianglevet.com; 919-489-2391

Special services Dental care, stem cell therapy, boarding and grooming, orthopedic surgery and ultrasounds

Triangle Veterinary Referral Hospital 608 Morreene Rd. tvrhdurham.com; 919-489-0615

Special services 24/7 emergency care

Truss Vet

3105 Shannon Rd., Ste.102 trussvet.com; 919-457-4457

Special services Urgent care veterinary services

Tyson Animal Hospital 5415 N.C. Hwy. 55 tysonanimalhospital.com; 919-544-8297

Special services Acupuncture, boarding, bathing, hyperthyroid treatment and dental care

Urban Tails Veterinary Hospital 800 Taylor St., Ste. 9-155 urbantails.vet; 984-219-2579

Special services Fear Free-certified veterinary care and dental care

Vetco Total Care Hospital 8200 Renaissance Pkwy., Ste. 1012 petco.com; 984-219-8583

Special services Dental care

Veterinary Dental Clinic of North Carolina

3702 Hillsborough Rd., Ste.1 vdcnc.com; 919-321-4878

Special services Advanced dental care, restorative dentistry and 3D imaging

Westside Animal Hospital 3653 Hillsborough Rd. westsideanimal.com; 919-383-5578

Special services laser therapy, comprehensive dental care and oral surgery

White Oak Mobile Vet Serves the South Durham area. whiteoakmobilevet.com; 919-880-0788

Willow Oak Veterinary Hospital 1012 Broad St. willowoakvet.com; 919-908-6744

Special services Dental care and orthopedic care


Beth’s Barks N Bubbles 2710 Chapel Hill Rd., Ste. 3; 919-824-5947

Dog Stylists Inc. 3401 University Dr., Ste. C dogstylistsinc.com; 919-489-9364

Special services Medicated soaks

Elliotte’s Pet Spa & Salon Inc. 3002 Guess Rd. elliottespetspa.com; 919-381-5906

Pampered Pooch 3123 N. Roxboro St. durhampamperedpooch.com; 919-220-1083

Special services Flea treatments and nail trimming for dogs, and standard grooming

Pam’s Paw Prints 2919 Guess Rd. pams-paw-prints.business.site; 919-471-4729

Petco (Southpoint) 8200 Renaissance Pkwy., Ste. 1012 stores.petco.com/nc/durham; 919-572-9638

Special services Nail trimming for dogs, pet hospital, dog training classes

Petco (South Square) 4011 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. stores.petco.com/nc/durham; 919-401-2464

Special services Cat grooming and small- and large-breed dog grooming

Mema’s Grooming 4613 Guess Rd. memasgrooming.com; 984-900-6362

Special services Specializes in senior and special needs pets; owner is a registered veterinary technician

Special services Nail trimming for dogs, private dog training lessons

PetSmart (North Pointe) 1720 North Pointe Dr. petsmart.com; 919-471-6474

Special services Nail trimming for dogs

PetSmart (Patterson Place) 3615 Witherspoon Blvd., Ste. 101 petsmart.com; 919-403-6902

Special services Nail trimming for dogs

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Puppy Love Pet Grooming

5410 N.C. Hwy. 55, Ste. B puppylove-rdu.com; 919-572-6699

Special services Teeth brushing and nail trimming

Livy’s Lavish Self Wash & Grooming 105 W. Hwy. 54, Ste. 255 livyslavishwash.com; 919-237-2444

Special services Teeth brushing and nail trimming for dogs, as well as self-wash stations

Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming

1837 Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy. woofgangbakery.com; 919-321-0234

Special services Teeth brushing, nail trimming, ear cleaning, flea & tick shampoo, de-shed package, as well as self-wash stations and a retail component with pet supplies


The Barkmore House

3706 Kilgo Dr. thebarkmorehouse.com; 984-312-4497

Day care, September through May, and dog boarding

Camp Bow Wow – North Durham 4310 Bennett Memorial Rd., Ste. 105A campbowwow.com/north-durham; 919-309-4959

Dog day care, boarding and grooming

Creature Comforts Inn

200 W. Cornwallis Rd. creaturecomfortsinn.com; 919-489-1490

Dog, cat, avian and exotic pet boarding, dog day care and dog bathing

DOGDRM dogdrm.com

Playcare and boarding for dogs

Dog Tales Day Camp and Boarding 1204 Patterson Rd. dogtalesnc.com; 919-691-7613

Dog day care and boarding

GoDog Durham 4350 Garrett Rd. godoghq.com/durham; 919-246-7530

Dog day care, dog bathing, and dog and cat boarding

GoDog Research Triangle Park 2612 S. Miami Blvd. godoghq.com/research-triangle-park; 919-373-3013

