Downtown restaurants are providing curbside service following emergency orders to shut down dining rooms because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Here, Cashi Miller of Beer Army, left, delivers an order to Marilu Randolph. Photo provided by Swiss Bear Inc.
While some Downtown New Bern restaurants and shops have opted to shut down temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most are still open for business with adjusted hours and a more limited menu to keep it simple for customers.
DSwiss Bear, Inc. is supplementing the shutdown of downtown restaurant dining rooms and bars.
The organization’s website has been transformed into a gift card purchasing directory and most establishments have created curbside and delivery options for customers.
Downtown business owners jumped into action before the call from Governor Cooper was made Tuesday to shut down dining rooms by holding an emergency downtown meeting on Tuesday afternoon.
They began a gift card initiative and discussed options for takeout, including what to do about parking in the event dining in restaurants was temporarily halted.
Swiss Bear Executive Director Lynne Harakal said, “Our downtown community made these preparations in advance to help sustain the downtown business community. Many businesses are still recovering behind the scenes from Hurricane Florence and that is why it is so important to continue buying local.”
The City of New Bern staff worked on Wednesday evening to provide allotted parking spaces for curbside pickup for each business providing the option.
Ward 1 Alderman and local businessowner Sabrina Bengel said, “I’m proud of how quickly our team responded and got this in motion. We will continue to work together and do whatever we can to help our community through this situation.”
Businesses have been grouped together by location and have been given 1-3 spaces for their curbside service. Downtown parking enforcement will continue normal operations, but the spaces for curbside service will be reserved for the foreseeable future.
Swiss Bear is emphasizing that the community is still able to support downtown businesses even if they don’t feel comfortable going out in public by using the gift card program.
Customers can also continue to help their favorite local businesses by shopping online, tipping well, and sharing their posts on social media.
“The Wall That Heals” visit to the New Bern area on March 24-29 has been postponed over COVID-19 concerns.
While disappointed this decision has become necessary, organizers are looking at dates in 2021 to reschedule this event.
This event, hosted by the American Legion Post 539 and Knights of Columbus Assembly 1820, would have brought the preeminent replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the area for Vietnam Veterans, family members and other members of the public.
American Legion Post 539 and Knights of Columbus Assembly 1820 and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund jointly decided to postpone the visit out of an abundance of caution for visitors and volunteers.
Retired Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Bob Verell makes his way back from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall after playing taps Nov. 2, 2017, at the Veteran’s Memorial Park in Tupelo, Mississippi. Verell, a Vietnam War veteran, served as an infantry platoon sergeant in Vietnam. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Gross)
Called “The Wall That Heals,” the replica was unveiled in Washing on Veterans Day 1996 by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
It is designed to travel to communities throughout the nation. The exhibit features a three-quarter scale replica of the Wall, and a mobile Education Center. Since its dedication, the Wall has been displayed at almost 600 communities throughout the nation.
Block Party to make it all happen—Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 in Vanceboro
The Craven Resource Council was forged with four primary goals in mind
Building relationships between community residents and partner stakeholders.
Raising awareness about community resources.
Identifying and addressing resource gaps
Maximizing the reach of partner agencies.
The council is the result of a collaborative relationship between Habitat for Humanity of Craven County, Twin Rivers Opportunity, and Vision Forward and has since expanded to include other non-profit groups, City and County agencies, and other organizations.
The Craven Resource Council will host their second community focused event on Saturday, Feb. 29, in Vanceboro, at the large field adjacent to Kite’s Grocery Store. The block party will be held from 1-4 p.m. and will have activities for children and parents, games and prizes, music, as well as snacks and refreshments.
Antoinette Boskey, Neighborhood Revitalization director at Habitat for Humanity of Craven County, said, “This is going to be a great opportunity for us to learn more about this area of county directly from residents whom we welcome to be a part of helping us fill these gaps in their own community. All the partner agencies are excited about the opportunity to connect with the community and learn from them how we can truly reach each of our missions.”
