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Panzanella To Close In December

CHAPEL HILL - Your local trattoria, Panzanella, will close at the end of this year, after 14 years in service.

Trattoria is Italian for an informal restaurant or tavern.

When Panzanella first opened, it was one of the few restaurants to offer locally produced food.  Since then, several other restaurants have opened offering local food.  General Manager for Weaver Street Market, Ruffin Slater, says declining sales and rising costs are the main reason for closing Panzanella.

“As a result, sales have declined and costs have continued to increase,” Slater says. “We have about 25 fewer customers than we did in 2008, so it’s just no longer feasible to operate.”

Part of the Weaver Street Market Cooperative, Panzanella will not renew its lease in Carr Mill Mall. The cost of the space at Carr Mill was originally split between a bakery and office space, but since opening the Food House in Hillsborough, Panzanella now pays for the empty space.

Slater says management will spend the next few months working with the staff to help place them either in another position at Weaver Street Market, or will help them find work elsewhere and provide severance pay.  Slater says one of the key resources the company wants to help people maintain is their health coverage.

“Severance pay if people prefer to move on, as well as assistance in maintaining continuous health insurance coverage, Slater says. “We want to make sure the staff can continue that coverage.”

Panzanella is one of the few restaurants to offer health coverage to employees.

Slater says the trattoria will remain open until December 22 and continue to provide great service to customers.

For more information click here.

The Story of Weavestock

The Adam DeCaulp and Greg Sconce band was awesome!

(photos by SP Murray)

Finding some free outdoor music in Carrboro isn’t hard to do, and Weavestock was just another one of these great events in the area.  An outdoor music event on the lawn of Weaver Street Market in Carrboro, Weavestock created a fun environment to relax and wind down.

All of the bands that performed were people from the area ranging from instrumental jazz piano and soft-rock to the musical sing-alongs with Pop Vox.

By the time I arrived at the event a couple performers had already gone up, including the jazz piano with Greg and an interesting duo of slam poetry with jazz piano titled “Let’s Entertainment”.  I was disappointed to not have seen them perform together because the blend of the two genre’s creates a mellow atmosphere with thought provoking words to inspire and question.

Canine Heart Beats also performed before I had arrived, but I managed to find Matt McElroy and another band member in the crowd.  I asked them about their band and how they thought their show went. Interestingly, I ended up learning that the members of the band all knew each other from Wisconsin and that all of them moved to the area at different times and decided to start playing together again.  After hearing them talk I’m now determined to see them perform.

Steve Carter and his band were playing when I got there so I kicked off my Weavestock outing with some soft-rock music that really got me in the mood to relax and talk with people around me. His show played through well and gave a sense of experience by how smooth their whole set was.  Steve’s claim that he has “been in twenty bands you’ve never heard of, and probably at least one that you have” definitely showed through his confidence in playing and the band’s performance.

During the event, a lot of people were enjoying a meal from Weaver Street and relaxing out on the picnic tables, while others were sitting on towels right in front of the stage — some were even dancing along right in front of the performers.

Bruce Thomas is famous for dancing at Weaver Street Market-001

(photos by SP Murray)

Right out in front the store, beer and other drinks were being sold to accommodate the people sitting in the lawn so they didn’t have to miss any of the music to grab refreshment for the summer day. Weaver Street catered to the crowd that was there for the show, and helped make the atmosphere even more relaxed.

The most unique performer to go up was probably Geoff Gilson, or Pop Vox.  I had heard from several people that his show was a spectacle, as we would get to see him dance around and sing with the crowd, but I was still surprised by the energy he put out.  Using the other performers and large boards with lyrics, Geoff got several people to dance and sing along to his musical styling.  Several kids and adults joined Geoff right in front of the microphone to dance to the catchy tunes and good rhythms.

Although not exactly a “Woodstock,” Weavestock was a great time with good music and atmosphere.  The final performance with Radar’s Clown of Sedation, led to a calm ending for the show.  Their style of blues blended well with the other performers and closed out the day.  The sun set as they concluded.  Lingering attendees talked with friends and finished meals and drinks before heading out.

I later asked Geoff how he would describe Weavestock. “It’s suppose to be kind of like Woodstock, just without all the drugs,” he said. I thought Weavestock did a great job at this as it was very family friendly, but still had a unique atmosphere and blend of musical styles.

After going to Weavestock it’s clear that many talented artists and performers work at Weaver Street Market.  It was a great time, and I hope they hold the event again.

Here is a list of the bands for y’all who couldn’t make it:

- Canine Heart Sounds 
- Matt McElroy (Southern Village WSM)
 Vocal/instrumental gorp rock: 
These party boys try to put the fear back in dancing

- Radar’s Clowns ofSedation – Pete Pawsey (Hillsborough WSM)
 This is the blues kids used to sneak away from their parents to hear. 
This is the blues that used to get banned from the .

Three Torches – Steve Carter (Southern Village WSM)
 Junkyard Jazz, including Steve (the drummer) who claims he has “been in twenty bands you’ve never heard of, and probably at least one that you have.”.

- Greg Sronce 
(Southern Village WSM) Classic Jazz pop piano: color through black and white.

- Let’s Entertainment! 
Adam DeCaulp & Greg Sronce 
(Southern Village WSM)

 Crooning vocals and American vernacular prose, with Shibuya side-street jazz.

- Geoff Gilson (Southern Village WSM) Hi-energy, interactive Beach Pop
”a cross between Jimmy Buffett live and a Richard Simmons work-out.”

Photos by SP Murray

Panzanella: On your schedule tonight and Monday

 Is it too early to sit out on the patio and enjoy a beer? Heck no, says me! Tonight at Panzanella, all local beer pints are only $3. While chillin’, think about signing up for the upcoming Eco Farm dinner, which takes place on Monday, August 29th. At 5:30 this Monday evening, Cindy Econopoly and John Soehner of Eco Farm will provide the ingredients for a multi-course feast prepared by Chef Jim Nixon. 

Fans of the Carrboro Farmers’ Market should immediately recognize John and Cindy…their stand at the market always draws me, I have serious love for their brats and arugula, which will be featured in two separate menu items next Monday. 

“All items are a la carte, select items from the regular menu are available as well. Parties of 6 or more should call (919) 929-6626 for reservations.”

Back on point – you can’t beat those $3 local pints tonight. I’m heading straight for the Fullsteam. What local beer are you most likely to inquire about tonight?