Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

What to Do & See Downtown this Week! 12/9/10

What to Do & See Downtown This Holiday Season!


         Holiday Parade - 2009 

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.


The Franklin Hotel Lights Up Downtown Franklin Hotel
The Franklin Hotel kicks of a new holiday tradition downtown tonight- Thursday, December 9 from 5:30PM to 7PM as it unveils a holiday art installation in the front windows of the hotel. The 3D light scene, along with thousands of lights illuminating the building, will bring additional holiday cheer to Franklin Street. Enjoy tasty appetizers along with apple cider, eggnog, and hot chocolate starting at 5:30PM. The red carpet will then be rolled out for the unveiling at 6:30PM. Live music from JT Parrothead will top off the evening in Roberts Lounge.
Admission is free and the whole family is invited. For more information 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


UNC Art Dept Student Holiday Print & Art Sale

See what UNC's best young artists are creating on Friday, December 10 from 9AM to 10PM at the annual student artPrint Sale Banner sale which includes prints, etchings, lithographs, ceramics, photos, drawings, paintings & more. A great opportunity to purchase great art at reasonable prices, just in time for the holidays. The sale will be held in the Artery, the UNC student art gallery, at 136 East Rosemary Street, on the backside of the Bank of America building. If entering from Franklin Street, follow the signs to the sale. All proceeds benefit the contributing artists and art department. Cash or Check only. For information vist the Artery Facebook page or contact Mike Sonnichsen, UNC Dept. of Art, 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  


A Lake by BennyKids' Art Show at Chapel Hill Comics  

Chapel Hill Comics proudly hosts their 5th Kids' Art Show with an opening reception on Friday, December 10 from 6PM to 9PM.  At the opening reception you'll be able to meet the artists & talk to them about their art as well as purchase certain pieces.  The show will be on view from Friday, December 10, until approximately Sunday, January 1. For more information visit  


Studio Supply's Artist of the Month

On Friday, December 10 from 6PM to 9PM, Studio Supply will feature artist and illustrator, Bob Palmatier at a reception. Bob will be previewing paintings that will illustrate his 3rd Children's Book, The Tiny Turtle of the Marsh, coming this June. Enjoy refreshments at the reception and immerse yourself in the beautiful sunrises, marsh birds, and sunsets of the Tiny Turtle of the Marsh. Also available: Tiny Turtle tee-shirts, 2nd Edition of Stormy's Return, paintings for sale ($100 unframed), and prints. Bob will be on hand to talk about his work and upcoming projects. For information visit or


Holiday Shopping at the 2nd Friday ArtWalk
The 2nd Friday ArtWalk, Friday, December 10 from 6PM to 9PM, allows art lovers to patronize dozens of Chapel Hill and Carrboro businesses as they host live music & performances, food, and drinks; all while featuring art in its many forms. Admission is free and open to the public.
The monthly event features many great locally-owned businesses full of fantastic art; perfect for that hard-to-buy person on your shopping list!  Downtown Chapel Hill businesses include: Uniquities, Toots & Magoo, Sugarland, Limelight Boutique, Goodbones Vintage, FRANK Art Gallery, Studio Supply, Creative Metalsmiths, Chapel Hill Underground.
 For more information about the ArtWalk visit
Arts at the Holidays Trolley Tour Small Wonders
FRANK Gallery has partnered with the Shops at Eastgate to offer art enthusiasts a Holiday Art Loop that will run between the two locations on Friday, December 10, from 6PM to 9PM. A great opportunity to purchase local arts and crafts for the holiday gift-giving season. The featured artists at FRANK in December are Elaine O'Neil and Susan Filley. It is anticipated that the trolley will make a total of four loops during the evening. For more information, contact the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau at 919-968-2060; or FRANK at 919-636-4135 and 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 

Crafts and cocktailsCrafts & Cocktails at Nightlight
The Nighlight Club is partnering with the Scrap Exchange to bring you some good old fashion crafting fun and cocktails on Friday, December 10 from 6PM to 9PM! Scrap Exchange will bring the materials and tools to help you make ornaments, holiday cards and wreaths! So come out, make some crafts, have some cocktails and make beautiful gifts from the heart! There is a suggested donation of $5.00 and a cash bar. Nightlight is located at 405 1/2 West Rosemary Street. For more information visit

Holiday Parade 2009 - 4Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade

 Presented by The Chapel Hill Jaycees, will be held on Saturday,

 December 11,  from 10AM to 12PM. The parade starts at the Morehead Planetarium and winds the entire length of Franklin Street to Carrboro Town Hall.  Parking will be FREE downtown on Saturdays in December! For complete details visit

Holiday Parade Viewing Breakfast at Franklin Hotel
Experience the Chapel Hill - Carrboro Holiday Parade as never before on Saturday, December 11 from 9AM to 11AM! Take in panoramic views of the parade from The Grand Terrace and the Presidential Penthouse Suite Balconies. Enjoy the signature Franklin Hotel breakfast and hot chocolate bar. Advance reservations are required. $25 per person, $15 for children 6 to 14 years old & complimentary for children under six. For reservations and information contact Joann Sullivan at or 442-4094. Visit  

Holiday House Tour

The Preservation Society of Chapel Hill will have its annual Holiday House Tour in the Cameron-McCauley neighborhood, one of the oldest areas in the town, on December 11 & 12 from 1PM to 5PM each day. Visitors will be able to tour inside and learn the history of some of the homes in the neighborhood. The tour includes 11 stops including ten historic homes and The Carolina Inn. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the weekend of the tour. For more information visit or call (919) 942-7818.

