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Victor Lewis

Essentials: “Live at Union Chapel”

Recorded in May 2015 and released this past November, Bill Laurance’s “Live at Union Chapel” represents everything good about Grammy-winning artists. The politics of any award are often going to get in the way of giving credit where credit is due. We’ve seen it in #OscarsSoWhite and Iggy Azalea, in winners being chosen out of sheer popularity and sales numbers. “Art” and “talent” are large words, brimming with possibility and subjectivity. But sometimes, musicality and technical expertise are a simple fact. That’s what you get when Bill and his boys come to town. As a founding member of the...

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New Business Round-Up: Steakhouse, Beer Garden, Tacos, and More!

A hallmark of Chapelboro living, patronizing local businesses is a simple way of showing support for local entrepreneurs. Here’s this week’s new business round-up, with a few new storefronts worth taking a look at. Bell Tree Speakeasy Located at 100 Brewer Lane in Carrboro, the Bell Tree Speakeasy pays respect to olden days with a Prohibition-era atmosphere open to influences from modern cocktail culture. A simple door set in a brick wall leads directly into a low-lit bar tended by dapper-dressed staff. The menu may not be expansive, but the craft behind the cocktails indicates that your bartender can...

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Adeste Fideles Apéritif

Benjamin Earl Weathersby is not your average bartender. Old-school but not entirely traditional, Weathersby is the sort of barkeep who likes to play and perfect before putting anything on his menu. When it comes to cocktails that taste like Christmas, Weathersby has more than a few tricks up his sleeve. “I like to stay seasonally focused in general, as far as ingredients and the feel of the cocktail,” said Weathersby. “I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to coming up with the drink, the ingredients, and the name of it. More often than not, the name of a...

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Moose in a Santa Hat: Christmas at the Crunkleton

Holidays at the Crunkleton mean two things: making merry, and making drinks. The Crunkleton on Franklin Street is a Chapel Hill institution. Serving up hooch in a warm, old-timey atmosphere since 2008, the bar has become a downtown staple. Owned and operated by Gary Crunkleton, the bar serves patrons an ever-growing list of specialty liquors and features a cocktail menu that rotates by season while maintaining the old standards customers know and love. “Holiday cocktails are fun because they’re celebratory,” said Gary Crunkleton. “They’re fun, but they’re also hard to make. People were doing them a lot in the...

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Bottled Benevolence: The 2nd Sour Barn Bash

Nothing evokes the burgeoning foodie spirit of Chapel Hill and Carrboro quite like a highbrow beer tasting in a barn. The 2nd Sour Barn Bash, held on December 10 at Rock Quarry Farms, was organized by Steel String Brewery and held to benefit Benevolence Farms, a local non-profit that works to help women leaving prison to “grow food, nourish self, and foster community.” “Initially, Eric [Knight, the “Hoopla Czar” of Steel String] had approached us about doing a ten percent day at Steel String in Carrboro,” said Tanya Jisa, the founder of Benevolence Farms. “He’s such an amazing entrepreneur...

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Oak Leaves and Silver Bells

For many of us, the holidays are a joyous time. Filled with light and love, holidays found in the middle of winter hold a special place in the hearts of people the world over. In the midst of ever-shorter days and lengthening nights, when cold bites and frost lingers a bit longer each day, it’s nearly a miracle that we can all pull together and find time for celebration. The magic of the holidays is found in that celebration, in the inherent warmth of gatherings and parties. Of course, no celebration is complete without food and drink to be...

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Future Sidekicks: Younger Audiences & The Batman

Dear Batman, I love you. I wish that I can see you in real life. I saw you in the movie. I think that you are cute. I had a dream of you. It was when you were my dad and you came back from a place and hugged me. I could not marry you because I’m only 8. Love, Sarah Haller (Published in Batman #444, February 1990) Since his humble beginnings punishing evildoers with fists wrapped in stylish purple gloves, Batman has been evolving, changing with the times and the minds portraying him. With 75 years of staying...

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Hometown Hero: Dick and Sheryl Forbis

This week’s WCHL Hometown Heroes are Sheryl and Dick Forbis. Two pillars of the community who use their skillsets and spare time to help those in need through Habitat for Humanity and the Augustine Project, among other activities! The Augustine Project is a non-profit organization that works to improve the reading, writing and spelling abilities of low-income children and teens struggling with literacy skills. Tutors work with children individually for 60 sessions or more of 45 minutes. “It’s a joy to be a tutor and to be a volunteer with the Augustine Literacy project,” said Sheryl. “The children change...

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