If you are an agency interested in joining this exciting collaborative group or have any questions about this upcoming event, please contact Antoinette Boskey at 252-633-9599 or via email at email@example.com.
On June 19, 2019, Eastern North Carolinians will celebrate JUNETEENTH with the launch of The African American Heritage & Cultural Center of New Bern.
June 19 is JUNETEENTH, the national celebration of the emancipation of formerly enslaved peoples. The AAHCC launch is June 19 from 6-8 p.m. at 408 Hancock St. in New Bern.
Rick Fisher, newly elected Board President said, “JUNETEENTH was chosen because of its significance to African Americans throughout the country. Launching on JUNETEENTH in New Bern demonstrates our organization’s commitment to presenting the historical impact and progression of African American heritage and culture in Eastern North Carolina.”
The African American Heritage & Cultural Center (AAHCC) launch on JUNETEENTH is one event among many planned that week throughout New Bern.
“Our leadership looks forward to all the events and encourages families throughout the region to come to New Bern for the JUNETEENTH celebrations,” Fisher said.
“We are planning an evening of fellowship, good traditional food, music, and art”, said Board Vice-President Ann Herndon. “I’m honored to be on the founding Board of Directors and look forward to AAHCC’s first public event.”
Details and tickets for the event are available on EventBrite. The program begins at 6 p.m. and registrants are encouraged to park in the nearby free parking lot and arrive by 5:45.
AAHCC is strategic group of community leaders, elected officials and nonprofit organization leaders that gathered early in 2018 to discuss the continuing need to increase the visibility of the heritage of eastern North Carolina’s African American community.
Beyond the recorded history of the region that is included in traditional educational environments exists an important legacy of remarkable and determined individuals who contributed to the development of this region. As 2018 discussion continued, these early AAHCC leaders determined to established a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which would collaborate with existing nonprofits, organizations and groups to secure resources to present a broad spectrum of the African American Experience.
Future AAHCC programs will include developing an oral history library with universal access, and presenting creative performances, seminars and lectures, exhibitions of artwork including murals, artifacts and personal collections, along with music, food and live art events.
ADDITIONAL JUNETEENTH EVENTS IN NEW BERN
AAHCC’s June 19 launch is one of many JUNETEENTH events throughout New Bern:
• Friday, June 14 at 5-8 p.m. JUNETEENTH Opening Reception featuring a month- long exhibit of eight local African American artists at Craven Arts Council, Bank of the Arts, 317 Middle Street
• Monday June 17 at 7 p.m. Juneteenth Week Kickoff with Charles Tendell Podcast
• Tuesday June 18, Community Service/Health Day Health and Mental Health Free Screenings at the OMEGA Center. Watch for publication of registration details
• JUNETEENTH Wednesday June 19 at 6-8 p.m. AAHCC Public Lunch – register on EventBrite.
• Thursday June 20 at 7 p.m. Tryon Palace African American Lecture, NC History Center
• Friday June 21 at 7 p.m. “Celebration of Cultures” hosted by Y.U.P. Annual Rooftop Social, 401 Middle Street. Registration required.
• Saturday June 22, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. DufFest Presents Juneteenth hosted by GDRC, Stanley White Field
• Saturday, June 22, HBCA DAY at Omega Center. Watch for publication of registration details
• Sunday June 23 is Community Freedom and Fellowship Day at Local Churches and Union Point Park Recreation. Watch for publication of details
• Sunday June 23 Gospel Concert being planned at OMEGA Center. Watch for publication of details
The African American Heritage & Cultural Center of New Bern is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in New Bern North Carolina and serving communities throughout Eastern North Carolina. Contact information: Post Office Box 1354, NBNC 28563-1354 or TheCenterofNewBern@gmail.com.
In early 2019, AAHCC became a nonprofit organization and elected is founding Board of Directors and Officers.
Officers are Rick Fisher – President
Ann Herndon – Vice-President
Kathy Adolph – Secretary
Jim Copland – Treasurer
Board Directors – Carol Bonner Becton, Maria Cho, and Tahira Coble Copland.
