Good Life 2024

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RETIREMENT LIVING IN COASTAL N.C.

wilmington

In the Club: Staying Social Michael Jordan's Investment Live Like a Local Dishes from Home
GoodLife Wilmingto n .com Our Optimal Living philosophy could be the key to achieving your health and wellness goals. Enjoy access to fitness experts who meet you where you are, listen to your goals, and create a customized program, supporting you in every step of your journey. YOUR GOAL IS OUR GOAL. Featuring all the luxuries of an upscale coastal resort, Cambridge Village offers an active community for independent seniors who want an all-inclusive residential experience. Experience Optimal Living® At Wilmington’s Only Hybrid Senior Living Community Membership Gives You All-Inclusive Access To: Indoor Saltwater Pool Steam Room & Hot Tub Personal Training & Physical Therapy Premium Cardio & Strength Equipment Group Fitness Classes Towel Service Smoothie & Coffee Bar JOIN TODAY CambridgeFitnessWilmington.com | 910.338.9560 | 83 Cavalier Drive Cambridge Village Residents Enjoy: Well-Appointed Apartments On-Site Primary Care, Therapy & Homecare Restaurant, Bistro & Pub Dining Room Service Full-Service Salon, Massage & Facials Weekly Housekeeping Daily Social & Enrichment Events Personalized Fitness Program Schedule a private tour today! RetireToWilmington.com 910.294.4850 75 Cavalier Drive

PRIORITIZING OUTDOOR SPACES

FOR A HEALTHIER COMMUNITY

Wilmington loves our parks and city teams work hard to ensure residents can enjoy the beautiful spaces in our community.

From the recent opening of the eight reconstructed tennis courts at Althea Gibson Tennis Complex to the addition of an inclusive playground at Maides Park, investing in park improvements continues to be a top priority.

Master plans for parks and recreation, urban forestry, Greenfield Lake, and the Riverwalk all help to guide the city’s efforts to enhance Wilmington’s parks and outdoor spaces for today and into the future.

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Learn more about our Parks & Recreation projects here

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Rob Kaiser

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c ontributing P hotogra P hers

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To subscribe to WilmingtonBiz Magazine,visit wilmingtonbiz.com/subscribe or call 343-8600 x201. © 2024 SAJ Media LLC

About Our Presenting Sponsor

“Liberty Senior Living is excited to once again sponsor ‘The Good Life’ – A Guide to Retirement Living in Coastal North Carolina. For almost 150 years, Liberty Healthcare Management, a Wilmington-based, familyowned organization, has been helping older adults manage their healthcare and residential needs. Our portfolio of communities throughout the Southeastern United States continues to grow as we expand our service offerings, which include communities for active adult living, independent living, assisted living, memory support and skilled nursing care. We have proudly served the Wilmington area for over 30 years and now have three communities to select from: Brightmore of Wilmington, Carolina Bay at Autumn Hall and our newest Active Adult Community, Inspire Brunswick Forest. We invite you to visit LibertySeniorLiving.com where you can learn more about all of our premier communities, which have been designed for active seniors who have high expectations for living life to the fullest and on their own terms. We look forward to welcoming you!”

Dean Dellaria / Corporate Director of Marketing and Sales / Liberty Senior Living

Summer 2024 3 GoodLife Wilmingto n .com
JUNE 2024 • ISSUE 2• $4.95
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4 RETIREMENT LIVING IN COASTAL N.C. GoodLife Wilmingto n .com

Letter from the editor

The Backdrop for

Your Next Act

I’m not where you’re at, but I know how you got here.

The Wilmington Media + Marketing team has been hard at work in recent months to bring you this year’s Good Life Wilmington magazine, the annual publication for our features website on everything to help older adults make the most of Southeastern North Carolina.

Reading about the sheer number and fun topics of social clubs in the area for retirees – from bocce to bourbon – makes me want to start a countdown calendar for wrapping up the 9-5.

But I still have some time left to log.

That doesn’t mean I can’t relate to what brought you here – or if you’re reading this from afar and wondering where to set down roots for your next act.

More than a decade ago, I was working and living in downtown Atlanta, enjoying all the perks of largecity life but grumbling every time Interstate 85 crawled with traffic. My (later to become) husband is the beach bum at heart and said let’s make the move to the coast, any coast.

I checked out several, and for various reasons, coastal Carolina became our top pick – probably for many of the same reasons you had for relocating or staying here.

There’s the beaches and waves minutes away. Yes, many minutes in the crush of the summer, but still more accessible than having to drive from Raleigh to spend the day on the sand.

There’s the vibrant, nonbeach culture: art and restaurants downtown, entertainment in midtown, increasing options in Brunswick and Pender counties. I know people who fill their after-hours and weekends without even venturing to the beach towns.

There’s no shortage of sports and activities to get into, regardless of age group. (I just got word about pickleball clubs this summer starting at age 5,

so thanks for bringing that to us, Good Lifers.)

People by and large are friendly, and I’ve struck up plenty of conversations with strangers.

It’s a big enough city without being lost in a big city.

So whether you’re new to the area or been here for years and enjoy discovering new gems, dive into the issue. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find if you flip through these pages:

• Homes + Communities: Get an update on how the beach housing market is faring in “Beach Abodes,” page12.

• Health + Wellness: For those living in south Brunswick County, medical options are about to expand with Dosher Memorial Hospital’s next phase of growth. See how in “Dosher Hospital’s Growth Plan,” page 22.

• Lifestyles + Connections: Take advice from our Living Like a Local columnist Karen Bright about how to best navigate your days at the beach on page 30.

• Food + Drink: Did you move here from another state and sometimes miss the taste of home? There’s a chance your favorite regional dishes actually might be on local menus. Find some suggestions with “Flavor Profiles,” page42.

And there’s plenty more where that came from on the Good Life Wilmington website (goodlifewilmington.com) and free weekly newsletter; the publication is primarily online to make it easier for people in our community and beyond to find information they need. Have a topic you want to see covered? Share your ideas with newsroom@ wilmingtonbiz.com.

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6 RETIREMENT LIVING IN COASTAL N.C. GoodLife Wilmingto n .com As retirees, we give to community impact because we can see the difference our dollars make right here in the Cape Fear region where we live. We don’t have the expertise to determine what nonprofits are making the most difference, but we know United Way has a rigorous review process, and we can feel good that our dollars are going where they’ll do the most good. Lori and Allen Feezor Let’s start a conversation about charitable giving. Call Tommy Taylor, CEO of United Way of the Cape Fear Area to learn about Qualified Charitable Contributions 910-789-0302 UWCFA.org/charitable-contributions

Photographer Madeline Gray covered the

Summer 2024 7 GoodLife Wilmingto n .com wilmington CONTENTS SUMMER 2024 Homes + Communities 8 Social Networks 12 Coastal Housing Update 16 Assisted & Independent Living Facilities Health + Wellness 22 Dosher’s Expansion 25 Medical News Roundup 28 Helping Hands Lifestyles + Connections 30 Living Like a Local 33 Veteran Honors 38 The Craft of Woodturning Food + Drink 42 Regional Dishes 47 Open Air Dining About the Cover
May
Wilmington
cut
a family medicine clinic
Greenfield Street.
press conference during which Michael Jordan and his mother, Deloris, visited
to
the ribbon for
on

SOCIAL CLUBS

8 RETIREMENT LIVING IN COASTAL N.C. GoodLife Wilmingto n .com Homes + Communities
Bringing Joy and Surprise to Retirees
Brunswick Forrest team at 2024 WILMA Dash 5K Photo by Madeline Gray

Barry and Ann Foster had just moved from Plano, Texas, on July 1 into their house in Brunswick Forest in Leland. Amidst myriad “getting settled” tasks, Barry Foster looked into whether the community had a bourbon club.

He first discovered a whiskey club in Wilmington with a $250 joining fee, on principle a nonstarter for him. He learned that Brunswick Forest had its own Bourbon Lovers Club and reached out for a conversation with the woman who headed it.

“I loved that she and her siblings were owners of the Old Pogue Distillery in Kentucky,” Barry Foster said. “She loved that I was very familiar with bourbon. I went to their first meeting – an unpretentious blind tasting – and she asked if I’d like to take over the club since they were about to move.”

He liked that it was “informal, friendly and inclusive.” He said yes and held his first club meeting, another blind tasting, in March.

Social clubs, whether formed by retirement communities of various descriptions or communities not formally defined as such and developments such as Brunswick Forest and Compass Pointe in Leland – whose age demographics skew older – these clubs are boons for building new “people connections.”

The Bourbon Lovers Club at Brunswick Forest, Barry Foster said, is committed to inclusivity, including respecting people’s choices. For certain, that relates to politics or lifestyle judgments, but also more subtle things.

“There was a lady there at the last meeting,” he said, “and I said I used to drink scotch, but I only drink bourbon now; she rightly objected. That extends to not disparaging someone’s brand, even accidentally. And we focus on making it cost-accessible for the widest possible audience.”

He spent roughly 10 years at Total Wine & More in Plano, enjoying his customer relationships, and continues part time at the Wilmington store.

“I also joined a bourbon club, Someone Say Whiskey, when it started in 2018,” he said. “By end of 2020 it was the nation’s fastestgrowing whiskey club, with 10,000 members.”

At Porters Neck Village in Wilmington, a casual observation by residents Jeanette Williams and Cheryl Jennings led to the formation of a fun and highly appreciated singles-directed club, Solo’s. They took up the idea with Porters Neck leaders, especially Living Well director Marci Sherman, and the idea morphed into a relaxed, low-pressure way for residents to meet and enjoy each other’s company.

“Aging in place with purpose and sense of connection is our aim,” Sherman said. “And resident-led clubs help us achieve that goal. Everyone’s different, and engaging our residents creatively is a key part of what we strive for.

