We are off to another season.


By Laurie Paolicelli

In Orange County we are feeling a renewed appreciation of spring. Sun and longer days bring hope and light of better days ahead. As our local community works to slowly and safely welcome residents and visitors to our streets, we want to share some news you might have missed about upcoming events and expansions, food, music, and books.

See you soon. Continue to wear a mask.

The Crunkleton on Franklin Street is Open Daily from 4:00 pm until 11:00 pm

Says local owner/operator Gary Crunkleton, “It has been a year since the doors of The Crunkleton in Chapel Hill were opened for our members and their guests. The Crunkleton has opened its doors and the front windows to welcome you all back with classic cocktails with a twist, and hospitality that embraces you like family, all within a timeless warm and welcoming setting.

IZA Whiskey Eats in Carrboro is a New Gourmet Experience in Carrboro

Located at 370 East Main Street in Carrboro, IZA Whiskey & Eats opened with a limited menu on the week of Thanksgiving 2020 but has since shifted to being fully open. IZA Whiskey & Eats moved into the space formerly occupied by One Fish Two Fish, a poke restaurant which closed in the past year.


Boasting ‘unapologetic flavors of true Asian food,’ Hawkers opened in March 2020 at University Place Mall in Chapel Hill. The restaurant’s name comes from street vendors called “hawkers,” who depend on locally grown ingredients to create dishes sold from mobile carts and stands. Beautiful outdoor space, the dining set-up on the inside is modeled to look like traditional street stalls seen in Asia. The decor on the inside is also complete with thousands of posters and neon lights. Check it out.

Blue’s on Franklin Street, Where Grandad Proposed to Grandmother

A new restaurant, Blue’s on Franklin, has opened in the space previously occupied by Moe’s Southwest Grill on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill and is owned and operated by a long line of serious Tar Heels. The restaurant serves North Carolina barbecue, which its website claims is a family recipe that is 150 years old. Their history all began on Franklin Street. “Grandad proposed to Grandmother on Franklin Street when they were students in 1957. This happened soon after the 32-0 men’s basketball team —known as McGuire’s Miracle — won the national championship in triple overtime over the Wilt Chamberlain led Kansas team.” Read more. https://bluesonfranklin.com

Blue’s on Franklin

Market and Moss Opened in Southern Village, Chapel Hill

Market and Moss, opened in Chapel Hill in February 2020 and is now open for patio, dining room, and takeout service and reservations are available for both indoor and outdoor dining. Wrote one happy visitor, “Everything was SO delicious! Their cocktails, small plates, and mains were amazing. The wait staff were super friendly, everybody had on masks, tables were separated well (we ate on the patio), and they had amazingly warm outdoor heaters. I will definitely be returning.”

Burrata, grilled plums, Serrano ham, and toasted pine nuts with a lemon oil at Market and Moss

Four Corners Has Expanded Its Outdoor Space

With its name paying homage to the offense that Dean Smith used so effectively on the way to countless wins, Four Corners has been a local sports bar experience at 175 East Franklin Street for four decades. In September 2020, Four Corners Grille, located on the corner of Franklin and Henderson, constructed a deck in front of the restaurant for outdoor seating. It remains open to the public.

Kipos, the Popular Greek Restaurant Opens at Eastgate

Kipos Greek restaurant in Chapel Hill opened in November at its new home at Eastgate Crossing Shopping Center. “In this beautiful new open-air space, we’re bringing the quintessential Greek experience back to life in Chapel Hill, North Carolina,” Bakatsias said. For hours and location visit: https://www.kiposchapelhill.com/location/kipos-greek-taverna

Osteria Georgi, Italian Family-Style Restaurant, to Open at 201 South Elliott Road in Chapel Hill

Osteria Georgi is named for Bakatsias’s good friend, the late George Tarantini. The restaurant is slated to open in the former Living Kitchen space near Whole Foods on Elliot Road later this spring, will serve brunch, lunch, and dinner, and will focus on pastas, braised meats, and antipasti, with special attention to locally sourced ingredients. Tarantini, the beloved longtime coach of N.C. State’s men’s soccer team, was born in Italy and died in Raleigh in 2019 at the age of 70.