Dog day care, dog bathing, and dog and cat boarding

Must Love Petz 848 Saratoga Dr. mustlovepetz.com; 404-245-8864

Pet’s Companion Inn 8411 Roxboro Rd., Bahama petscompanioninn.com; 919-477-0618

Day care, dog and cat boarding

The Pet Wagon Hotel

3215 Old Chapel Hill Rd. thepetwagon.com/durham-nc; 919-757-6085

Day care, dog and cat boarding

Sunny Acres Pet Resort

5908 U.S. Hwy. 70

sunnyacrespetresort.com; 919-383-4238

Dog day care, dog grooming, pet transportation, and boarding for dogs, cats and other small pets


Barbie & Company Pet Services


Cat sitting and dog walking in South Durham

BlueHound Pet Care bluehoundpetcare.com; 919-201-7081

Serves Bahama and limited parts of Rougemont and northern Durham

Bull City Pet Sitting 902 Cleveland St. bullcitypetsitting.com; 919-740-7481

Dog walking, trail walks, daily visits and home care

Dickinson Animal Services 101 E. Delafield Ave. dickinsonanimalservices.com; 919-323-5341

Daily visits for pet and farm sitting; small dog boarding

Dogwalk dogwalktalk.com; 919-697-6048

Small, queer-owned business specializing in daily dog walking and dog and cat care in central Durham, operating Monday through Friday

Durham Cat Company durhamcatcompany.com; 919-548-2751

Specializes in cat care, offering premier in-home cat sitting services in South Durham and surrounding areas

Durham Pet durhampet.com; 310-743-3367

Dog walking, trail walks, daily visits, pet sitting, overnight stays and home care. Serves Duke and downtown Durham.

Fetch! Pet Care of Greensboro to Durham greensborodurham.fetchpetcare.com; 336-506-7227

Serving Greensboro to Durham, also servicing parts of Chapel Hill

Kate’s Critter Care katescrittercare.com; 919-943-8083

Daily visits, overnight stays and home care. Serves South Durham

Lucy’s Pet Care lucyspetcare.info; 919-451-3773

Dog walking, daily visits, home care and pet sitting

Nose, Toes & Tails Pet Care nosetoestails.com; 919-418-3899

In-home vacation care, daily dog walks, pup play dates, pet taxi/shuttle, trail excursions, pet concierge service and customized pet care bundles. Serves communities in and around Orange and Durham counties.

Paula’s Pawsome Pets paulaspawsomepets.com; 919-210-4147

P3 camp, dog walking and pet sitting for all animals. Serves communities in and around Orange, Durham and Person counties.

Paws Up Pet Nanny 919-323-9099

Daily dog walking, dog and cat vacation care. Serves South Durham near Southpoint Mall.

Two Girls and a Leash LLC 2girlsandaleash.com; 919-471-4597

Dog walking, daily visits, pet sitting, horse and farm care. Serves Bahama, North Durham and parts of Rougemont and Timberlake.

Very Important Pets Professional Pet Sitting vippetsitting.com; 919-419-1647

Dog walking and pet sitting. Serves Durham and Orange counties.

Wing Hoof and Paws winghoofandpaws.com; 919-818-5013

Dog walking, daily visits farm sitting, behavioral therapy and overnight stays

Zen For Your Zoo zenforyourzoo.com

LGBTQ+ women-owned, Certified Professional Pet

Sitter providing personalized care for pets in your home. Serves South Durham.


Always Pawsitive Dog Training alwayspawsitive.com; 919-457-7956

Specialties Puppy training and behavior modification for adult dogs including leash reactivity, fearfulness and general obedience

Collegiate Canine collegiatecanine.com

Specialties In-home private dog training & behavior services specializing in pre-purchase counseling, dogdog aggression, fearful behavior and separation anxiety

Dogability Dog Training 3215 Old Chapel Hill Rd. dogabilitync.com; 919-757-6095

Dog Academy of North Carolina 1215 Stone Rd. dogacademyofnc.com; 919-645-7853

Specialties Training for new dogs and correction of problem behaviors

K9 Disciples Dog Training k9disciples.com; 919-525-3375

Specialties Training Without Conflict certified; reliable obedience, behavior modification in reactivity, resource guarding, anxiety, human and dog aggression

Learning to Dog 902 Cleveland St. learningtodog.com; 919-451-4226

Specialties Puppy training, puppy classes, leash reactivity

Marcia’s Best Dogs marciasbestdogs.net; 336-202-3647

Specialties In-home dog training

Off Leash K9 Training 2304 Coley Rd. raleighncdogtrainers.com; 919-849-3974

Specialties Reliable obedience, behavior modification, anxiety, human and dog aggression

Pawsitive Beginnings Dog Training pbwalks.com; 919-626-4933

Pin Up Pup Training pinuppuptraining.com; 760-277-5659

Specialties Puppy training, positive reinforcement training, AKC Canine Good Citizen Training, board and train, pet sitting, dog walking, basic obedience, fear and reactivity, trick training

Whole Dog Institute

5922 U.S. Hwy. 70 Bus. wholedoginstitute.com; 919-452-3764

Yay Dog!

yaydog.com; 919-616-5048 (text first)

Specialties National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors certified; adolescent dogs, TBTE training strategies, working in public with your dog

june/july 2024 | Durhammag.com | 153 Pet Resources
Gabe Hutton and Anka, one of his two Australian shepherds who often keep him company in his home office.