 Moroccan Tasting Dinner at SANDWHICHOBLT 

On Saturday, December 11 join SANDWHICH for a Moroccan Tasting Dinner with a five course menu, complete with Moroccan Tea Service at the end.  $45 per person in advance; $55 at the door, space permitting.  Call or stop in to register and ask for Brad 919-929-2114. Remember that Monday-Saturday starting at 5PM, SANDWHICH participates in the free valet parking along West Franklin Street.  Drop your car off in front of the stand and tell the attendant you're coming to dine at SANDWICH and they'll park your car for you! For more information on SANDWHICH 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  
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. 




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 


Extended Holiday Hours at Somethin' Else   
Somethin Else - ornamentSomethin' Else has extended holiday hours beginning Wednesday, December 1st from 11AM to 7PM through Christmas; and Saturdays from 11AM to 7PM. Green Mountain Glass ornaments have arrived at Somethin' Else! Stop by the store and check out the beautifully decorated holiday window, filled with some of the prettiest glass ornaments you have ever seen!  They sparkle and delight all with color and holiday cheer.  Somethin' Else is proud to carry locally made Santa ornaments that will make you smile. 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


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


2011 Varsity Theatre Annual Passes Now Available 
Varsity - The Show Will Go OnThe Varsity Annual Pass allows you to see as many movies as you want as many times as you want! Passes valid for all Varsity scheduled show times and include a free small popcorn with each visit.  Passes will be valid from December 1, 2010 to January 1, 2012 and cost only $100.00 - Pay once and enjoy the whole year! Passes are available at the Varsity Theatre box office. Passes are not valid for red carpet events, private screenings or non-Varsity hosted events. For information visit  and become a fan at the Varsity's Facebook page!


Author Reading at Internationalist Books

Internationalist Books and Community Center hosts author Stevphen Shukaitis on Tuesday, December 14 at 7PM. Shukaitis  will be reading from his new book Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Everyday Life.  What exactly is radical imagination? Shukaitis' book explores the potentials and limits of collective imagination in social movement organizing. A discussion will follow. Visit for more information on the author, book and event.


Special Wine Dinner at Talulla's RestaurantEating Outside Talullas

Talulla's Restaurant and Empire Distributors are partnering for a a Semler/Saddlerock Wine Dinner on Wednesday, December 15. Reception with house sommelier & brand ambassador at 6:45PM; seating at 7:00PM. Executive Chef Aligul Sevil has paired the four course offerings with select Semler/Saddlerock wines. Wines will also be available for purchase after the event. $65 per guest; advance reservations are required. For more information call 933-1177 or email Enjoy FREE valet parking at Talulla's too! For information visit


Kildare's Pub Offers Daily Specials & Events

Mondays at Kildare's Irish Pub is the place to be with 35 Cent Wings, $2 Yuengling, $3 Smithwick's and $3 Three Olive Drinks. Pub Trivia starts at 10PM with great prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place! Stop singing in the car on the way to work - bring your talents to the stage at Kildare's for Karaoke Night every Tuesday starting at 10PM. Enjoy a selection of beer for just $2 and $5 burgers cooked to perfection!  Wednesday features $1 pretzel braids and College Game night with 1/2 priced wine and $1 PBR.Thursday, Friday, and Saturday feature DJ Matt, Chapel Hill's #1 DJ, playing all the songs you love. Kildare's offers 25% off food to anyone in the hospitality business! To make reservations and or ask about specials e-mail or visit

The Holiday Spirit of Giving

Carolina Brewery Partners with Toys for Tots

The Carolina Brewery is proud to partner with the United States Marine Corps for another campaign for Toys for Tots. You can drop off an unwrapped toy at either of the Carolina Brewery locations throughout the holidays. Donations to Toys for Tots help to support the Orange County Toy Chest, a holiday program that expects to serve more than 5,500 low-income children.  Due to the current economic climate, more families than ever are in need of help and support during the holiday season. For information visit


Book Fairy Book Drive for Pediatric Patients at UNC
Children undergoing cancer treatment will find comfort in books thanks to a book drive on the UNC campus that runs until Friday, December 10th. Several UNC departments and organizations are sponsoring the drive on behalf of the Book Fairy, an organization that donates the books to the Pediatric Oncology Clinic at UNC Hospitals. All new or gently-used books for ages one through mid-teen are welcome. For complete details - click here.


Share Your Holiday Meal with Someone in Need

This Thanksgiving season the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service (IFC) aims to raise $21,000 to provide 840 Holiday meals to local households who are struggling in this economy. For only $25 you can provide a turkey or ham, stuffing, vegetables, bread and dessert to a local family in need. For more information visit


Blanket Orange County Driveblankets
In its 7th year, Blanket Orange County has a goal to collect 400 new or gently used blankets for The Interfaith Council (IFC), The Neighborhood House of Hillsborough and The Maggie Alvis Halfway House. The blanket drive still needs your help! There are drop-off places throughout the county or you can make a quick and easy donation online! For information visit

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