“Jeanette and Cheryl had some great ideas about opening up the atmosphere so that people would feel at ease,” Sherman said, “and we facilitated that by reserving part of the dining room for monthly dinners.”

Sherman added that starting dinners off with a 5 p.m. happy hour at the facility’s bar may be a magic sauce helping club members to mingle and meet. They’re just beginning to talk about venturing out to different Wilmington locales.

Sherman conveyed that their new Ice Cream Club is “slightly kooky and totally loved by residents. The club started in November with seven members and now has 24. Hop on the bus and go eat ice cream – how can

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photos c/o Brunswick Forest
10 RETIREMENT LIVING IN COASTAL N.C. GoodLife Wilmingto n .com Homes + Communities
Members of Brunswick Forest’s Bourbon Lovers Club Kyle Doan (from left), Barry Foster and Jeff Reynolds Photo by Logan Burke

you beat that?”

Compass Pointe in Leland has roughly 34 clubs that span virtually every interest and avocation. With the volume of Northeast transplants to the Wilmington region, it may not be surprising that bocce is one of those clubs. The club has grown from 75 initial members to 325, and usually, a quarter to a third of them turn out for Sunday afternoon tournaments on the community’s Great Lawn.

As the Compass Pointe website cheekily proclaims, “It has been documented that Bocce was once played in Ancient Rome. It is now played at Compass Pointe.”

Jumpstarted by a couple of exJerseyans and then strongly aided by a large team of fellow volunteers, The Bocce Club started in 2017. Mike Luciano moved with wife, Cyndi, from Lodi, New Jersey, to Compass Pointe in 2016. He quickly informed new friend Ken Clark that the community needed a bocce club.

Clark responded by introducing Mike Luciano to Kathy Grimaldi (she and husband, Joe, former East Brunswick, New Jersey, residents), who’d shown similar interest. “We learned we had to craft a charter,” Mike Luciano said, “so we did one. We designed it so the matches were very social and slightly competitive.”

The matches are well-organized, and the 20 courts accommodating eight players per court accurately measured, a contrast to Mike Luciano’s early bocce

experiences at his grandfather’s house in Lodi where distances were measured with sticks – wine and Italian food a given for them.

Matches are single elimination. Sunday afternoon signup starts at 1:30 p.m., and games begin promptly at 2 p.m. The final two teams, with four players each, are guaranteed a bottle of wine and week-long bragging rights. The year is broken down into two seasons, allowing breaks for extreme summer heat and colder winter weather.

“Our season culminates with our annual club dinner and tournament right around Columbus Day,” Mike Luciano said. “We have a beautiful group of people who put all of this together each week and a great executive board meeting twice a year at Cousins Italian Deli in Wilmington to plan – and enjoy wine, food and friendship.”

For Mike Luciano, the best thing about the club is the way they open bocce to many residents who have physical limitations.

“Here they can participate from their walkers or however, laugh and joke, and yes, sometimes get that winner’s bottle of wine,” said an appreciative Mike Luciano.

Lily Poulos, life enrichment assistant at Carolina Bay at Autumn Hall in Wilmington, saw that arts and crafts dominated most of the community’s programming. She thought there was room for a fun

science club, having recently studied exercise science and public health at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and learning the interests of residents. So, she began hosting a bimonthly laboratory class in January, a club, called “In the Lab with Lil.”

She emphasized that a number of residents have professional or teaching backgrounds in science and engineering.

“I have a strong background in the sciences,” Poulos said, “but so do they, so I knew I might politely be corrected. My broader goal was to give everyone a chance to re-experience science and make new friends.”

Poulos’s first lab was a seasonally appropriate exploding snowman, meaning that participants had to wear goggles.

“They loved that, and we also did a cool activity that involved inflating a balloon without air. And we had to do an exploding egg,” she said. “Soon, we’re going to tackle an ‘edible’ project, making ice cream in a bag. So far, the most common reaction is delight and laughter.”

If there is a humanity-based throughline connecting these disparate clubs, it might be represented by a quote from legendary distillery tour guide Freddie Johnson: “It’s not about the whiskey. It’s about the lives you touch and the people you meet. The whiskey is a byproduct of a good relationship.”

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Homes + Communities
photos c/o Carolina Bay photos c/o Mike Luciano

beach ABODES

The real estate industry in the region’s beach towns surfs a changing market

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Photo c/o Tongue & Groove

Builders approached beachfront construction a little differently back in the day.

“The idea behind building a beach house was to not invest heavily in its construction, understanding that storms could easily destroy it. The intention was not to create the best-built structures since you didn’t want to have a significant amount of money tied up in something that might be taken down by a storm,” said Mark Batson, a Wilmington custom homebuilder specializing in luxury houses, including oceanfront properties. “Consequently, many of the homes we’re demolishing today, some of which are barely 30 years old, were never meant to endure. They’re simply falling apart.”

Batson, who owns Wilmingtonbased Tongue & Groove Design + Build, said he approaches building oceanfront homes as structures that

will still exist in 100 to 200 years.

“These will last as long as they’re maintained. Our goal is to build houses that are worthy of preservation,” he said. “For the next generations that come along, I don’t want them walking into a Tongue & Groove house and wanting to tear it down. Instead, I want them to walk in and say, ‘OK, this is a good house. This is worthy of preservation.’”

While many oceanfront homeowners have the means to weather figurative and literal storms, facets of that ownership include rising prices, upkeep, storm threats, sea-level rise, insurance costs and the possibility that they might not be allowed to rebuild a destroyed house because of setback requirements.

PRICES RIDE THE WAVES

The prices of oceanfront homes, particularly unique, contemporary properties, have increased in recent years. The buyers of the house at 10 Inlet Hook on Figure Eight Island set a record in 2023 when they paid $13 million for the property. The home was designed by architect David Lisle

and built in 2022 by Whit Honeycutt, of North State Custom Builders.

Ransom and Courtney Langford, of Connecticut, purchased the nearly 5,000-square-foot home on the private New Hanover County island from John and Rebekah McConnell, of Raleigh.

According to real estate agents, that’s the highest sum paid for a house in recorded history in New Hanover County.

John McConnell, of McConnell Golf, purchased the lot for the custom home for $1.5 million in 2020.

Buzzy Northen, of Wilmingtonbased Intracoastal Realty Corp., represented the buyers in the transaction, while Jo El Skipper, of Figure Eight Realty, represented the sellers.

Real estate agents say it’s important to put recent eight-figure oceanfront sales in perspective.

On Figure Eight Island and in Wrightsville Beach, homes selling for over $10 million “are all homes built in the last six years or homes with extremely rare features such as oversized lots,” said Trey Wallace,

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7

Cowrie Lane in Wrightsville Beach

These will last as long as they’re maintained. Our goal is to build houses that are worthy of preservation.
Mark Batson, custom home builder and owner of Tongue & Groove Design + Build

president of Intracoastal Realty, when the news broke about the $13 million deal. “While we have certainly seen a run-up in prices over the past three years, these new price thresholds are being met in combination with some of the first newly built ultra-luxury homes turning for the first time.”

Wallace pointed out that the home at 407 Bradley Creek Point, which sold for $5 million in November 2018, set a record.

“Only five years later, we are approaching new sales records of $13 million,” he said. “It is certainly an incredible new price scale for our region. There will be more sales like this, to be sure, but only the most ultra-luxurious and modern builds will be able to command these prices, in my opinion.”

IN KURE BEACH, A $9.2M SALE

Modern properties continue to reach new price heights. In Kure Beach, buyers this March paid $9.2 million for 901 Fort Fisher Blvd. – a record price for a home sale on Pleasure Island, which includes Kure and Carolina beaches.

The sale was for a double lot on the oceanfront holding a main house and guest house designed and built by Tongue & Groove.

Batson said both structures, built in 2021, have the same material palette, including cedar shingles and copper roofs, but they’re a little different architecturally.

Batson can understand the appeal of Pleasure Island, where he grew up working on his father’s fishing boat.

In a LinkedIn post accompanying Batson’s announcement about the 901 Fort Fisher Blvd. sale Batson wrote, “Witnessing the evolution of our island communities over the decades has been a journey laden with nostalgia, pride and a sense of accomplishment. The metamorphosis from simple seasonal retreats to vibrant, yearround communities is a testament to the resilience, innovation, and spirit of those who, like my family, have called these beaches home.”

UNIQUE PROPERTY IN WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH

Peter Sweyer, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolina Premier Properties, doesn’t live on the oceanfront but does live in Wrightsville Beach.

“There is something magical about hearing those waves at night or when it’s dark and having that kind of force of the ocean near you is very soothing and calming for some people,” he said.

Sweyer helped the previous owners sell the oceanfront home at 7 Cowrie Lane in Wrightsville Beach in December. He said the property was on the market for 100 days but attracted interest from seven qualified buyers. The first folks who looked at it ended up buying the home.

According to Sweyer, the 5,700-square-foot home sits on nearly an acre, one of the largest oceanfront lots in Wrightsville Beach. The home has five bedrooms, six-and-a-half bathrooms, an oceanfront pool and a four-car garage. The transaction marked the first time the home had been sold; the seller purchased it while it was under construction and used it as a second home for 19 years.

14 RETIREMENT LIVING IN COASTAL N.C. GoodLife Wilmingto n .com Homes + Communities
Photo c/o Realtor Peter Sweyer

JUST ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE

Entrepreneurs Travis and Heather Sherry, who previously kept a home base in Pennsylvania, knew the risks and costs when they bought an oceanfront home in Carolina Beach during the pandemic.

They decided they could handle any issues that might come up.

“It feels like our own paradise here,” Travis Sherry said.

The couple bought the house at 1708 Carolina Beach Ave. N., within walking distance of Freeman Park, for $639,000 in August 2020. The 2,500-square-foot home feels like a beach bungalow.