Clean energy and climate technology firm 8 Rivers appointed Texas attorney Christopher Richardson as its new CEO. “Chris is an energy industry veteran with experience developing, financing and executing largescale energy and infrastructure projects,” the company wrote in an announcement on LinkedIn. “Under his leadership, 8 Rivers will continue to champion and deliver net-zero solutions to help the world achieve its climate goals.” Richardson will be based in both Houston and Durham, where he plans to spend most of his time.

Puja Rios joined software company Kevel as the organization’s new president and chief operating officer. Rios brings more than 25 years of software industry experience to the role; she formerly served as COO of the New York-based company, Frame.io. “I am proud to join a company where innovation knows no bounds and where we are redefining what’s possible in the ever-evolving landscape of retail media,” Rios said. Her appointment comes at a critical time for Kevel, as its ad spend is expected to increase 10.4% to $141.7 billion in 2024.

Education technology company IXL Learning Inc. leased an additional 22,309 square feet at Perimeter Park, which is located off I-540 and I-40, bordering Airport Boulevard and Highway 54. IXL Learning now occupies the entirety of 1600 Perimeter Park Dr., a 90,089-square-foot, four-story, Class A building, marking the company’s fifth expansion since establishing its East Coast headquarters at the 1500 Perimeter building in 2016. Trinity Partners Managing Partner William Allen and Office Leasing Director Alex Dunn represented the landlord, Perimeter Park Offices, LP. (Mapletree), under Mapletree US Income Commercial Trust. Coldwell Banker Commercial Westbay Real Estate’s Andrew Peceimer and Brian Farmer of Lee & Associates represented IXL Learning.

Mystic Farm & Distillery announced in April that it raised more than $1 million from investors in its first ever investment round, marking the only time Mystic has accepted outside investments since its founding in 2013. More than 450 investors placed more than 500 investments in the round. “To go from 150 barrels per year in 2023 to a target of 300 per year was going to take four or five years if we continued to bootstrap bourbon production using reinvested profits,” Mystic founder Johnathan Blitz said. “But we believed that our customer base is engaged enough to help us double production and invest in some additional process and brand optimizations.” The need for investments stems from the growing popularity of the distillery’s Broken Oak offering, which was crowned by the San Francisco World Spirits Competition as the “Best Small Batch Bourbon Up to 5 Years.”

Coding school Momentum announced its decision to close in March after six years in operation. “While we’ve had an impactful journey and are incredibly proud of the community that has been built around our business, a myriad of market challenges has forced us to consider the viability of Momentum’s business in the future,” the company stated in an

announcement on LinkedIn. “As a result of the fundamental changes in the technology industry, we no longer believe our service offerings align with the future needs of the customers we serve.”

Breeze Airways and Sun Country Airlines both began operating out of Terminal 1 at the RaleighDurham International Airport in April. The change will maximize gate space in both terminals and accommodate continued passenger and flight growth. Additionally, Frontier Airlines added routes to Boston, Miami, LaGuardia in New York City, Tampa and O’Hare in Chicago.

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Triangle-based automotive service provider Chapel Hill Tire announced the groundbreaking of its 12th location at 5588 Highgate Rd. in Durham. “We’re excited to bring our ‘work happy, drive happy’ philosophy to Durham with the opening of our newest location,” said Chapel Hill Tire President Marc Pons. “By prioritizing employee satisfaction, we believe we can enhance the overall customer experience and spread positivity both on and off the road.”


A recent CoworkingCafe study ranked Durham-Chapel Hill as the No. 3 best U.S. metro for master’s of business administration students and graduates, based on environment and opportunities for MBA graduates from both a professional and personal standpoint. The study found that the region has the fifth-highest share of the population aged 25 or older holding graduate and professional degrees (23.3%) with a low unemployment rate (1.2%) among graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Further, Durham has the second-largest concentration of coworking spaces, at 4.4 per 100,000 residents, giving business professionals and entrepreneurs a greater opportunity to collaborate and network.

Durham ranked No. 9 in a WalletHub report of the best large U.S. cities to start a business, based on 19 key metrics ranging from the five-year business-survival rate to labor costs to officespace affordability. WalletHub also ranked the Bull City third overall for best access to resources among those same 100 cities nationwide.

