Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

What to Do & See Downtown this Week! 12/16/11

What to Do & See Downtown This Holiday Season!

         Old Well Snow 

Downtown Chapel Hill Holiday Events & Sales

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FREE Saturday Parking Downtown This Holiday Season! 
Parking is always FREE on Sundays in downtown Chapel Hill, but this holiday season parking will be FREE on Saturdays as well! The Town of Chapel Hill will be offering downtown patrons and visitors FREE parking on Saturdays in December at all municipal lots, the Wallace parking deck, and at on-street meters. At 5:00 PM on Saturdays, the Wallace Deck and Rosemary/Columbia Lot will begin charging at their normal rate.  Visit the Town's website for an udated map of the available municipal parking downtown -CLICK HERE.

Nightlight Holiday Craft Fair & Party 

Artwork by Jennifer Ambrose - featured artist at the Nightlight Crafts FairPresents are always more special when they are home-made and thoughtful. Come to the Nightlight Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday, December 18 from 2PM to 6PM to find a special something for everyone on your list. Previous year's work includes homemade candles,plants, screen print shirts, posters, jewelry, lamps and holiday treats! Then stay late for the Nightlight Holiday Party! There will be food starting at 7PM and drinks and music ALL night till 2 am. Performers include folks from WXYC DJ's, FrequeNC Records, Trekky and more. Nightlight is located at 405 1/2 West Rosemary Street. For more information visit


Weekly Specials at SANDWHICH & Holiday Hours


Thursday nights are $4 Free-Range 'Whichburger night!  The 'Whichburger starts with hand-formed Painted Hills ground beef, grilled medium, and is served with lettuce, juicy tomatoes, shaved red onion, and melty Wisconsin cheddar on a grilled potato bun. Saturdays at SANDWHICH feature every single bottle of wine at 1/2 price.  The carefully chosen wines at SANDWHICH represent unique flavors & characteristics and exceptional value. Open Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve for lunch! Remember that Monday-Saturday starting at 5PM, SANDWHICH participates in the free valet parking along West Franklin Street. For more information on SANDWHICH visit


Small Wonders Make Perfect Holiday Gifts

Small Wonders

The gift of art is no small wonder! SMALL WONDERS is a curated exhibit featuring art works measuring 20"x 20" or less. The exhibit runs from November 19 through January 9, 2011. Join FRANK on Saturday, December 18 from 3PM to 5PM for a holiday concert featuring KidZNotes, a children's orchestra promoting leadership and excellence for children in need in East Durham; and Malarme Chamber Players, a chamber music performance group devoted to education and artistic excellence in the community. Donations suggested.

 FRANK is located at 109 East Franklin Street. For more information visit

Make Them a Legend in Their Own Pint  
Ben & Jerry's is offering custom-made ice cream pints for the holidays -a truly unique gift for the hardest person to buy for on your holiday list! You can get creative and come up with both a flavor and a name for your custom pint of ice cream. It only takes the shop 24 hours to create your special gift! For details call or stop by the shop today; Ben & Jerry's is located at 102 West Franklin Street. Call 919-967-9068 or visit
Gingerbread House Decorating at Kidzu

On Saturday, December 18, 2-3pm or 4-5pm; kids will get to experience the fun of decorating a gingerbread house. Each participant will receive an undecorated gingerbread house with frosting, shaved coconut snowflakes, and candy decorations. $15 per house (2 children can share a house), only 10 houses per session.  For children 3-10 years of age.  Registration is required. Call 933-1455 for more information or visit


Light Years StorefrontHoliday Specials at Light Years Jewelry

The holiday season is HERE and Light Years Jewelry has a FABULOUS selection of affordable jewelry, accessories, and gift items at GREAT prices! HUNDREDS of earrings under $10; Pashminas at $12; Hats and gloves under $14; and beautiful stone jewelry under $50 - all make great stocking stuffers! Light Years is located at 121 East Franklin Street, next door to the Varsity Theatre. For more information visit

Congratulations UNC Graduates!
Chancellor Holden Thorp will preside at the graduation ceremony for UNC students on Sunday, December 19 from 2PM to 3:30PM at the Dean E. Smith Center on campus. Congratulations to the 2,330 students who will receive their degrees on Sunday! Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, Ph.D., Morehead Alumni Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, will speak at the ceremony, continuing a tradition of members of the faculty delivering the December Commencement address. For more information visit


Where Every Gift is a Work of Art  Somethin Else - angel ornament 

Where can you find the most unique and personal presents for every budget?  You guessed it!  Somethin' Else Gallery on West Franklin Street offers the most dazzling selection of whimsical art in the Triangle. Somethin' Else prides itself in successfully bringing you creations from American artisans from all over the nation.  Stop by to share a cup of coffee and a cookie on a relaxing, entertaining and inspiring shopping environment. New Bella Luz nightlights have arrived, and as usual, these copper encased lights illuminate artist Joline El-Hai's (of Seattle) commitment to color and whimsy. Come on down to Somethin' Else Gallery where every gift is a work of art, for the most unique and whimsical holiday gifts. And enjoy complimentary holiday gift wrapping! Visit


Wachovia Tar Heel 10 Miler - Sign Up Now!