“We’ve always really loved being near the water and going to the ocean,” Heather Sherry said. “And so, when we talked at length for years about our ideal place to live, it was always the beach.”

They wanted a house priced under $1 million and could be flexible with a location because they worked remotely before the pandemic began in March 2020.

“We had never actually been here or even heard of Carolina Beach or knew anyone here,” Travis Sherry said. “I was looking at real estate, and Carolina Beach was one of the more affordable places up and down the coast.”

The day they closed on the house in 2020, Hurricane Isaias was bearing down on the East Coast.

“We’re signing the papers at the lawyer’s office, and they’re like, ‘You’ve got to run over to town hall immediately because they’re closing at noon … and you need to get a re-entry decal because a hurricane is coming,’” Travis Sherry recalled.

Without the decal, it would be difficult to return to Pleasure Island after the storm if officials issued a mandatory evacuation order.

They lost power in the middle of the night, but crews restored it by 10 a.m.

“We had a few shingles missing from the roof, and that was it,” Travis Sherry said.

The couple is still able to get homeowners insurance on the property. For Carolina Beach, the N.C. Rate Bureau has requested a 99.4% increase in insurance rates for the beach areas of New Hanover – which includes Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville beaches – Brunswick, Pender, Onslow and Carteret counties. The state’s insurance commissioner has rejected the rate hike, and as of press time, a hearing on the request was scheduled for October.

Travis Sherry said no homeowner wants an increase, although the couple feels they can cover one.

“But at the same time,” he said, “I also feel fortunate that what’s happening in California and specifically Florida isn’t happening here where insurance companies are just pulling out completely, and you can’t get insurance.”

This story originally appeared in the WilmingtonBiz Magazine’s annual Residential Real Estate issue. Greater Wilmington Business Journal subscribers receive the quarterly WilmingtonBiz Magazine. To subscribe, go to wilmingtonbiz. com/subscribe.

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Homes + Communities

Senior Living Options

Good Life Wilmington’s sister publication, the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, publishes an annual list of local assisted living and independent living facilities. The list is based on voluntary surveys sent to facilities in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties.

Places that do not submit answers aren’t included, so this is not a comprehensive list below, but it does include details about many of the region’s options.

The list is ranked and listed in order below by the number of residents at each facility as of November 2023. The Business Journal will publish an updated list in December and in its annual Book on Business publication.

For more info, email editor@wilmingtonbiz.com.

Porters Neck Village

1200 Porters Neck, Wilmington, NC 28411 | (910) 686-7181 portersneckvillage.org

No. of residents: 290

No. of units: 264

No. of full-time employees: 145

Type of residents accepted: independent Services offered : fine dining; meal delivery service; leisure and concierge services; regular housekeeping and linen service; 24hour security staff; transportation to shopping, grocery stores and doctor appointments; a 24-hour Resident Care Center & Licensed Home Care Agency; fitness center with indoor pool, salon services, community auditorium; and more Year founded: 1988

Carolina Bay at Autumn Hall

630 Carolina Bay Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403 | (866) 455-0599 carolinabayatautumnhall.com

No. of residents: 275

No. of units: 146

Type of residents accepted: independent living, assisted living, memory care and rehab Services offered: planned continuing care retirement community with flexible meal options, 24-hour emergency response, weekly maid service, on-site health care and rehab, life enrichment programs, wellness center, scheduled transportation and spa/salon Year founded: 2015

Cambridge Village

75 Cavalier Drive, Wilmington, NC 28405 | (910) 239-9500

CVSliving.com

No. of residents: 260

No. of units: 220

No. of full-time employees: 65

Type of residents accepted: active adults 55+ who want to maintain an independent lifestyle with conveniences such as Mayfaire and an on-site Wellness Center Services offered: hybrid senior living community; resort-style rental; flexible dining program with restaurant, pub, smoothie bar, cafe, bistro and room service; salon and spa; housekeeping, transportation, Wi-Fi, 15,000-square-foot fitness center; heated saltwater pool and hot tub; studio, one- and twobedroom apartments with stainless steel appliances and washer and dryer in unit Year founded: 2015

I nspire at Brunswick Forest 6146 Liberty Hall Drive, Leland, NC 28451| (910) 239-2605 inspirebrunswickforest.com

No. of residents: 226

No. of units: 174

No. of full-time employee s: 6

Type of residents accepted: active adult seniors looking for a rental model independent living option Services offered: Year founded: 2023

Glenmeade Village Apartments 1518 Village Drive, Wilmington,

NC 28401 | (910) 762-8108 glenmeadevillage.com

No. of residents: 168

No. of units: 104

No. of full-time employees: 3

Type of residents accepted: all, 80% of residents are 55 and older Services offered: 24-hour emergency maintenance, indoor heated pool, tennis court, dog park, garden, book exchange, socials Year founded: 1969

Champions Assisted Living at Davis Community 1007 Porters Neck Road, Wilmington, NC 28411 | ( 910) 6866462 | thedaviscommunity.org

No. of residents: 148

No. of units: 123

No. of full-time employees: 100

Type of residents accepted: offers assisted living and memory care to seniors in a community environment with the look and feel of home; campus offers a continuum of care Services offered: continuum of care in an all-inclusive community that includes private suites and private bathrooms, personal care, medication administration, 24hour nursing professionals, meals and snacks, housekeeping, laundry services, medical transportation, activities, church services and wine socials, membership to Wellness Pavilion, Wi-Fi and DIRECTV Year founded: 2000

Brightmore of Wilmington Independent Living 2324 S. 41st St., Wilmington,

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From Staff Reports

NC 28403 | (910) 350-1980

brightmoreofwilmington.com

No. of residents: 134

No. of unit s: 137

No. of full-time employees: 18

Type of residents accepted: seniors who desire a community atmosphere offering 24-hour security with other amenities and nonmedical services as well as access to additional services if or when needed Services offered: rental retirement living with studio, one- and twobedroom apartments with full kitchens and porches; monthly fee includes utilities, cable, Wi-Fi, chefprepared meals, housekeeping and flat linen service, emergency call, transportation and complete enrichment/wellness program with social activities and classes plus additional facilities and amenities Year founded: 1997

The Commons at Brightmore–Assisted Living & Memory Care 2320 S. 41st St., Wilmington,

NC 28403 |(910) 335-2945

brightmoreofwilmington.com

No. of residents: 96

No. of full-time employees: 86

Type of residents accepted: residents who need more moderate to substantial assistance with activities of daily living Services offered: hands-on personal care for individuals who are medically stable but need help with meals, bathing, grooming and medication administration and management; transportation;24hour staff, daily housekeeping and laundry service, three meals per day and snacks, beauty/barber shop, social activities; secure memory support area with an enclosed safe courtyard; on-site therapy with gym and services Year founded: 2003

Bradley Creek Health Care

740 Diamond Shoals Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 | (910) 335-4263

Carolinabayatautumnhall.com

No. of residents: 70

No. of units: 70

Type of residents accepted: residents that require individualized assistance with daily living, memory support, rehabilitation or skilled nursing Services offered: assisted living, memory support, rehabilitation, skilled nursing Year founded: 2015

The Kempton at Brightmore 2298 S. 41st St., Wilmington, NC 28403 | (910) 332-6899 brightmoreofwilmington.com

No. of residents: 57

No. of units: 62

No. of full-time employees: 27

Type of residents accepted: assisted living levels 1-3 with mild to moderate needs for assistance Services offered: assisted living and Alzheimer’s care to individuals with mild to moderate needs in private apartments Year founded: 2003

Summer 2024 17 GoodLife Wilmingto n .com Homes + Communities
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© 2024
INDEPENDENT LIVING | ASSISTED LIVING | MEMORY CARE 2324 S 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403 On any given day, you’ll find a range of options to fuel your passions, meet new friends and enjoy a lifestyle rich with interesting and exciting educational and engaging programs. Learn more about senior living at BrightmoreOfWilmington.com or schedule a visit at 910.507.2330 . Senior Living Choices offered by Liberty Senior Living RETIRE from work not from living
Brightmore of Wilmington

LIBERTY SENIOR LIVING:

Redefining Senior Living with Compassion and Quality Care

Liberty Senior Living offers seniors a nurturing environment where they can thrive with dignity and comfort. With a focus on holistic well-being and compassionate care, residents enjoy a variety of amenities and activities designed to promote physical, emotional, and social wellness. From independent living to assisted living and memory care, Liberty provides personalized support tailored to meet each individual’s needs, fostering a sense of community and connection that enriches the lives of all who call it home.

Liberty Senior Living is the development and operations management company for Liberty Healthcare’s senior living division. Located in Wilmington, this family-owned company has been helping people manage their healthcare and residential needs for more than 145 years.

The company founders, who opened their first pharmacy in 1875, established Liberty’s core values of quality, honesty and integrity that still guide them to this day.

COMMITMENT TO INDIVIDUALIZED CARE:

We recognize that each person has unique preferences, lifestyle wishes and needs which is why we offer many options for older adults. For more than 30 years Liberty Senior Living, has been offering seniors personalized care in luxury communities built in some of the most desirable locations in the Southeast. With two locations here in Wilmington, Carolina Bay at Autumn Bay and Brightmore of Wilmington which includes The Kempton and The Commons on the Brightmore campus.

A FOCUS ON WELLNESS:

Among the top values of Liberty Senior Living communities is the desire to assist resident

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members in achieving their optimal level of health. Wellness is more than an absence of disease; rather, it is an overall sense of well-being in many dimensions of one’s health including physical, nutritional, spiritual, social, and intellectual. With a focus on enriching these areas of our resident member’s dimensions of wellness, Liberty Senior Living and its communities embrace the INSPIRE wellness program. Moreover, Liberty’s dining experience is not just about nourishment; it’s a culinary journey that emphasizes fresh, locally sourced ingredients and diverse menu options to tantalize the taste buds and promote overall well-being.