Rewriting the Code, a Durham nonprofit dedicated to supporting women in the tech industry, accomplished several major milestones this past year: it launched the Tech Natives community to create a safe space for Indigenous women navigating the tech industry; it opened its first international chapter in the United Kingdom; and it distributed more than $500,000 through the RTC Women in Tech Fund, a $1.5M collaborative fund with Goldman Sachs that invests in

degree completion for undergraduate women in computing who are facing financial obstacles to graduation.

A report published by CommercialSearch placed Raleigh-Durham No. 6 among the top 10 markets with the most active life sciences pipelines. The area added 1.7 million square feet of life sciences space from 2014 through 2023 to its market, representing a 37% life sciences square footage growth. A key contributor to this growth is the area’s thriving research environment anchored by world-class universities.

Meanwhile, in a report from CommercialCafe, Durham placed No. 9 among the top 25 U.S. metros for life sciences, ranking No. 1 for its share of life sciences out of the market’s office space, No. 4 for its share of educated talent, No. 6 for its existing stock, No. 7 for its amount of space added from 2018 through 2023, No. 9 for the space currently under development and No. 15 for its establishments growth.

The National Association of Corporate Directors – Research Triangle Chapter and RTI International awarded Jinky Ang Rosselli with the inaugural Robert A. Ingram Fellowship for Excellence in Board Governance on May 1. Rosselli has served as the chief data and insights officer at

biotechnology company BioCryst Pharmaceuticals since November 2021, where she leads a global team to build the company’s data science, analytics and insights infrastructure, which helps inform strategic decisionmaking. The fellowship was introduced in January 2024 in honor of Robert “Bob” A. Ingram, paying homage to his unparalleled commitment to excellence in board governance

and inclusive leadership throughout his time as a director. Rosselli knew Ingram as a friend and informal advisor during his tenure on the board of BioCryst. “Bob’s leadership style was unassuming, innovative, smart and incredibly encouraging,” Rosselli said. “His style is one that I aspire to emulate, and [which] continues to guide me on my leadership journey.”


The North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Military Outreach and Veterans Engagement initiative received a two-year, $825,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. MOVE connects service members who are separating from service, honorably discharged veterans and military spouses with biopharma manufacturing training and internship programs. This new grant will be used to increase access to job training, internships and referrals across the state, and will bring MOVE’s efforts to


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three additional North Carolina military bases: Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.

The Raleigh-Durham International Airport’s Authority Board passed a $419 million budget for the fiscal year beginning April 1. The budget invests $133 million into operating expenses and spends $226 million in capital infrastructure, and is based on projected record traffic totaling more than 15.5 million passengers, a 1.1 million passenger increase compared to last year. “As our community grows and we welcome more airlines, flights and travelers, the Authority’s operating and capital budgets will help us invest in our workforce, technology and the community while building for the future,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of RDU Airport Authority It’s well on its way to hitting its projections as passenger traffic continues to grow, with

nearly 1.3 million travelers flying through the airport in April –an increase of 3.7% compared to March, which was boosted by spring break travel, and a 7.7% increase over April 2023. RDU set a single-day record on Monday, May 13, during Mother’s Day and graduation weekend, which is typically one of the busiest weekends of the year. Nearly 59,000 passengers passed through the terminals that day, an increase of 6.1% over the previous record set in October 2023.

Software company Kevel announced in March that it raised $23 million in Series C funding, allowing the business to deepen its retail media focus and drive advanced product

innovation to retailers and marketplaces. Series B investor Fulcrum Equity Partners led the round of funding with investments from Godwin Capital Group, Iberis Capital, Dunnhumby Ventures and Commerce Ventures.

IN WITH THE NEW Affordable Solutions

HVAC & Electrical, a leading local provider of heating and cooling solutions, announced on May 2 that it is now operating as Tech-On-Deck Heating, Air and Electric. The family-owned small business was founded in 2014 by Justin Bohannon and offers residential and commercial services to the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary and Bahama communities.

“For more than 10 years, we’ve been committed to offering affordable, professional and superior service to our communities – that won’t change,” Bohannon said. “The rebrand further reinforces our commitment to providing Durham residents with an extraordinary experience and reflects our focus on having a technician on deck for all our customers’ needs.”

Software company Kevel announced its new feature, the Kevel Retail Media Cloud, in March. The new platform is designed for retail media and marketplace clients, and allows clients to offer data targeting, ad formats and measurement while maintaining their brand, data assets and shopper experience.

Developer-focused company Stashpad released a new product called Stashpad Docs in March. The real-time collaborative document tool was created as an alternative to Google Docs with a minimal, user-friendly interface, plus markdown support and no account required.