Now is the perfect time to start training for the 2011 Wachovia Tar Heel 10 Miler: North Carolina's Premier Running Experience.  On Saturday April 9, 2011, 4000 runners are expected to run in Endurance Magazine's landmark running event in Chapel Hill. Last year history was made when 2200 runners took to the streets of Chapel Hill and ran through downtown and historic neighborhoods ultimately finishing in UNC's Kenan Football Stadium.  The ten mile distance is a great way to challenge yourself if you're used to running 5k and 10k distances; or, if you're training for a late spring half- or full marathon! The UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center has been selected by Endurance Magazine as their primary charity partner. Last year's race sold out weeks before race day - so be sure to register early!  As a bonus, when you register you'll automatically be eligible to win exciting pre-race giveaways from sponsors, so the earlier you register - the more opportunities you will have to win!  Registration is open NOW at: and


Special Offer from Chapel Hill Training

Chapel Hill TrainingChapel Hill Training is the premiere personal training and group boot camp specialist serving Chapel Hill, Durham and surrounding areas. Specializing in weight loss, strength building, toning, and cardiovascular and muscular endurance. Offering personal one-on-one training at hourly rates; and boot camp circuit training for $150 per person, with a minimum group of three.  That equals about $17 per session! And take advantage of 2 free sessions as part of the grand opening special.  Whether you are looking for private studio personal training, in-home personal training, or group training, Chapel Hill Training is here to help you! Chapel Hill Training is located at 400 West Rosemary Street, Suite 1003 - between Moss Waxing + Beauty Studio and The Red Window. For more information please call 919-636-4556 or visit


Ram - Peacock AlleyFor the Carolina Fan on Your List
Jay Strongwater's Ram has FINALLY arrived at Peacock Alley and just in time for the holidays.  Get yours while supplies last - a Chapel Hill exclusive! Peacock Alley offers a variety of gift alternatives from some of the most distinguished designers in the world. Peacock Alley is located in  University Square, at 123 West Franklin Street. For more information call 919-967-2152 or visit

12 Days of Christmas at the Carolina Inn

Twelve Drummers DrummingThe Carolina Inn will once again celebrate the season with enchanting decorations inspired by the traditional holiday song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas". The month long festivities include the 8th Annual Gingerbread House Competition. Contestants from Chapel Hill and surrounding areas will showcase their creativity and imagination with their edible masterpieces this holiday season. Relish the festive display starting December 11th thru December 27th. To see the list of exciting events - download the holiday brochure or visit 


Board Game Night at Internationalist
Internationalist Books and Community Center presents their first ever Board Game Night, Monday December 20 at 7PM. Games will be provided, but feel free to bring your own as well as some friends to play with.  Internationalist is located at 405 West Franklin Street. Check out for more information about Board Game Night and other events.


New Year's Eve Celebration at Cypress on the Hill

Cypress on the Hill will be serving an exceptional five course menu to help ring-in the New Year on Friday, December 31st. The meal will be paired with wines to make your meal truly special. Dinner is $65 with the wine flight available for only $20 more. There will be two seatings: an early seating between 5:30pm and 6:30pm and a late seating between 8pm and 9pm. Call now for reservations at 919-537-8817. For more information visit


Brew TeamHoppy Holidays at Carolina Brewery

Visit Carolina Brewery now and all dining customers will receive a scratch & win card with their bill. Bring it back to Carolina Brewery in January, and your server will reveal your prize. Everyone is a winner and prizes include a Private Beer Dinner and Tour for 6, a pair of UNC Basketball or Carolina Hurricanes tickets, and discounts on your meal! Visit in December and win in January! A great way to kick off the new year. Carolina Brewery features a winter seasonal menu, Santa's Secret Spiced Holiday Ale now on tap, and lots of new winter merchandise now in stock at both Brewery locations and online! For more information visit 

Ring in the New Year with The Nomads

Ring in the new year with local legends The Nomads at Breadmen's Restaurant, located at 423 West Rosemary Street. Enjoy great music, dancing, a Champagne toast, and a midnight breakfast buffet. But mostly just enjoy a really great time to welcome in the New Year. Bring your family, your friends or the guy down the street - but be prepared to dance with him. No one can resist dancing when The Nomads are playing. Only $45 per person! Email Robert Humphreys for more information or for reservations at


Let La Residence Host Your Holiday Party

La Residence is now booking for holiday parties. Experience their award winning wine list, a seasonal menu featuring fresh ingredients, and warm ambiance in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill. Featuring cocktail party menus starting at $20 per person and dinner party menus starting at $35 per person.  On New Year's Eve enjoy a special Four Course Dinner for $45 per person. La Residence is located at 202 West Rosemary Street. For information visit  