CREATING COMMUNITY AND CONNECTION:

Loneliness and isolation are prevalent issues among seniors, but Liberty Senior Living strives to combat these challenges by fostering a sense of community and connection. A vibrant social calendar encourages residents to forge meaningful relationships, participate in group activities, and contribute to the community in various ways. Whether it’s joining a book club, volunteering for a local cause, or simply enjoying a chat with neighbors over coffee, residents at Liberty always find opportunities to connect and thrive.

INNOVATION AND CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT:

In an ever-evolving landscape, Liberty Senior Living

remains at the forefront of innovation and best practices in senior living. They continuously invest in staff training, technology, and infrastructure to enhance the resident experience and ensure the highest standards of care and safety. From state-ofthe-art wellness centers to our innovative memory care program (GEMMS), Liberty is committed to staying ahead of the curve and adapting to the changing needs of seniors.

A LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE:

With a legacy spanning decades, Liberty Senior Living has earned the trust and admiration of residents, families, and industry professionals alike. Their unwavering commitment to excellence, integrity, and compassion has solidified their position as a leader in senior living. Beyond providing exceptional care and services, Liberty is a place where seniors can truly thrive, celebrate life’s milestones, and make lasting memories in a supportive and enriching environment.

In conclusion, Liberty Senior Living is not just a place to live; it’s a lifestyle rooted in compassion, wellness, and community. By prioritizing individualized care, promoting wellness, fostering community, embracing innovation, and upholding a legacy of excellence, Liberty is redefining what it means to age gracefully and vibrantly. For seniors seeking a place to call home where their golden years can truly shine, Liberty Senior Living stands as a beacon of hope and possibility.

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FOR A FULL LIST OF LIBERTY SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITIES, PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE: LIBERTYSENIORLIVING.COM Sponsors Content
Summer 2024 21 GoodLife Wilmingto n .com ENJOY all the fun & none of the chores A Life Plan Community offered by Liberty Senior Living 630 Carolina Bay Drive Wilmington, NC 28403 INDEPENDENT LIVING | ASSISTED LIVING | MEMORY SUPPORT SKILLED NURSING | REHABILITATION On any given day, you’ll find a range of options to fuel your passions, meet new friends and enjoy a lifestyle rich with interesting and exciting educational and engaging programs. Learn more about senior living at CarolinaBayAtAutumnHall.com or schedule a visit at 910.507.2284 .

Brian Turner, project manager of Dosher Memorial Hospital’s new emergency department, and Lynda Stanley, the hospital’s president and CEO

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DOSHER HOSPITAL’S

growth plan

osher Memorial Hospital has long been committed to providing highquality medical care to its Brunswick County community. The hospital is currently undergoing significant expansion and renovation to ensure it can continue to meet the needs of the county’s burgeoning population now and in the future.

DWork is progressing on the hospital’s new emergency department building, located at the corner of East Ninth and North Howe streets, as well as the expansion of Dosher Memorial’s Oak Island clinic. The expansion of the Dosher Medical Plaza on Long Beach Road is already completed.

“These renovations are more than buildings,” said Lynda Stanley, the hospital’s president and CEO. “They represent our commitment to care for our local residents and to contributing to the health and wellbeing of our patients for years to come.”

The centerpiece of the Southport community hospital’s expansion is its new ED, which is designed to provide efficient patient care, according to Stanley. At 8,000 square feet, it is more than double the size of Dosher’s current ED and will include 14 patient bay areas, up from 10, as well as vertical chairs.

The use of vertical chairs is a relatively new practice in emergency departments. While patients with serious injuries or illnesses are assigned a bed, those with less acute medical issues, such as a fishhook in a finger, a fever or a sprained ankle, for example, are assigned a vertical chair. Also, patients who had been assigned a bed but are in that in-between stage of recovery – they have improved but aren’t yet well enough to be discharged – may be reassigned to a vertical chair.

These chairs, which resemble comfy reclining chairs, make the best use of space, streamline patient care and often shorten a patient’s stay in the hospital, according to hospital administrators.

“Many times, people will come in and they may not need a bed,” Stanley said. “It may be that we can meet their needs sitting in a chair –a very comfortable chair – that is well equipped. We can provide excellent care to them, but they don’t need to be in a bed.”

The new ED will also include its own X-ray, lab draw station and registration desk. It also will be outfitted with innovative technology such as teleneurology and telehealth. Robotic surgeries are an option for orthopedics patients as well.

The ED project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2025.

The expansion of Dosher Memorial’s clinics is moving forward too. Three provider spaces have been added to the Dosher Medical Plaza clinic, and work at the Oak Island clinic, the addition of two provider spaces, is ongoing.

With these renovations, residents of all ages with all types of medical issues can more easily access medical services in this part of Brunswick County, according to Stanley. While those with serious medical problems, such as the elderly, will find the care they need at the ED, younger adults and children can visit the Dosher Memorial’s clinics for routine and less acute medical issues.

The driving force behind Dosher Memorial’s expansion is Brunswick County’s booming population growth. This past year, Brunswick County was the fastest-growing county in the state, according to Stanley. She added that projections put 65,000 new residents in the county by 2030 and that a significant portion of those residents will be older adults.

“We knew we needed to position ourselves to take care of this community as it grows,” Stanley said. “At least 65% of that population is on Medicare, and they need to be able to

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get the care they need close to home. We want to provide emergency and regular care, and we needed to put the infrastructure in place to meet that need.”

To achieve that goal, hospital trustees and leadership developed a seven-year master facility management plan consisting of five phases. In addition to expanding the ED and Oak Island and Dosher Medical Plaza clinics, Phase 1 of the plan also includes increasing the size of the hospital’s pharmacy and lab.

Developing the facility plan entailed a concentrated effort by a team of professionals, including hospital board members, architects, designers, and staff. That collaboration led to better solutions for the hospital’s expansion, Stanley said.

For example, the team determined that a new ED was a better solution than renovating the current ED space. Building a new ED ensured that services for ED patients would continue uninterrupted, and the new space can be built out as the community continues to grow, she said.

“This was great work by the team,” Stanley noted. “They took their time in an ongoing process. With such due diligence, we recognized additional opportunities.”

So far Dosher Memorial’s renovations are meeting targeted timelines, and staff are doing everything possible to ensure they stay on schedule, Stanley said. For example, to avoid delays due to supply chain issues, essential materials such as steel are ordered far in advance, she explained.

Though the price tag for Phase 1 of the master facility plan was set at $15.4 million, Stanley said that with inflation, the cost could creep up to $16.6 million. The project is funded by an ad valorem tax paid by Smithville Township residents.

Despite its small size (the hospital boasts 25 beds), Dosher Memorial has earned a reputation for high-quality medical care. Its accolades include a Press Ganey HX Guardian of Excellence Award, which places Dosher Memorial in the top 5% of health care providers for patient experience in surgical care in the past year; a four-star rating on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems’ patient survey; and recognition for excellence in hip and knee orthopedic surgery and wound care.

Stanley said she regularly receives letters and other communications from grateful patients and family members about the compassionate care they receive.

“We have created a strategy around delivering world-class care in a small community hospital,” she said. “We are high tech and high touch. You can’t get any better than that.”

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Health + Wellness

Health Updates

A in the Port City

ccompanied by his mother, Deloris Jordan, sports superstar Michael Jordan spoke in May about returning to the city of his youth to play a role in expanding health care in Wilmington.

Jordan visited Wilmington on May 7 to cut the

From Staff Reports

ribbon on the first of two medical clinics he’s helped fund in his hometown.

Novant Health announced in early 2021 that the Wilmington native and six-time NBA champion had donated $10 million to help open two Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinics in New Hanover County.

Jordan has previously partnered with the health system to open two clinics in Charlotte.

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Health + Wellness
Photo

The first clinic, at the corner of 15th and Greenfield streets, opened its doors in April, while site work has started on the second medical clinic near the corner of Princess Place Drive and North 30th Street, according to a Novant Health spokesperson.

More than 100 local leaders and other community members turned out for the ribbon-cutting. Jordan, his mother and other members of the Jordan family attended the event.

Ernie Bovio, president of Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center, kicked off the event by thanking Michael Jordan for his investment in the clinic and the broader community.

“As you will soon see, this clinic is impressive. The care team, the physicians practicing here are committed and dedicated to transforming the way health care is experienced through this new community resource,” Bovio said. “And there’s no doubt that the clinic will be vital to the health of our friends and neighbors for many years to come, so thank you, Michael, for creating a healthier future, a brighter future for so many here in Wilmington.”

Addressing attendees, Michael Jordan said it was “good to be home.” He said he and his family want to continue giving back to the community, building on the clinic model established in Charlotte.

“We did it in Charlotte, and now we’re going to do it in Wilmington, which makes it even more special because this is home; this is where I came from,” he said. “No matter how you see Michael Jordan, this is where I started.”

Deloris Jordan reminded community members that they need to play an active role in supporting the new Wilmington clinic.

“With this building, you must contribute. He brought it, he established the partnership, but it’s for your benefit, not his,” she said. “One person can’t do it all; it has to be a team.”

Michael Jordan graduated from Laney High School in Wilmington in 1981, and in 1982, he helped lead UNC to a national championship. He went on to play 15 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls.

The first 7,800-square-foot medical office at 1423 Greenfield St. has 12 patient rooms and will offer comprehensive primary care services, including to those who are uninsured or underinsured, according to Novant Health.

Novant leaders worked with the local nonprofit Cape Fear Collective to identify locations with the greatest need for medical clinics. The clinics aim to make health care services more accessible, especially for underserved communities.

In July 2021, New Hanover County leaders transferred the 2 acres at the corner of 15th and Greenfield streets to Novant Health for the clinic’s construction. Crews broke ground on the project in October 2022.