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The Durham Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting March 13 at the Carolina Theatre. Durham Chamber President and CEO Geoff Durham hosted “The Durham Show” – which included rapid-fire takes on the Bull City’s year in review – alongside guests Mayor Leonardo Williams, Durham County Manager Kimberly J. Sowell and NCInnovation Executive Vice President & CFO Linda Hall as well as Stelfanie Williams, vice president of the Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs, who ceremoniously passed the gavel and role of Chamber board chair to Kompleks Creative Principal and Creative Director Tobias Rose

“Durham knows that large employers, small businesses and the private sector in general are critical to our collective future,” Durham said, highlighting major Bull City-based projects such as Eli Lilly and Company’s $450 million investment to expand its manufacturing facility at Research Triangle Park and Kempower’s $41.25 million investment that created 601 new jobs. Hall spoke about Research Triangle Park’s future initiatives and how RTP 3.0 will address “infrastructure strain, schools, open space [and] affordable housing.” Individual voices play an important role, too; Stelfanie Williams mentioned the sold out “Take No Bull” Women’s Conference championed the goal “that true education, inspiration and change depends on hearing from and listening to a variety of perspectives and backgrounds.” Later on in the program, Rose talked about the Chamber’s upcoming plans and partnerships in 2024. “Durham’s different,” Rose said. “The amount of intellectual talent that this community has is amazing.”

1 Stelfanie Williams, vice president of the Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs, passes the gavel to Kompleks Creative Principal and Creative Director Tobias Rose.

2 Duke Energy’s Indira Everett, Denise Barnes of LeChase Construction Services and Durham Public Schools’ Jameya Green.

3 Discover Durham’s Design & Analytics Director Jonathan Lee.

4 Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Torri Staton, NCInnovation’s Linda Hall and RTI International’s Tamara Terry.

5 Durham Chamber President & CEO Geoff Durham presents “The Durham Show” emcee Brian Dawson with a plaque commemorating his 25 years in radio.

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1 2 3 4 5

7 Pinnacle Financial Partners Senior Vice President and Durham Chamber Vice Chair/Chair Elect Dom Cole Johnson, Sen. Natalie Murdock and Rep. Valerie Foushee Deputy Chief of Staff Salima Thomas.

8 Carolina Theatre President and CEO Randy McKay.

9 Samet Corporation’s Kristen Proctor and Bethany Hartman.

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6 First Citizens Bank’s Sam Nichols with John Atkins III, Jim Nichols and Kevin Montgomery of O’Brien Atkins Associates.
6 7 8 9




Consider your most cherished Durham hangouts – perhaps restaurants, bars and venues like Queeny’s, Seraphine, The Velvet Hippo or The Pinhook. There’s a good chance that Gateway Building Company, considered one of Durham’s best commercial builders by Durham Magazine readers in our annual poll, had a hand in its creation. Company Vice Presidents Austin Moore and Pete Zseleczky credit the Bull City and its local businesses for the continued support and opportunity to help shape the identity of the place they call home. 

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Gateway Building Company’s Pete Zseleczky, Austin Moore and Jack Moore at The Velvet Hippo, one of Gateway’s latest projects and a fellow Best of Durham 2024 honoree.
Best of Durham durham inc.

Your Dream Home Awaits

Best of Durham

Can you give us a brief overview of the history of the company?

Pete Zseleczky Austin’s dad, Jack Moore, started Gateway in 2013. Most of the employees at [Gateway] when it first started came from Mixon Construction, which had been in Durham for 20 years before that, so it’s been a lot of the same experienced staff. When Jack first started, he had some long-term clients who … we started working with again, and we’ve grown from that and had sort of a niche in hospitality and retail projects, especially around downtown Durham. And then, historic preservation, adaptive reuse jobs, etc.

Austin Moore We joined in 2015 and became part-owners around 2017. We’re buying the company from [my dad] in the next couple of years.

What inspired the creation of Gateway?

AM Jack was in his early 60s when he started the business. He had a dream of having his own general contracting company. He wanted a company to be based on the people, kind of a collaborative environment. One of his sayings is that he wanted to “hang up his suit and wear his jeans to work every day,” which we all adopted.

What sets Gateway apart as a commercial builder?

AM We’ve got a very personal approach. With there being three owners, we have a chance to be personally involved in almost all of the projects. And the client has a single point of contact – a project manager will take it from the very beginning to the very end, which is rare in commercial construction. We also have a big focus on collaboration … no one really remembers if you do a great job if the project fails, so it’s all about everyone working together and everyone coming together to make a good project. And we’ve had relatively low turnover, which is also not very common. We’ve had a lot of the same people since 2015, and even as we’ve grown, a lot of those people have stayed. And the new team members we’ve brought on continue to stay as well.

How many employees does Gateway have now?

AM – Gateway has about 21 employees, plus a really great group of consultants. So we’re about nine people in the office and 12 field staff or superintendents.

What has been the biggest business recent challenge for Gateway? Its biggest success?

PZ I think anybody in construction, especially commercial construction, would say that the labor market and supply chain have been disrupted over the past four years.