Traditions in Clay Exhibit at Ackland Museum

Tradition in Clay: Two Centuries of Classic North Carolina Pots opens Sunday, December 26 at the Ackland Art Museum. Pottery is North Carolina's most famous indigenous art form. With highlights from the Ackland Art Museum's esteemed and growing collection of pottery, as well as loans from significant local collections, Tradition in Clay: Two Centuries of Classic North Carolina Pots presents over 100 pots and pottery vessels, including works by masters from the Seagle and Fox families, as well as Ben Owen, Mark Hewitt, and others. For more information visit


For the Carolina Fans on Your Shopping List

Johnny T-Shirt has something for every Carolina fan this holiday season. Items include tons of stocking stuffers, toys & games for the younger Carolina fans, game gear, tech gifts, and more. Add some Carolina Spirit to your holidays with their special t-shirt featuring 'Joy to the Heels' and Rameses wearing a Santa hat! For more information visit


Celebrate the Holidays at Kildare's Irish Pub

Happy Holidays from Kildare's! To celebrate- Kildare's is offering a four course meal for only $45 per person; this is a great way to sample everything Kildare's has to offer for a low rate! Also during the holidays enjoy package deals on Christmas and office parties, so call today and let the fun begin. Get into the spirit of holiday giving by bringing in cans of food for Kildare's food drive to benefit the Caring House Cancer facility - you'll receive 10% off your food! Ring in 2011 at Kildare's by first, counting down and toasting the Irish New Year at 7pm. Then at midnight celebrate the countdown again to 2011! Complimentary toast at midnight. Music & entertainment all night long. To make reservations and or ask about specials- e-mail or visit

Star of Bethlehem Show at Morehead Planetarium
Star of Bethelehem
In "Star of Bethlehem," science explores the mystery surrounding a legendary celestial event. One of the longest-running planetarium shows in the world, "Star" weaves art, music and science into a fascinating holiday tradition. "Star" is one of three planetarium shows on Morehead's schedule for the holidays and is presented in its original analog format. The planetarium shows "Earth, Moon and Sun" and "Astronaut" in Morehead's new fulldome digital video projection system.  For information visit  


Get Your Car Ready for the Winter

CH Tire Logo

Get your car ready for the winter and holiday travel. Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center makes it easy and convenient. They offer appointments and free shuttle service to and from your home or work. Their ASE certified technicians can perform all your dealer maintenance. Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center has been providing award winning service on Franklin Street since 1953. For discounts and more information visit

Click on photo to watch a video of Sugarland's pastry chefs in action! 
 Wedding Cake Special at Sugarland 

Through December 31st, select designs and flavors of wedding cakes at Sugarland are less than half price for 2011 weddings! Back by popular demand, Sugarland is selling 3-tiered wedding cakes to feed 80 for $159 and 100 people for $199. They are Buttercream-iced and filled, French Vanilla or Double Chocolate round cakes. This great deal is valid for weddings within 50 miles of Sugarland in 2011 only. Additional servings and flavors are available at regular price. For complete details visit or call 919-929-2100. 




Dinner and a Movie at Top of the Hill & the Varsity

Everyday, 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM

Dinner and a MovieDate night just got a lot easier with Top of the Hill and the Varsity Theatre's new partnership! Just $29 gets you two Top of the Hill entrees, two non-alcoholic beverages and two tickets to the early show at the Varsity Theatre.  Reservations welcome but not required! Top of the Hill Restaurant is located at 100 East Franklin St., Third Floor. For more information please call (919) 929-8676 or visit or  Varsity at
FREE Valet Parking Downtown!
Enjoy an evening downtown with the ease and convenience of complimentary valet parking from Monday through Saturday at one of 19 participating downtown businesses. Patrons enjoying other establishments can also use the valet service for a $5.00 charge. Drop-off your car at two conveniently located valet parking stands; in front of the UNC Information Technology building(440 West Franklin Street), near the West End Wine Bar or in front of Spanky's Restaurant (101 East Franklin Street).

Participating Businesses: 411 West Italian CafeBonne Soiree,Carolina Brewery, Elaine's on Franklin, Mediterranean Deli & Catering, La Residence Restaurant & Bar, Lantern Restaurant, Talulla's Restaurant, Vespa Restaurant, West End Wine Bar, Cypress on the Hill , Mint Restaurant, FRANK: Franklin Street Arts Collective, Franklin Street Pizza & Pasta, R&R Grill, Salon 135, SANDWHICH, Spanky's Restaurant, Top of the Hill Brewery & Restaurant.

Downtown Partnership Video
Click on photo!

 What does economic development in downtown Chapel Hill look like?

 The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership is charged with leading and managing downtown through partnership efforts; marketing and promoting the assets of downtown; improving the visual appeal of downtown; and rebuilding downtown as a mixed use center of retail, service, professional, governmental, institutional, and residential uses. Visit! Contact us at 967-9440 or