Late last year, Michael Jordan and his family entered

into discussions about plans to bring a Jordan museum to Project Grace in downtown Wilmington. New Hanover County leaders recently announced that the family had opted not to move forward with the museum plans.

Surgeon performs newer type of bariatric surgery

Wilmington Health’s Jayme Stokes this year successfully performed the first SADI-S procedure in the region, according to the practice.

Stokes, a board-certified general and bariatric surgeon, performed a Single Anastomosis Duodeno-Ileal Bypass with Sleeve Gastrectomy (SADI-S).

“SADI-S represents a significant advancement in bariatric surgery, offering patients a comprehensive solution for long-term weight management,” Stokes said in a news release.

The procedure requires making one intestinal bypass instead of two as part of the patient’s weight-loss surgery, “reducing surgical time and minimizing the risk of intestinal leakage.”

“The two-step laparoscopic surgery begins with the removal of a substantial portion of the stomach, transforming it into a slender ‘sleeve’ structure,” the release stated. “This sleeve restricts food intake and diminishes the production of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin, aiding in appetite suppression.”

SADI-S was introduced in 2007 as a modification of the more traditional duodenal switch operation, officials said, adding that the procedure has shown enhanced outcomes and reduced postoperative complications.

“Unlike the duodenal switch, SADI-S preserves a greater portion of the intestine, enabling improved nutrient absorption and minimizing the need for lifelong supplementation,” the release stated. “Additionally, the single intestinal connection in SADI-S reduces the risk of leakage and future bowel obstruction, enhancing patient safety and long-term surgical success.”

“SADI-S represents a significant advancement in bariatric surgery,” Stokes said, “offering patients a comprehensive solution for long-term weight management.”

Novant Health adds new AFib treatment

Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute has incorporated a recent FDA-approved treatment for AFib, or atrial fibrillation, as an option for local patients.

Pulsed Field Ablation (PFA), a technology created by Medtronic, involves using pulsed electrical fields sent through a catheter to treat misfiring cardiac tissue in the heart, according to a news release from the health system. The goal is to permanently correct a patient’s irregular heartbeat.

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Novant Health providers did their first procedures with the technology April 3 at Novant Health New Hanover Medical Center and Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

“AFib causes symptoms and can increase risk of heart failure and stroke, so it’s important to identify and successfully treat the condition,” Bill Smith, clinical physician executive for Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute in the health system’s coastal region, said in the release. “Launching this new treatment at two sites on the same day is a testament to a strong effort from across our Heart & Vascular Institute to offer the latest advanced treatment options to our patients.”

AFib, officials said, is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia and a condition that is expected to affect more than 12 million people nationally by 2030.

Surgery center recognized by orthopedic organization

Brunswick Surgery Center this year received four certificates of excellence from accreditation organization DNV Healthcare, according to a news release.

The certificates were for four subspecialties that DNV surveys:

• advanced foot and ankle surgery

• advanced hip and knee replacement

• advanced shoulder surgery

• advanced spine surgery

Located in the EmergeOrtho building in the Villages at Brunswick Forest, Brunswick Surgery Center (BSC) is one of the region’s first outpatient ambulatory surgery centers dedicated to advanced orthopedics, the release stated. The center is staffed by 29 board-certified or board-eligible fellowship-trained surgeons from EmergeOrtho.

Because Brunswick Surgery Center achieved advanced certification in at least three orthopedic programs, it also obtained a DNV Orthopedic Center of Excellence designation, recognizing BSC as “a demonstrated leader in the safe delivery of orthopedic surgeries.”

According to the release, the DNV Orthopedic Center of Excellence designation is based on guidelines, recommendations and evidence-based, professionally recognized standards of practice acknowledged by leading professional organizations and agencies in the discipline. The designation is valid for a three-year term.

“I believe that the DNV certification reflects our efforts to support the vision and mindset of Brunswick Surgery Center,” Eric Lescault, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Brunswick Surgery Center specializing in joint replacement and sports medicine, stated in the release. “That has always been to offer the most technologically advanced, affordable orthopedic care to our region.”

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Photo c/o Novant Health

Helping Hands

pawsitive

impact

In their retirement, Lisa Quigley and her greyhound, Bernie, have volunteered at area hospitals to cheer up patients and staff.

I knew an hour into fostering Bernie that he wasn’t leaving,” Lisa Quigley said.

Bernie is a 7-year-old greyhound Quigley adopted from Greyhound Friends of North Carolina.

In their retirement – Bernie from the racetrack and Quigley as an echocardiographer in New York –the duo has volunteered at Novant Health New Hanover Medical Center and Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center for the past three years.

“Bernie has a calming personality,” Quigley said. “And I wanted to get back into the hospital. I feel comfortable in that environment. It’s like home to me.”

Quigley enrolled Bernie in Canine Good Citizen, a 10-skill test that teaches good manners to dogs and responsible dog ownership to their owners. Bernie progressed to the advanced level and tested to become a therapy dog.

Twice a week, the duo travels from Rocky Point to volunteer in the lobby, patient rooms, and waiting rooms.

Patients and employees are greeted as they come and go. And Bernie offers much-needed stress relief for medical students during

their lunch break.

“As I walk in, I hear ‘Bernie’s here!’ Quigley said.

Word spreads quickly that Bernie is on the hall.

“Bernie walks in, and the patients’ faces light up. It’s like the sun has come out, and they are just so happy,” Quigley said.

Being hospitalized can be isolating, particularly for those who don’t get many or any visitors.

“Some patients cry when they see Bernie,” Quigley said. “They hug, kiss and pet him. It means the world to them to interact with us. And for me, talking with patients was the best part about my job when I worked in a hospital.”

While many know their faces, many aren’t aware of the battle Quigley is facing behind closed doors.

She spends additional time at the hospital receiving treatment for cancer. But that hasn’t slowed her down.

“It was rough in the beginning,” Quigley said. “But after a couple treatments, I have a better command on things. We don’t miss any volunteer visits.”

It’s sometimes difficult, but Quigley said Bernie gives her a reason to wake up and leave the house.

“Bernie gets very excited when

I say we’re going to the hospital,” Quigley said. “The hospital has been very supportive and compassionate. It helps to have such a huge support system at both hospitals.”

Bernie accompanies Quigley to her treatments.

Quigley was recently recognized with a Guardian Angel pin for her volunteer work at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center.

“That was a total shock,” she said. “I was honored, but a bit embarrassed because I’m sure other volunteers have contributed more.”

While Bernie is compensated with treats from the staff and an occasional pup cup from the Novant Health NHRMC Port City Java, Quigley says the joy of volunteering at a hospital is worth much more than goodies or a salary.

“Everyone should volunteer and know what it’s like to give your time and the happiness it can bring,” she said. “It’s a rewarding experience.”

Helping Hands is a recurring Good Life Wilmington feature that spotlights older adult volunteer across the Wilmington area. To recommend a volunteer or program, email editor@ wilmingtonbiz.com.

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Health + Wellness

LIVE LIKE A LOCAL

Whether it’s your first summer in the Cape Fear region or you’re a beach pro, we’ve got tips to make the most of your sandy outings in the months ahead. Longtime Wilmington resident Karen Bright writes a regular column for Good Life Wilmington called Living Like a Local to give you insider tips on the area.

Here’s a roundup of her beach recommendations, including a look at the ideal day by the waves to live vicariously through.

THE PERFECT BEACH DAY

Are there better ways to spend the day than at the beach? You live in coastal North Carolina now so probably not. When you wake up in the morning you notice the sky is cloudless and Carolina blue. The weather promises to be a magnificent 85 degrees with some humidity. The humidity is just enough to keep the air warm with that slight, cushiony feel to prevent any chill from the ocean breeze. When you check, the tide will be low at 11 a.m. making for ideal conditions. Your husband may have plans to work around in the yard or fix something; you have another idea:

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Photo REINWAND

the beach. Convincing him is not difficult, after all, he is a born beach bum too. Maybe your 20s are long behind you but dropping all plans and heading to the beach is still in your bones. Together you pack up the Jeep and the gear.

You get towels, snacks, beach chairs and a tent for shade. You know from experience that large buckets filled with sand and tied to the legs prevent any potential drama from a tent launching down the beach in the breeze. You make a final check for sunscreen, hats and sunglasses.

Today you choose to drive onto the beach. Your husband loves the theatrics of bumping along in the sand and watching others get stuck. This doesn’t happen to you; you are pros. You like the drive onto the beach for the ease of unloading the supplies and the knowledge of an easy exit when the time is right.

When you find your favorite spot, you park your Jeep. You situate yourself for the idyllic photograph of Jeep, blue-green water and dunes in one photo. You post it to make every one of your friends who stayed in the North or are landlocked in cities jealous and to show off your good decisions.

You hop out of the vehicle, well maybe step out gingerly, unload and set up. The shade tent is first; your days of sun-worshipping are over. You are sensible now. The chairs are on the sand, the coolers are unloaded and cold drinks are in your hand.

Here comes the Kona Ice truck, and the kids on the sand lose their minds in a panic to get money from prepared parents. You smile as you watch the kids race

down the beach to catch him. They come back a flutter of happiness with small cups of frozen, sweet ice.

You and your husband give each other knowing looks and laugh as you remember when your own kids were that age. You feel very nostalgic, maybe a little tug at your heart. Then you remember your own grandkids will visit soon.

Immediately you are grateful for the easy day.

You and your husband decide to go for a walk. You collect seashells and people watch. When you glance out at the ocean there are dolphins. You’re sunkissed and tired – it’s time to break everything down and pack up the Jeep. You pack your shells into the beach bag because these will look great in a glass bowl at home.

The traffic is light as you drive off the beach. The ride home is glorious with no roof and doors and the wind in your hair.

Are there better ways to spend the day than at the beach? Maybe, but in coastal North Carolina, you think not.