Tesoro Readying for its Spring restaurant opening in Carrboro

Tesoro, a restaurant featuring house-made pasta, is set to move into the space at 100 East Weaver Street in the coming weeks. The space, which previously housed Market Street Coffee and Ice Cream, will now be home to an 18-seat eatery owned by chef and Carrboro resident David Peretin. With a menu chiefly featuring seasonal selections of plates, pasta dishes, and classic sweets, Peretin says he believes Tesoro will reflect his journey as a chef. https://tesorocarrboro.com

Hillsborough Updates

Eno River Parks

There’s no question that 2020 was the year to discover local parks, greenways, and open space. The Eno River reports that its Orange County parks saw 1.2 million people last year. The Eno River begins in Northern Orange County with the East and West Forks originating in the Cedar Grove Township. The Forks converge in the Cheeks Township and the Eno River traverses northern Orange and Durham counties until it joins the Neuse River at Falls Lake in Durham County. 37 of the 60 total miles of the Eno River are in Orange County.

  • Occoneechee Mountain State Natural area just north of Hillsborough. 260,407 visitors in 2020
  • Eno River State Park – three of five park entrances are in Orange Co (Cabe Lands, Few’s Ford and Pleasant Green) – 827,456 visitors in 2020
  • Little River Regional Park (a Durham-Orange County partnership) – 75,120 visitors in 2020

The combined 2020 visitation of these three parks was 1.2 million people. www.EnoRiver.org

Nomad Hillsborough, where Indian meets Latin

The table was nearly set for Nomad. The dishes were arriving, bar equipment was being installed. “Coming soon” could not come soon enough. It never did. Instead, COVID-19 made its way. One year later, Nomad is now adjusting and adding to its business hours. Nomad is the latest establishment from the team behind the Viceroy in Durham and the TanDurm food truck. As the name suggests, it features foods that tend to wander from one cuisine to the next (i.e., Indian meets Latin). It is an ambitious concept, but the folks here are determined to make it work. Great food, nice owners, and a happening town. Nomad Hillsborough.

B.J. Patel, left, and Nick Singh own and operate Nomad with two other partners, Smita Patel and Sejal Patel

Wooden Nickel Bake Shop

Located in the historic James Pharmacy building next door to the Wooden Nickel Pub, this fantastic bake shop offers all your sweet cravings together in one place: cakes, pies, donuts, fritters, scones, cookies, quiche & so much more!

  • Bake Shop Hours: Saturday & Sunday 8am-Noon, Monday 8am-1pm
  • Indoor and outdoor seating (masks required)
  • Serving Carrboro Coffee Roasters coffee, plus tea + hot chocolate too!
  • Wooden Nickle Pub Bottle Shop open during Bake Shop hours
  • Gift certificates available

Hillsborough celebrates Last Friday Artwalks Throughout 2021

Hillsborough Art Walk Last Fridays is back. The popular outdoor event features Friday night fun at art galleries and venues. The event turns the spotlight on local artists, food vendors, craftspeople. Local restaurants are open. Many shops, churches, museums and historic sites remain open and offer special events. West Hillsborough bars and restaurants offering food and entertainment. https://www.hillsboroughartscouncil.org/art-walk

The Next Five Last Fridays Hillsborough

  • March 26, 2021
  • April 30, 2021
  • May 28, 2021
  • June 25, 2021
  • July 30, 2021

An Evening with Jill Andrews – Dinner & Show April 30th at Botanist and Barrel, North of Hillsborough

Musician Jill Andrews began her music career in the early 2000’s as the co-founder of the alt-country group, the everybodyfields. Her music has been showcased on the TV shows Grey’s Anatomy, Nashville, Hart of Dixie, and American Idol. On April 30, the popular cidery in Cedar Grove, Botanist and Barrel, will host a 3-course prix fixe menu themed around lyrics from Jill’s songs. Dinner will be served family style for each party featuring local produce from Nourishing Acres, Eden Meats, and Cedar Grove Blueberry Farm. Sign Up Here

Laurie Paolicelli is the Executive Director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.

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