All posts tagged: Carrboro

Seafood in the summer

By Matt Goad A door slams shut behind a satisfied customer and another door opens with a new customer not far behind. This happens all day long, three days a week in the small, cinder-block shack that houses Tom Robinson’s Carolina Seafood of Carrboro. With a small staff, the business manages to get to the North Carolina coast every Wednesday to get fish and shellfish to sell in the Piedmont on the weekend. It brings in salmon from Nova Scotia, and some oysters from Virginia, depending on the season, but almost everything comes from North Carolina. Manager Salvador Bonilla generally travels to Morehead City, Swansboro and Beaufort to deal with the local anglers there. Tom Robinson started the business in Chapel Hill in 1975, selling from the back of a truck parked at Pantana Bob’s bar on Rosemary Street. Bonilla has managed the business for the last 16 years. He didn’t know much about the fish business at the time. He worked as a chef at Vespa, the defunct Italian restaurant on Franklin Street, and …

Fears, stress as Asian restaurants focus on survival during coronavirus

At Gourmet Kingdom in Carrboro during a recent lunch hour, the restaurant is empty. A statewide shutdown on restaurants is in place because of the coronavirus. Outside on Main Street, the air is still and baking hot. People wander, beleaguered and stressed. Inside the restaurant, the air is cool – there is still some normalcy. David Yu, owner of Gourmet Kingdom, is rushing from phone to kitchen with takeout orders and back to the phone, stopping to grab containers of soups. “Business has slowed,” he admits, taking down the mask he’s been wearing to speak with a reporter. When asked if people have been nice to the restaurant, he replies, “I know what you mean.” “There are some regular customers. They’re all pretty understandable. They don’t have any hostility toward us. They understand business,” Yu said. “It’s definitely worrying,” he added. “It’s more worrying than for people who don’t own businesses. Everybody worries about their health, to not catch the virus. I’m worried for this business to survive.” Yu hopes the Paycheck Protection Program will …

Artist profile: Ginna Earl and her creative journey after Vespertine

Ginna Earl greets me at her house in Sanford, some miles south of Pittsboro. It’s dusk, the sun sets behind the house, giving it a nice glow, and Earl comes out gently, to welcome me on the winding path that leads to her front door. Inside, a picture of Oscar Wilde hangs by the door, a painting in the Art Nouveau style hangs across the way, and then you see paintings by her mom, artworks she found on Etsy over the years, and many other patterns, colors, fabrics, plants, and all the tools and equipment of an artist. On her dining table is a book she’s reading: “Waterlog,” about the adventures of a man who swims throughout the British Isles. It’s fitting that an interview with Earl occurs in the early hours of the evening. “Vespertine” means exactly that – flourishing in the evening, like a star. Sitting down at her dining table, Earl talks about what led to the closing of Vespertine, the store in Carrboro that she owned and operated 2011 to 2017, …

Piedmont Health provides care to uninsured, part-timers

CARRBORO – Kallie Norton moved to Carrboro from northern Illinois last fall to work at Youth Works, a nonprofit. She’s currently part-time, which means she’s not on the organization’s health insurance. But recently, through a program by Carrboro-based Piedmont Health Services and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, she paid just $60 out of pocket for a primary care physician appointment plus lab work, at Piedmont. “In previous companies where I was paying health insurance and out of pocket with a deductible, it wasn’t unusual to pay a few hundred for comprehensive bloodwork. I would’ve anticipated paying more,” Norton said on Tuesday. Piedmont’s program provides an alternative, and a safety net for people like Norton, who are part-time, new to the area, or plain uninsured. The program is offered to both full-time and part-time employees of chamber members, as well as their families. It’s also offered regardless of whether the patient has health insurance or is currently on another plan, and there is no extra fee to the chamber or the business. It’s a flat …