WHICH WAY TO GO?

Deciding which beach to set up camp at for the day, though, sometimes depends on what you feel like doing that day.

Wrightsville Beach will always have a special place in my heart. This is where I first stepped foot in North Carolina. I have lived here, I have worked here and I will always find time to relax here.

The south end of the beach is glorious because the Intracoastal Waterway meets the ocean and makes for

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photos c/o Wilmington and Beaches CVB Beach time events: Carolina Beach Boardwalk Blast with live music and fireworks every Thursday in the summer; the Cape Fear Kite Festival in Kure Beach in November; outrigger canoes in Wrightsville Beach

a calm swimming spot. If you choose to spend your time within the central part of the beach, you will have the added benefit of walking to many restaurants and shops.

The north end of the beach is great for walking and finding seashells. Wrightsville is the place to be in the off-season when the weather is warm, and the traffic has dwindled.

If you own a four-wheel drive vehicle, then I suggest the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. This is where you will find the Basin (or Hermit) trailhead. To drive on the beach, you will need a pass. The visitor center is located to the immediate left of the beach entrance. You can purchase a day pass or season pass.

I personally like to go when the tide is low and the water tends to be a little calmer as this stretch of beach is not serviced by lifeguards. Too many people think they are immune to the dangers of the ocean and its waves. As a public service announcement, please know you are not.

Carolina Beach is another excellent option. It has restaurants, weekly live music and fireworks, a Ferris wheel, and so many other options along with sitting on the sand.

Although it is only a 40-minute drive, give or take, from Wilmington, Pender County beaches are worth the trip. We have been known to vacation at Topsail Island.

These beaches are great not only for the sandy beaches but for the piers – all three provide free parking and bathrooms. The fees for fishing and walking differ based on the pier. They also all have restaurants, shops and the ability to simply see the views.

Seaview Fishing Pier is the northernmost pier, in North Topsail Beach, then you come down to Surf City Ocean Pier, then finally the Jolly Roger Inn and Pier at Topsail Beach.

I find Pender County beaches to be less crowded than the beaches of New Hanover County in the summer, and even quieter in the off-season, if that’s what you’re after.

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N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher Cape Fear Shoals tank

From Sky to Landfall

Retired Lt. Colonel Allen Lamb receives a lifetime achievement award for bravery and breaking new ground in aerial warfare

for the growing number of older adults who call coastal North Carolina home, retirement means lazy days at the beach, barbecues with family and friends and biking along an increasing number of walk-and-cycle trails.

For Allen Lamb, who is 72 and splits his time between his hometown of Lumberton and Wilmington’s Landfall community, retirement also means basking in the glow of a lifetime achievement award bestowed on him by fellow retirees of the U.S. Air Force for valor during the Viet nam War.

Called “Wild Weasels” because its tactics were reminiscent of the way a hunting ferret enters the den of its prey to kill it, the top-secret mission

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that Lamb led in 1965 meant making the first flight of a fighter jet equipped with radar-seeking missiles to pinpoint incoming Soviet surface-toair missiles, or SAM(s). The ultimate objective? Neutralizing enemy launching pads on the ground.

“The task of a Wild Weasel aircraft is to bait enemy anti-aircraft defenses into targeting it with their radars, whereupon the radar waves are traced back to their source, allowing the Weasel or its teammates to precisely target it (SAM sites) for destruction,” according to Wikipedia.

“They’re (the Air Force) using the techniques that I developed … the Weasel became the tip of the spear. It really set the Russians back,” Lamb said in an interview following a May 3 tribute at Landfall Country Club. At the event, he was honored by representatives of The Society of Wild Weasels; his wife, Frances (shown with Lamb on previous page) ; and other friends and family in recognition of the groundbreaking missions that he flew.

“I was asked to volunteer” before he was briefed on what the Air Force had in mind, Lamb recalled. “I ended up getting the first three and the fifth one (SAM ‘kills’). We couldn’t even keep records of anything.”

Lamb’s leadership role in the Wild Weasels came at a time when the U.S. was losing planes in a bombing campaign over North Vietnam called Operation Rolling Thunder due to the effectiveness of Soviet SAM(s) in support of Ho Chi Minh, a communist who served as president of North Vietnam from 1945 to 1969. Based in Hanoi, he had plans to overtake U.S.backed South Vietnam.

After he died in office, the longrunning Vietnamese standoff as well as diminishing public support in the U.S. for the war led to a peace accord in 1973 and an uneasy unification of North and South. When Saigon fell, it was renamed Ho Chi Minh City.

Erica Mearns, Lamb’s daughter, grew up going to Air Force reunions with her father. She describes his initial Wild Weasels sorties as “a suicide mission.” Nevertheless, he flew a total of 298 Weasels flights, with a small Bible onboard and saying

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a prayer before taking off.

“A Wild Weasel crewman wore a hard helmet and an oxygen mask with an integrated microphone. A survival vest held a first aid kit, escape map, survival kit and other items useful should he be shot down or forced to eject,” according to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force website. “Over the waist and legs is a g-suit, which fills with air during sharp turns to keep him from passing out from high g (gravitational) forces. On his back is a parachute. Other items normally carried included a pistol and survival knife,” the web posting added.

Lamb was accompanied on his first Wild Weasels flight by Jack Donovan, a back-seat navigator.

“I couldn’t do what I did up-front without him … He was pointing out where the (Soviet) guns were coming from, (and) we could actually detect radar that was hitting us on the airplane,” Lamb said.

When Lamb was awarded the Silver Star for his leadership role in the Wild Weasels, he refused to accept it because Donovan was not also honored. Donovan, however, did receive the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions. He died in 2015 at age 82 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

In addition to introducing a new tactic in electronic warfare, Lamb was the only Weasel to regain flight status after ejecting from his jet, his

daughter noted, as well as the only military pilot at the time to regain that status. But he sustained three fractured vertebrae in his back and two in his neck.

“To regain flight status he had to do 100 jumping jacks, 100 situps and 100 pushups in 12 minutes,” which he mastered over six weeks, said Mearns, who also lives in Wilmington.

“From protecting his B-26 bomber as a tail gunner from Soviet MIG pilots over Korea, to being distinguished as the first American pilot to successfully destroy North Vietnamese surface-toair missile SAM sites in an F-100 Super Sabre fighter jet, Lieutenant Colonel Lamb’s Cold War service consisted of many hazardous and diverse assignments,” reads a statement from U.S. Senator Thom Tillis that was placed into the legislative record. “Although it is difficult to narrow all of the spectacular death-defying accomplishments of Lieutenant Colonel Lamb’s career down to one specific achievement, his participation in the first ‘Wild Weasel’ strike against a North Vietnamese SA-2 SAM is particularly notable for the significant influence it had on future Air Force tactics.”

According to Business Insider, Wild Weasels tactics are being used in the Ukrainian battle with Russia. “Ukraine clearly is learning from Western military thought,” Frederik Mertens, a strategic analyst at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, told the publication, adding that Russian air defenses are a “key target.”

While much of Lamb’s 20 years of active service were dead-serious, there were some lighter moments.

Though details are hard to come by, Lamb remembers the day when he heard about a young boy who was to undergo a kidney transplant. Determined to make the young man’s wish for a furry friend come true, Lamb packed a dog into a plane and took off. When Lamb landed and delivered his four-legged passenger, astonished onlookers couldn’t believe their eyes.

“When I handed him (the crew chief) the puppy, they couldn’t believe it,” Lamb said. “That got us in a little bit of trouble, though I did it anyway.”

LOCAL VETERANS ORGANIZATIONS

Honor Flight of the Cape Fear Area

Since 2022, this nonprofit, allvolunteer group has honored WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War-era veterans by taking them on an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to visit veteran memorials and monuments. The next trip is slated for spring 2025. Info: honorflightcfa.org

American Legion

Accepts veterans who served anytime since 1941 and were honorably discharged or still serving active military duty. Local posts include:

• Post 10 in Wilmington nclegion10.org

• Post 167 in Hampstead ncalpost167.org

• Post 129 in Pleasure Island pleasureislandpost129.com and others.

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Another nonprofit veterans service organization for veterans (or those currently serving) who also served in “in a war, campaign, or expedition on foreign soil or in hostile waters.”

The Wilmington Post 2573 facebook.com/ vfwpost2573canteen

Summer 2024 35 GoodLife Wilmingto n .com Lifestyles + Connections

meals provided through the Grocery Giveaway

76,500 120,328 54,000

hot meals served in the Soup Kitchen

men, women, and children sheltered overnight

235

individuals utilizing Day Shelter services

169

25 campuses volunteers 500 7 programs 3

meals delivered to rehoused seniors and families

365 221

individuals served through the free on-site Medical Clinic

men, women, and children returned to a safe, stable home of their own

48

chronically homeless adults rehoused with supportive services at SECU Lakeside Reserve and the Sgt. Eugene Ashley Center

homeless Veterans re turned to independent housing through the Sgt. Eugene Ashley Center

Our mission is made possible through the support of donors, volunteers, and community partners. Get involved today at www.goodshepherdwilmington.org.

36 RETIREMENT LIVING IN COASTAL N.C. GoodLife Wilmingto n .com
shelter
transition
housing.
Our mission is to feed the hungry,
the homeless, and foster
to
Good Shepherd Center
Program Highlights
2023
Sponsors Content

Home for Good: A Campaign for Permanent Solutions to Homelessness

Good Shepherd Center’s Capital Campaign Home for Good will:

• Create more than 50 apartments for chronically homeless individuals with disabilities, including seniors and Veterans;

• Expand our homeless services campus, including a new family shelter with expanded capacity, dedicated play space and rehousing supports;

• Build on 40+ years of service to the Cape Fear community, using Best Practice , data driven interventions to help homeless individuals and families transition to permanent housing, stability, and an improved quality of life

Breaking Ground in 2024

Our newest Permanent Supportive Housing community is fully funded and will rehouse 32 chronically homeless adults with disabilities by providing an affordable apartment combined with on-site supportive services. The land for this campus was generously donated by the City of Wilmington.