AM That’s in construction as a whole, so it’s been a tough thing to navigate. For Gateway as well, we’ve been growing that entire time, so learning how to navigate those issues and material lead times, but also bringing on additional employees … there’s just the growing pains from that.

PZ We just expanded our office here, so we’ve done pretty well on hiring and trying to implement standards and create a structure, as well as modernize and keep up with project management software and that kind of thing. Success-wise, we think our employees being happy has been the biggest success. We’ve maintained the same employees, we have little turnover, and everyone maintains a great worklife balance, which is pretty hard to do in our industry.

How has the Durham community played a part in the overall success of Gateway?

PZ We would not be Gateway without Durham and being in Durham. We’re a Durham company. The owners and majority of our staff live within 10 minutes of downtown; our first office was under Bar Virgile, which is now Annexe. We’ve grown and relocated – now we’re across from Ponysaurus. But we’ve been supported by the city, and we’ve got great relationships with the inspections department and many of the local downtown businesses. We’re a small business that works for small businesses. It’s a huge network out there. It’s fun.


Many of Gateway’s projects are fellow Best of Durham 2024 honorees. Here are the categories in which these clients were recognized:

Bar Virgile – Burger, Cocktails Beer Study – Retail Beer Selection, Draft Beer Selection

Bella Trio Salon & Spa

– Hair Salon, Spa

Boricua Soul

– Latin/Caribbean Food, Restaurant Catering

Camp Bow Wow – North Durham – Pet Boarding

Cheeni Indian Food

Emporium – Indian Food

The Cookery (Juhlin Building Event Space)

– Event Space

COPA – Overall Restaurant, Place for a Date Night, Latin/ Caribbean Food, Chef, Mocktails

Cornwallis Road Animal Hospital – Veterinarian

Davis Dance Company

– Dance Studio

DSSOLVR – Brewery

Eastcut Sandwich Bar

– Sandwiches

Fullsteam (kitchen)

– Brewery

Grub Durham – Wings

Hope Valley (entrance sign)

– Neighborhood

Ideal’s Sandwich and Grocery – Sandwiches

Isaac’s Bagels

– New Restaurant

Mike D’s BBQ – Barbecue


– Overall Restaurant, Steak, Wine Selection at a Bar or Restaurant

Only Burger

– Food Truck, Burger

Ponysaurus Brewing Co. (roof deck and kitchen)

– Brewery


– Place for a Late Night

Saladelia Cafe & Catering

– Restaurant Catering

Saltbox Seafood Joint

– Seafood


– New Restaurant

Skin Wellness Dermatology

Associates – Dermatologist

Two Roosters Ice Cream

– Frozen Treats

The Velvet Hippo – Mocktails, Cocktails, New Business, Place for a Late Night

What is the best business advice you have received?

AM It’s kind of simple, but, to pay people on time. We keep people happy and keep people paid. There’s a lag in commercial [building], so we bill after a month of construction, so it normally takes us a while to get paid by an owner or developer, but we try to pay people as soon as we can to keep them happy and make sure they prioritize us on other jobs we have with them.

What is a major lesson you have learned from owning your own company?

AM The buck kind of stops with you, so stay positive through whatever problem arises. Construction is constantly dealing with one problem and moving on to another problem, so staying positive and just focusing on the outcome and doing your best to reach the end.

PZ You set the tone for the company. So, as owners of the company, we’re staying positive, we’re getting the job done, we’re team players … not dwelling on the negative and finger pointing. We’re moving on and getting through these projects together.

What are you looking forward to sharing next from Gateway? What projects are on the horizon? PZ We’ve got some fun ones that are about to start out. Austin is working on Sauna House over on West Geer Street. We’ve got a number of well-known bars and restaurants coming up, some that we’re not really allowed to be talking about. We’ve got some good jobs over at American Tobacco Campus – we’ve started MilkShake Factory over next to QueenBurger and other retail jobs. We’ve also got some great talent who’ve joined our team in the past few months, [like Operations Manager Tommy Moore, Project Manager Tres Yarmuth and Superintendent John Wallace] and we are looking forward to getting into some different markets … we’re working our way into RTP, and more institutional and corporate offices.

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May 19 – June 16, 2024

Special event: Flag Day Celebration June 14, 8:30am-9:30am

Located At:

Thank you to all our volunteers, sponsors, and community supporters involved in making this a successful event.


A hero is a person admired for courage, outstanding achievements or such noble values as Service Above Self

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All net proceeds stay in Durham to support local veterans’ needs like food security, health care and housing


The future of pet care is going to the dogs (and, ahem, the cats) as local veterinary and pet adjacent businesses meet sustained high demand in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You forget how scary it was,” said Anna Bengel, vice president of marketing at Eno Animal Hospital, which has been in the north Durham area for almost 40 years. “We had to kick into high gear. Everyone was understaffed, and it was stressful for a while [because] no one could come into the building. People were waiting weeks and weeks and weeks [for an open] appointment.”

