June: Top 5 to Check Out

Mel’s Commissary and Luncheonette Carrboro

Inspired by the smells of her mama’s kitchen, Melody Bowers (who also runs Al’s Burger Shack named after her husband) just opened this cozy lunch spot with seasonal flavors to celebrate her childhood. “In many ways, Mel’s is a tribute to Mama and all the female southern cooks whose stoves I learned from,” she says. You can picnic outside or order ahead: “We can create box lunches for you to take most anywhere!”  The menu changes daily but some early customer favorites include the Tomato Pie, Chicken Salad Sandwich, Chicken and Green Chili, Mel’s Deviled Eggs and Man Candy (glazed sausage links wrapped in bacon).

Brumley Family Nature Preserve Hillsborough

The newly opened preserve provides visitors an opportunity to enjoy 613-acres of natural surroundings just two miles southeast of Hillsborough. Due to conservation efforts, the land—originally slated for a subdivision—will now be a model of sustainable land practices. The public is encouraged to enjoy the beautiful setting.

One Family’s Legacy

It’s not often that a metropolitan area is gifted a public retreat the size of the George and Julia Brumley Family Nature Preserve. And though the community will enjoy the conservation efforts of the Triangle Land Conservancy for many years to come, the story is in itself bittersweet. Named after the Brumley Family, the original stewards of the land, the preserve was purchased in 2010 by the Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC) after the family’s chartered plane crashed in Kenya leaving no survivors.

In keeping with the family’s wishes, TLC partnered with the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund, Clean Water Protection Program, the Warner Foundation, the Pearson Stewart Land Opportunity Fund and other private donors to turn the land into a preserve to be enjoyed by the community.

“You have a dynamic thriving urban area that also values green space and clean water,” says Russell Killen, Parker Poe Partner and TLC Chairman of the Board (pictured above). “Along these water sources, it’s much easier to preserve and keep it clean before it gets into the creeks and rivers. It’s one of our primary missions, to help keep the water clean.”

The preserve should not be confused with a recreational or municipal park. It’s meant to be enjoyed for its natural setting, exploring the wildlife and botany. Visitors are encouraged to mountain bike or hike the miles and miles of trails, and in the near future TLC will host events, such as nature walks. In the meantime, Brumley is part of TLC’s Hiking Challenge, where those who hike six of TLC’s preserves within a year of enrolling will receive a gift pack and a $25 gift card to the Great Outdoor Provision Company.

In order to maintain the preserve and develop similar spaces across the Triangle, TLC partially relies on public support and funding. Donations and memberships are available online at triangleland.org.

 

Alley Twenty Six Durham

Learn how to mix a tasty cider cocktail at this afternoon class hosted by Black Twig Cider House’s Mattie Beason, Alley Twenty Six’s Shannon Healy, Rob Mariani of Alley Twenty Six Tonic Syrup, and TOPO Organic Spirits. The one-hour class ($25) will offer tastings of three cider cocktails. Afterward, Beason will guest bartend at the space.

 

Warrior Tech Morrisville

Obsessed with the show American Ninja Warrior? Well, now you can test your might on a challenging
course at this Triangle elite training facility. The space, both kid- and adult-friendly, offers classes or open rig time where you have access to all the obstacles. Simply buy a 10-visit punch card ($175) or pay by the session ($20). For those who want to train regularly, monthly memberships are available.

Flyleaf Books Chapel Hill

This new and used bookstore is more that a literary shop, it’s a community hub where the owners encourage you to linger and bring coffee from The Root Cellar Café next door. On any given day you might catch a poetry reading, a free writing class, or a visit from a bestselling author. In June, enjoy a few Southern snacks while author John T. Edge reads from his book “The Potlikker Papers: A food History of the Modern South.”

Alexandra Drosu
Alexandra Drosu

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