SECU The Sparrow

On the Horizon for 2025

Good Shepherd is turning our attention to fundraising for our expanded Martin Street campus, which will include a new family shelter with double our current capacity, additional services space for homeless adults, and more Permanent Supportive Housing for our most vulnerable homeless neighbors. We are actively looking for support to help us bring this new campus to life!

Please join us in being a part of the solution. Last year, Good Shepherd ended the homelessness of 169 adults and children through a path back to safe, stable housing. With your support, we can do so much more! We invite you and your family, business, congregation, or organization to get inv olved in this important work. Reach out to our team to schedule a tour, to plan a volunteer opportunity, or to talk with us about homelessness in our community and the solutions that you can invest in that provide a better quality of life for all residents of our shared Cape Fear home. Call 910-763-4424 ext. 104 or email kknight@goodshepherdwilmington.org to connect!

Summer 2024 37 GoodLife Wilmingto n .com
A Good Shepherd Community
Sponsors Content

to a ‘Turning’ creative outlet

university of North Carolina Wilmington

professor Kirk Brown has been encouraging his students to do their best for the past 23 years.

From 2000 to 2018, he was also the program director for athletic training education. Now, he focuses his teaching at the UNCW School of Health and Applied Sciences as an associate professor.

But he doesn’t stop there.

After losing his father to cancer, Brown inherited his woodshop tools including his wood lathe, a tool that rotates a wooden piece on an axis allowing a cutting tool to shape the piece into the desired design.

While he had a little experience in making pens, he decided to utilize his inherited tools by turning his two-car garage into a functional workshop.

“After organizing my tools, I began teaching myself how to use the wood lathe to turn pens,” Brown said.

“There have been a lot of learning curves and many mistakes and frustrations,” he added. “I kept at it, and, after a year of practice, I started seeing all of that time paying off. After purchasing all the nec essary tools and supplies required to make the pen, it became evident that I needed to devise a plan to finance this hobby.

“It was only after a year that my wife and I started to explore ways to sustain this hobby, which had significant overhead expenses.”

Woodturning is an art that takes dedication and perseverance, but the results can be timeless pieces that are passed on for generations.

“Woodturners can generally be divided into two groups: bowl turners and spindle turners,” Brown said. “As a spindle turner, I focus on crafting pens and handles for a range of items, such as pizza cutters, bottle openers

As the Birch Turns

Interested in finding out more about the art of woodturning?

Here are some local organizations that focus on it.

Wilmington Area Woodturners Association

The club was created to “support and build a community of new and experienced woodturners in the Cape Fear region through teaching, training, and demonstrations.”

Info: wawawoodturners.org

Wawa Women In Turning

The woodturners group also hosts events for female woodturners of all skill levels to learn from each other and share lathes and tools.

Info: wawawoodturners.org, check the club’s events calendar for Women in Turning meetups

Kids Making It

Kids Making It is a local youth woodworking program. With the help of volunteers, at-risk youth learn woodworking and woodturning techniques while also picking up business skills by selling their goods at the nonprofit’s retail store.

Info: kidsmakingit.org , 617 Castle St.

38 RETIREMENT LIVING IN COASTAL N.C. GoodLife Wilmingto n .com Lifestyles + Connections
Wine cork/stopper combos are one of Kirk Brown's popular items.
Summer 2024 39 GoodLife Wilmingto n .com

Lifestyles + Connections

and ice cream scoops. What I love about woodturning is the ability to transform an unremarkable piece of wood into a beautiful pen that can be cherished for a lifetime.

“There are also the technical and detailed aspects of woodturning that appeal to me, such as matching wood grain when gluing two pieces together or matching wood texture with the appropriate wood finish.”

Those who know “Doc” Brown know the attention to detail he puts into his work whether as a woodturner or as an instructor. He is proud of his creations and how they are viewed by those around him.

“I have a few pens that I am especially proud of,” he said. “The very first one I ever made was for Dr. Bennet Omalu, who was giving a lecture at the UNCW campus. Since Dr. Omalu originally came from Nigeria, I decided to source some wood from that region to create the pen. I presented it to him

during a lunch event in front of the university’s deans and chancellor.

“After receiving the pen, Dr. Omalu told me that he would display it alongside the pen that President Barack Obama had given him! I also had the pleasure of making a pen for Kareem AbdulJabbar, a former Lakers player.

Brown recalls once making a pen out of 34 segments of wood.

“I wasn’t sure if it would hold together while I was turning it on the lathe,” he said. “However, once I completed it, it turned out to be stunning. One of our good friends bought the pen and now keeps it in his office as a display piece.”

Brown, whose Facebook page is at facebook.com/ docbrownswoodshop, showcases and sells his creations at craft fairs in the area throughout the year.

He often can be found at the Historic Downtown Wilmington Marketplace, which takes place on Sundays between April 14 and Oct. 27 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

40 RETIREMENT LIVING IN COASTAL N.C. GoodLife Wilmingto n .com
Summer 2024 41 GoodLife Wilmingto n .com THREE GENERATIONS, ONE MISSION 910.256.5333

FLAVOR PROFILES

42 RETIREMENT LIVING IN COASTAL N.C. GoodLife Wilmingto n .com Food + Drink
Photo by MEGAN DEITZ

Restaurants throughout the region serve up nostalgic nosh for transplants

there are a lot of food options in Wilmington – vegan, international and, of course, Southern – but what of those who miss their taste of home?

Joe’s Oasis brings a taste of Pennsylvania with its pierogies. Maine Lobstah Shack has just that: authentic lobster from Maine. Brooklyn Café goes farther south with a taste of beignets from Louisiana. Port City Plates is a call home to New York, specifically Rochester. And S & L New York Style Deli has a direct pipeline, its bagels and rolls hailing from the Big Apple and baked daily.

These are just a few of the restaurants bringing a unique taste to the area – a piece of a notforgotten life to those who have moved here from other areas of the country, or a new experience for the native Wilmingtonian.

S&L Deli

2317 S. 17th St., Wilmington | sldeli.com/about

Channeling the ubiquitous New York City corner deli, S&L’s owners have built their lineup around city favorites for their breakfast and lunch menus.

There are bread items from New York, such as New York-style egg sandwiches, and well as stacked Boar’s Head meats-and-cheeses rolls. Customer lunch favorites include the Godfather (an Italian combo), Penn Station (Reuben), and Downtown (Philly cheesesteak) as well as those with classic NY names including the Liberty, Yankee Stadium, Times Square and Central Park.

The family-owned and -operated deli draws former New York residents as well as hospital staff because of its proximity to Novant Health NHRMC’s main campus on 17th Street.

Louie and Tami Natoli, moved to Wilmington in 2005 from Stony Point, New York, and opened the eatery, which is owned by Louie and Tami's brother Steve Ercole.

Their dessert menu also is New York-inspired and features New York-style cheesecake and sfogliatella, a shell-shaped Italian pastry. And they offer catering services as well.

Brooklyn Café

706 N. 4th St., Wilmington facebook.com/BrooklynCafeNC

A neon “Beignets All Day” sign greets customers coming to Brooklyn Café looking for a taste of New Orleans.

Brooklyn Café is a restaurant that serves, according to coowner Rodney Robbins, “made from scratch and served hot” beignets from his mother’s recipes.

Beignets, with their origin in France, migrated from their home country to New Orleans – a center of culinary creation in the South.

Rodney and Marilyn Robbins brought that taste to the Brooklyn Arts District near downtown Wilmington.

Brooklyn Café’s beignets and donuts are a simple and delicious choice. There are even vegan beignet options.

The cafe also is quickly becoming known for its Java Estate coffee and wine and beer options.

Summer 2024 43 GoodLife Wilmingto n .com
Food + Drink

Lifestyles + Connections

Port City Plates

Maine Lobstah Shack

411 Roland Avenue, Surf City | mainelobstahshack.com

You can hear Maine in the name – Maine Lobstah Shack has brought lobster rolls to Surf City since 2021.

Maine Lobstah Shack was started by a family from Maine that moved to the area in 2015, according to its website.

Those from the Northern coast will be familiar with Maine’s lobster rolls – a signature dish for the restaurant and the region. Maine Lobstah Shack’s lobster roll ingredients are local to their original home: lobster from Maine and rolls from New England.

“A processor in Maine cooks the meat, then it’s fresh, never frozen and delivered to the restaurant,” co-owner Trevor Dostie said. There are variants of this dish on the menu, such as “Lil Surfer Lobster Roll.” The Maine Roll is its most popular.

The Shack – as it is called on the website – can also be found around town with its newly launched food truck.

portcityplates.com | facebook.com/PortCityPlates (for food truck locations)

Trash plates are said to originate in New York, specifically Rochester. They are a mingling of American street food, such as hot dogs and hamburgers, combined together with sauces and a base of home fries.

Port City Plates boasts “Rochester Style Trash Plates” with a Wilmingtonian twist – the names of the trash plates are all well-known, local areas, such as the Wrightsville Beach option.

Their main customer base is from “Western New York to include Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo – go Bills!” said Shelly Marketell, who owns Port City Plates with her husband, Rob.

Their best seller is the Carolina Beach plate, followed by the Cape Fear plate.

Port City Plates is a food truck that brings authenticity out and about. The owners are from Western New York and therefore have experienced the real deal and brought it to Leland when they moved.

Joe’s Oasis

6400 Carolina Beach Road, Unit 10, Wilmington | joesoasis.com

Under its “Taste of Pittsburgh” section, Joe’s Oasis has housemade pierogies on the menu. The cheese-and-potato-stuffed dumplings are topped with the classic garnishes of onion and butter and laid on sour cream.