Eno Animal Hospital was not alone in adapting to a new normal. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates more than 23 million American households – nearly 1 in 5 nationwide – adopted a pet during the pandemic, which naturally increased the needs for veterinary and pet care services. More than 65 million American households last year had at least one dog, and 46.5 million, at least one cat, according to the World Animal Foundation.


In 2023, an updated study by Mars Veterinary Health reported that “a shortage of 14,000 to 24,000 companionanimal veterinarians could well exist in the U.S. pet health care market by 2030, representing an overall shortfall of veterinarians of approximately 11% to 18%.” Up to 55,000 new vets would be needed to meet projected demand. However, the American Veterinary Medical Association’s 2024 data does not support the projection. Instead, it shows that the number of pet vets could actually grow by more than 20%, from about 80,000 to more than 98,000, as existing and planned schools add to the ranks – a rosier outlook for the industry.

According to the USDA, the greatest shortages of veterinarians are found in rural areas across the country. In North Carolina, 10 different counties are listed as having a shortage of private companionanimal veterinarian care, and Durham County is not among them. In fact, the city of Durham has more than 90 licensed veterinarians registered with the NC Veterinary Medical Association. However, the pandemic’s impact still presented significant challenges for the local pet care industry, and its businesses continue to see lingering effects to this day.

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Best of Durham durham inc.
ABOVE Park Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care’s Tim Metcalf with pup, Charlie. RIGHT Nicole Guillory brings her 21-year-old cat, Monkey, to an appointment at Park Vet.


The pandemic forced many veterinary clinics and pet care businesses to dramatically change their daily operations to abide by guidelines and COVID-19 restrictions, some of which remain in place.

“No one knew what was going to happen or for how long, so a lot of clinics prepared to do less business and furlough individuals,” said Kristy White, manager of Park Veterinary Hospital & Urgent Care. “But the complete opposite happened –the industry kind of boomed.”

The transition to curbside services and compliance with health guidelines added complexity to the practice’s operations. “Appointments took longer due to the back-andforth communication from the client’s car to the veterinarian,” White recalled. Despite the obstacles, hospital staff streamlined clinical services, ultimately reducing the number of times animals and their pet parents needed to return to the clinic for vaccinations or maintenance visits.

“We’re seeing them once or twice a year versus multiple times a year, which will give us the opportunity to see another pet in our community,” White said of the practice, which serves more than 4,500 pets.

“We changed how we do internal medical documentation. Rather than doing a lot of paper forms, we switched to online forms that are fillable to clients, and then it sends us emails.

We purchased software that supports a two-way texting platform. We still use it today, even more so, I would say.”

The practice, which was named one of the best Durham vets and boarding facilities by Durham Magazine readers, has 43 employees, including eight veterinarians, five registered vet techs and a small army of vet assistants plus front desk and kennel staff. It offers a range

ABOVE Rebecca Fasanella and Dr. Katie Hanrahan give dog, Duchess, an exam at Park Vet. “It’s actually a veterinary hospital trend that there are fewer clients out there right now coming to the practices,” said Park Vet Manager Kristy White. “We believe it’s more of an economical issue.”

of diagnostic testing and has a board-certified ultrasonographer and an orthopedic surgeon who come in for scheduled services and procedures. And it continues to grow.

“We purchased the building next door to us, and we’re going to be expanding our boarding facility over there,” White said, adding that additional renovations will allow Park to expand its services.

Bengel also highlighted the dramatic increase in veterinary visits during the pandemic. “It felt

like every pet in Durham was suddenly coming to see us,” she said, noting that, because owners were mostly at home with their animals, they paid more attention to their behaviors and could spot when something was off. “[It] was frustrating for those used to getting appointments quickly,” Bengel added. “The entire team had to work hard and stay organized to manage the increased demand.”

Effective communication and public messaging were crucial in keeping clients informed about the situation.

The pandemic also intensified the high-stakes nature of veterinary work. “It was a tough time, adding more pressure to an already emotionally and psychologically demanding profession,” Bengel noted. To support its staff, Eno Animal Hospital implemented mental health wellness initiatives, including compassion fatigue seminars and team-building activities. 

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Best of Durham

Bengel said the demand has since stabilized and is more manageable, but that the industry is still quite fluid. “I know there are a lot of people who leave the field because it’s draining,” she said. “It can just be cripplingly stressful and difficult. … I mean, you’re looking after people’s beloved companions. They’re their best friends, and you cannot not care for them.”


Mac Renfro, owner of Camp Bow Wow – North Durham, also observed a notable shift in pet care needs. “With the significant increase in dog adoptions during the pandemic, many new pet parents were looking for a way to get their pups exercise and social interaction outside the home,” Renfro said. “Our day care service was the ideal solution for them, and we had many new campers join us during this period.”

