(photographs taken of Crook's Corner Restaurant on the corner of Franklin Street and N Merritt Mill Road in Chapel Hill)
The newly opened arcade bar, The Baxter Bar & Arcade, stocks a full bar and 46 restored arcade games from 1978-1998. Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Centipede, Millipede, Dig Dug, Mario Bros., Tron, on and on.
(photograph taken on N.Graham Street between Franklin and W. Rosemary streets in Chapel Hill)
Imagine the scent of fresh herbs and aged pine, paired with the taste of ambrosial hibiscus tea. Then add the hum of scores of pollinating bees. Feast for body, soul and mind. "The standard reaction is awe of the natural landscape, the beauty, the feeling one gets from being here," says Dana, a community herbalist.
The Honeysuckle Tea House is an open air structure evocative of Indonesia, located in the Chapel Hill countryside on a 16-acre farm about 20 minutes from downtown. Built to be a community gathering place, the tea house grows its own culinary and medicinal herbs, berries and mushrooms that are used in its teas, smoothies and kombuchas -- a drink with anecdotal health benefits made from fermenting sweetened black or green tea with bacteria and yeast.
"This country had been rich in herbal medicine," he says. "It's just been lost. It's more popular in other parts of the world."
The tea house is built on repurposed shipping containers not only to bolster the structure, but to cultivate edible mushrooms used for medicinal purposes. Designed with a sylvan charm, it features timber shelving and tables made from 100-year-old pine, woody scent still clings. The hut-like house is surrounded by vistas of the farm: garden beds spilling over with herbs, a wooden outdoor stage, clusters of picnic tables, a bridge traversing a pond, and a natural playground for children.
Besides selling beverages and local bites, the tea house offers live music, tea-making workshops and herbal consultations. It too accepts the Plenty, the piedmont local economy tender.
"Last September this was flat," Dana says, looking out at farm as if in wonder. "It was just a field."
In a world that can be filled with chaos and routine, the Honeysuckle Tea House is a welcomed escape. Best part, no passport necessary.
(photographs taken at 8871 Pickards Meadow Rd in Chapel Hill)
Sugarland's entryway seems to garner as much attention as its rainbow of sinful cupcakes. Often photographed, the tiered cake tiled underfoot unwittingly lures passersby.
Artist Erick Davis of Carrboro was commissioned by owner Katrina Ryan to handcraft the show-stopping piece. It took him nearly 200 hours, with minimal breaks.
Much of the recycled materials in his art are remnants of broken dishes from local eateries and coffee shops. His work is sprinkled throughout the sister cities. The ornate egg perched on the fork between Main & Rosemary streets (in front of Jesse's Coffee & Bar) in Carrboro is his. Beyond city limits, his woodland creatures wrap boulders in Briar Chapel, the development off 15-501 in Chapel Hill. Over the county line in Pittsboro, he created the mosaic alongside the General Store Cafe (now the Pittsboro Roadhouse) in Chatham County.
(photographs taken at Sugarland on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill)
A pair of murals along the walls of the Cosmic Cantina depict what could be a post-apocalyptic Franklin Street. Perhaps its the near-blinding fulvous canvas that adds to the ominous feeling. Or is it the brooding moon? One thing's less disputable, the paintings mimic a barren Franklin Street both to the east and west of the bargain burrito joint.
The nameless piece was painted by former UNC-CH student James Briley about four years ago, according to restaurant staff.
(photograph taken at Cosmic Cantina on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill)
"Flashback" is the theme for the mural that beams alongside Chapel Hill's Mellow Mushroom restaurant. The Franklin Street mural features psychedelic images and inspiration from UNC-CH vintage yearbooks. It is the largest mural in the Mellow Mushroom collection. Each Mellow Mushroom location features artwork reflected by an owner's signature style.
(photograph taken at Mellow Mushroom on Franklin street in Chapel Hill)
The beer mural logos were created by local artist Scott Nurkin (see "Greetings from Chapel Hill") and appear in the courtyard /alley of the legendary bar He's Not Here located at 112 1/2 W Franklin Street in Chapel Hill.
(photograph taken off of Franklin Street in Chapel Hill)