Joe’s Oasis was opened by a “born and raised” Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native Cathy Krizner, according to the restaurant’s website. Opening the eatery in Masonboro Commons in 2013 as a tribute to Krizner’s late husband, the neighborhood bar strives to bring a step above pub food to the area.

Pierogies are a signature dish – and can be pre-ordered by the dozen –but there are other tastes of Pittsburgh, such as Isaly’s chipped ham or a turkey Devonshire.

The bar’s patrons also can order Iron City and I.C. Light beers from Pittsburgh Brewing Co.

You can also find pierogies on the menu at Whiskey Trail, 4039 Masonboro Loop Road and 3525 Lancelot Lane, where varieties include the Masonboro with bourbon pork belly, onions and white cheddar and the Philly with shaved ribeye, grilled mushrooms, onions, green peppers and queso.

44 RETIREMENT LIVING IN COASTAL N.C. GoodLife Wilmingto n .com

RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES

Brightmore of Wilmington 2324 41st St. Wilmington, NC 28403 (910) 350-1980

BrightmoreOfWilmington.com

Cambridge Village 75 Cavalier Dr. Wilmington, NC 28405 (910) 239-9500

CVSLiving.com

Carolina Bay at Autumn Hall 630 Carolina Bay Dr. Wilmington, NC 28403 (866) 455-0599

CarolinaBayAtAutumnHall.com

Inspire Brunswick Forest 6146 Liberty Hall Dr. Leland, NC 28451 (910) 239-2605

InspireBrunswickForest.com

Porters Neck Village 1200 Porters Neck Rd. Wilmington, NC 28411 (866) 825-3806 PortersNeckVillage.org

COMMUNITIES

Village at River Landing 131 River Village Pl. Wallace, NC 28466 (888) 285-4171

RiverLanding.com

HEALTH CARE

AFC Urgent Care Wilmington 348 College Rd. Wilmington, NC 28403 (910) 343-8209

AFCUrgentCare.com

Dawson Med 608 Dawson St #101 Wilmington, NC 28401 (910) 387-3788

Dawson-Med.com

Helping Hands of the Cape Fear (910) 447 9737

HelpingCapeFear.com

Summer 2024 45 GoodLife Wilmingto n .com Good Life Directory - Sponsored Listings GoodLife Wilmingto n .com 93 RETIREMENT LIVING IN COASTAL N.C. Good Life Directory - Sponsored Listings
DIRECTORY
THINKING ABOUT YOUR THIRD ACT? Lean in to the Good Life. Resources, community, and fun all in one place. Find us at GoodLifeWilmington.com
wilmington
wilmington

HOME RESOURCES

Wilmington Awning, Shutter & Shade

730 Saint James Drive

Wilmington, NC 28403 (910) 799-2782

WilmingtonAwning.com

BANKS & FINANCIAL ADVISORS

Excite Credit Union

237 Racine Drive

Wilmington NC 28403 (910) 798-9576

ExciteCU.org

Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors

1111 Military Cutoff Rd.

Wilmington, NC 28405 (910) 509-1100

Advisor.MorganStanley.com

TD Bank

802 College Rd.

Wilmington, NC 28403 (910) 792-0131

TD.com

United Bank

115 N 3rd Street

Wilmington, NC 28401 (910) 726-1510

BankWithUnited.com

Wrightsville Wealth Management

1985 Eastwood Road Landfall Park North, #110 Wilmington, NC 28403 (866) 275-4477

Advisors.UBS.com/Wrightsville

INSURANCE AGENTS

James E. Moore

Insurance Agency 1508 Military Cutoff Rd. #104 Wilmington, NC 28403 (910) 256-5333

JamesEMoore.com

TRAVEL/ ENTERTAINMENT

theArtWorks 200 Willard St Wilmington, NC 28401 (910) 352-1822

TheArtworks.co

Wilmington Symphony Orchestra 5032 Randall Pkwy

Wilmington, NC 28403 (910) 791-9262

WilmingtonSymphony.org

Wilson Center 703 N 3rd St. Wilmington, NC 28401 (910) 362-7999

WilsonCenterTickets.com

Wilmington International Airport 1740 Airport Blvd. Wilmington, NC 28405 (910) 341-4125

FlyILM.com

NONPROFITS/ VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Girl Scouts-North Carolina Coastal Pines 2250 Shipyard Blvd #3 Wilmington, NC 28403 (800) 284-4475

NcCoastalPines.org

Good Shepherd Center 811 Martin St. Wilmington, NC 28401 (910) 763-4424

GoodShepherdWilmington.org

United Way of the Cape Fear Area 127 Grace St. Wilmington, NC 28401 (910) 798-3900

UWCFA.org

Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry (WARM) 909 Market St. Wilmington, NC 28401 (910) 399-7563

WarmNC.org

LOCALITIES

City Of Wilmington 102 North Third St. Wilmington, NC 28402 (910) 341.7800

WilmingtonNC.gov

United Bank

46 RETIREMENT LIVING IN COASTAL N.C. GoodLife Wilmingto n .com Good Life Directory - Sponsored Listings GoodLife Wilmingto n .com Summer 2024 94
Good Life Directory - Sponsored Listings

AL FRESCO APPETITES

Outdoor dining spaces add another dimension to dining in the Port City and, in some cases, take a restaurant’s brand to new heights.

They seem to be popping up everywhere like mushrooms overnight – outdoor patio and garden spaces conceived and constructed on premises by local restaurants and eateries to keep customers, boost business and build their brands.

Whether big, small, homemade

or contracted out, the city’s outdoor dining spaces have almost become ubiquitous.

“It was really important we had outdoor space,” said Kristian Bawcom, owner of the recently opened Four Corners restaurant at 2025 Eastwood Road, close to Wrightsville Beach. “It was under construction from day one.”

Facing Eastwood Road and running the length of the building, Four Corners’ patio is wide and spacious, as it spills out from the main building through glass doors onto a concrete slab boasting 18 teak tables and chairs, multiple TVs, a fire

pit and string lights.

Dark-stained decorative louvered shutters on the structure side of the patio lend a relaxed, tropical feel.

Above the porch entrance, like a low-hanging cloud, sits Four Corners’ sky-blue neon sign, the name a reference to an offensive strategy in basketball popularized by celebrated Chapel Hill basketball coach Dean Smith.

The original Chapel Hill-based Four Corners restaurant – and subsequently the inspiration behind the Wrightsville Beach location – is also owned by Bawcom.

Bawcom pointed out that an

Summer 2024 47 GoodLife Wilmingto n .com Food + Drink
CVB
Photo c/o Wilmington and Beaches Outdoor dining at Lumina Station

outdoor space existed on the onetime site of Soundside restaurant, formerly Boca Bay.

“There were six to eight tables and a firepit, but there was no real design,” he said. “You’re definitely going to have to spend some money to make (a space like this) comfortable.”

Four Corners’ future patio plans include an outdoor bar with 14 seats and an awning.

It’s been worth every penny, said Bawcom, a surfer who grew up in South Florida.

“Every evening, this patio is full,” he said, noting that it’s too early to tell about the patio’s overall economic impact, as the restaurant just opened on April 17. “But what I can tell you is sales have been very consistent.”

Bawcom turned and ordered an unsweet tea as palm fronds in the background bristled and a breeze swept across the patio. “It just has a really cool vibe out here,” he said. “And customers love it.”

Cool vibes, along with trying to boost the bottom line through outdoor dining, are something Carl Cross also knows about.

“Having outdoor space boosts business,” said Cross, who along with business partners Andrew Dennison and Dean Moore own The

Half sandwich shop and taproom at 510½ Red Cross St., the former home of Detour Deli. “It’s all about getting customers into seats. The patio helps us do that.”

Extra beer sales to quench parched tongues from outdoor noshing and nattering, said Cross, is just one example of an economic multiplier. With limited seating inside the low-profile, brick building, Cross said he and his business partners have come to rely on the outdoor space.

“In spring and fall, overflow is actually inside,” said Cross, referring to the patio’s popularity.

He said the rise of such spaces locally boils down to one factor: “You’re in a beautiful beach town. Who doesn’t want to be outside?”

The Half’s patio is a cozy, fencedin back lot with decking, brick and gravel. It holds six picnic tables and, at the far end, homemade benches and a fire pit.

“The patio’s construction was self-funded,” said Cross, pointing to bench legs made of local, reclaimed wood. “We did it ourselves – we enjoy problem solving.”

Like Four Corners, The Half’s patio also had a former life.

“A patio footprint existed, but it only had two picnic tables and was underutilized,” Cross said.

Minutes passed, and a lunchgoer stepped out the rear exit onto the sunny patio and passed by. “I’d rather sit outside, it’s so cute,” the customer said.

As Cross got up from a picnic table, he made a confession.

“I personally prioritize restaurants with outdoor space,” he said. “Anybody thinking about doing it should. It’s definitely worth it.”

In the 200 block of Market Street, pizzeria and beer garden Ponysaurus Brewing Co., which opened in January, didn’t horse around when planning an outdoor eating and drinking space.

Covered and uncovered areas with picnic tables, umbrellas and a large outdoor fireplace welcome guests into a hideaway garden that seems far removed from busy Market Street.

“We opened our outdoor beer garden and front patio earlier this year,” said co-owner Nick Hawthorne-Johnson. “We created our terraced outdoor dining space, which used to be a parking lot, as a hideaway for drinking beers, eating and connecting with friends. Our front patio is a beautiful place to overlook downtown Market Street with a beer in hand.”

48 RETIREMENT LIVING IN COASTAL N.C. GoodLife Wilmingto n .com Food + Drink
Photo c/o Wilmington and Beaches CVB
Dining on the Intracoastal at Bluewater Waterfront Grill in Wrightsville Beach
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