Even post-pandemic, the demand for services remains high. “Many of our day care pups come to camp multiple days each week, so day care is fairly consistent throughout the year,” Renfro said. “However, demand for overnight boarding peaks during summer and holidays.” The surge in demand led to the implementation of a waitlist for boarding services, especially during vacation seasons. “That’s why we strongly suggest making reservations one to two months in advance, so you don’t have to worry about finding a place at the last minute,” he said.

Camp Bow Wow is a national franchise with more than 220 locations, and North Durham’s was one of the first that opened 20 years ago. “We’re very fortunate to have built up an extremely loyal customer base over the years, so we only experienced a short-term slowdown when the pandemic hit,” Renfro said of his boarding facility, which was named one of the best in the Bull City by Durham Magazine readers and

is also ranked in the chain’s top 10% in the country.

To accommodate the growing demand, Camp Bow Wow expanded its facilities, adding 75 new cabins to its boarding capacity earlier this year. “Safety and cleanliness are our top priorities,” Renfro said. “That’s why counselors are trained in pet CPR/First Aid, and we follow vet-approved guidelines

for caring for the pups and keeping camp clean.” The inclusion of video cameras allows pet parents to check in on their dogs from anywhere, adding an extra layer of reassurance.

Mandi Fleitz, owner of Barbie & Company Pet Services, said her Best of Durham award-winning pet-sitting business is at capacity for canine clients and is currently only accepting new feline clients, but that wasn’t the case just a few years ago.

“2020 was really tough,” Fleitz said, remembering how demand for dog-sitting services dropped precipitously during the height of the pandemic shutdown. “We luckily had so many loyal clients who would still use us, even if they didn’t technically need us, just to keep the business afloat, which we

are so grateful for, because we were able to make it to the other side. A lot of small businesses I know didn’t make it through COVID.”

Fleitz said she has seen a lasting change across Durham as it continues its recovery.

“The demand has definitely increased,” she said about the higher number of pet owners, but said she’s not seen more pet-sitting businesses open to keep up with the growth. “It’s just all of the same people [who] have been around for years,” Fleitz said. “We’re just trying to handle the rush of new pet owners, and it’s been really tough with hiring challenges. That’s what we’re facing right now, and why we’re not accepting new dogs.”

Fleitz also noted a trend in pet behaviors, with a rise in aggression among dogs and avoidance for cats. She surmised that these changes could be due to the prolonged lack of socialization with other humans and animals.

May is typically the busiest time of year for Fleitz’s business, with up to 30 pet sitter visits per day. The pace slows by the end of summer. The constant, Fleitz said, is the employees’ passion for the animals under their compassionate watch. “It’s not just a side gig,” she said. “It’s not Instacart or Uber. We care for your pets and love them like our own, and it’s a big deal to us.”

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durham inc.
BELOW Gordon Ferrell hands off his dog, Freddie, to Ainsley McDowell for day care at Camp Bow Wow – North Durham; Freddie will soon join his friends (above) for some play time outside!


Joshua Estabrook & Devin McGinnis

Wedding Date Jan. 28, 2024

Occupations Josh works for Nest Realty, and Devin manages Joe Van Gogh in South Durham.

Crossed Paths Virginia natives Josh and Devin met at a New Year’s Eve party in 2018; they exchanged a few words and socials, but didn’t keep in touch afterward. The pair reconnected and hit it off exactly a year later, at the same New Year’s Eve gathering. Devin, who lived in Boston at the time, visited Josh in Durham a few weeks later, kicking off a long-distance relationship until April 2021 when Devin moved to Durham. The Proposal Josh tossed the ball in Devin’s court in early 2022, sharing he was ready for marriage whenever Devin felt the same. The couple alternated planning weekly dates at the time, and what Josh assumed was a casual Friday outing to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh turned into quite the pivotal moment. The duo explored the exhibits on Nov. 11, 2022, then strolled along the Museum Park trail before Devin proposed to Josh in the quiet of the museum’s garden. They celebrated at a surprise engagement party that Devin planned in secret with their close friends and families.

couple, captured by Heidi Bee Photography, overlooked Durham’s skyline. David Wimbish, the couple’s favorite singer from the band The Collection, serenaded guests during the ceremony and reception, while DJ Eagle set the tone for the remainder of the evening. The husbands took regular breaks to savor the magic of the moment together, even slipping away from the festivities unnoticed for a time.

The Big Day “The day was nothing short of magical,” Josh says. The pair tied the knot at The Cookery following a rehearsal dinner at Dashi the night prior. Fireside Farm supplied the florals, and Bona Fide Events helped ensure that every detail reflected their unique bond. Their ceremony featured a reading of the Supreme Court opinion for the legalization of same-sex marriage, and their first snapshots as a married

Do you live in Durham and want your wedding or engagement featured in our magazine? Scan this code to send us your info.

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