AAHCC is staffed by Executive Director Carrie Gallagher.
You’ll want to get your taxes done and your schedule freed up for the myriad of events and activities in and around Downtown New Bern the weekend of April 12-14. The weekend is packed with home tours, a concert, art gallery tours, a 5K run, and wine, beer and spirits tastings.
“What’s nice about it is that it brings all kinds of elements together,” said Lynne Harakal, director of Swiss Bear Inc., the Main Street organization for Downtown New Bern.
Whether you’re a local or coming in town for the weekend, there are opportunities for a lot of different activities, she said.
New to Downtown New Bern are Saturday arts and music events that use Bear Plaza as their venue. Starting in April and continuing through MumFest in October, music and arts events will be held in Bear Plaza.
Saturday Sessions, a music event, will be held on the first and third Saturdays. Art-themed events will be held on second and fourth Saturdays. Rare fifth Saturdays will alternate between music and the arts. All events will include arts and story-time activities for children.
“Overdue for a community like ours is to have something like this,” Harakal said. “We should be having regularly scheduled music and arts downtown.”
Event hours are 1-5 p.m. Saturdays at Bear Plaza, which intersects with Middle Street between South Front and Pollock streets.
Early risers can start at Farmers Market, have lunch and then catch music or arts. Late risers can start at Bear Plaza, have dinner downtown, and then catch a play at New Bern Civic Theatre or enjoy cocktails, beer and wine at Downtown New Bern’s numerous night spots.
Coming from out of town and want to stay for the weekend? Not a problem. New Bern has a wealth of hotels, motels, and bed & breakfasts that will suit all tastes. Go to https://www.visitnewbern.com/where-to-stay-new-bern-nc/ for more information.
The popular Harry Goodman Battlefield Adventure Day for families isSaturday, March 23, at the New Bern Battlefield Park.
A day full of learning activities, period games and living history,it is held annually at the Park, which has been extensively upgraded by the New Bern Historical Society. This year the event is open to guests of all ages, with special activities for children 6-12 years old. Check-inbegins at 11:30 a.m.with activitiesfrom noon to 4 p.m.
Guests will be greeted by re-enactorsfrom the 5th and 7th North Carolina Regiments.The event kicks off with a commissary lunch for all guests, provided by Moore’s Bar-B-Que.
There will be Civil War era games, crafts, and hands-on displays for the entire family. Children will participate in practice drills and Civil War period activities and crafts. Historical Society battlefield guides will provide an informative and entertaining walking tour of the battlefield.
The day’s activities will conclude with an exciting artillery live fire demonstration by McCullough Living History.
Cost is $10 for the first family member, plus $5 for each additional adult or child, with a $20 maximum for a family.Special price for active duty military and families qualifying for free/reduced school lunch program. For more information or to register: New Bern Historical Society,252-638-8558 and www.newbernhistorical.org
At the end of the day they will take part in the American Battlefield Trust’s Park Day, an opportunity for the public to lend a hand at battlefields and parks across the country. Participants will help rake out the redans. Park Day will begin after the Adventure Day activities are completeat 4 p.m.
T-shirts will be given to the first 45 participants.
New Bern Battlefield Park is located off U.S. 70 at the entrance to the Taberna subdivision at 300 Battlefield Trail. This program is supported through the generosity of the family of Harry K. Goodman, who was key to the preservation and restoration of the Battlefield Park.
Eastern North Carolina’s most popular band for all ages will perform for the fourth time at ShamRockin’ 2019, a St Patrick’s Celebration Friday night, March 15th in New Bern. The annual dinner and party will be held at New Bern’s History Center starting at 6PM with traditional Irish dinner while being entertained by Tom & Dahlin’ with Celtic songs and music…. cash bar with beer, wine and popcorn ..and then dance to the high energy sounds of TrainWreck playing hits like Play That Funky Music, Stayin’ alive, Billie Jean, That’s What I Like, Proud Mary, Keep Your Hands to Yourself….Motown, Rock ,Disco, R&B music from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today…for all ages 18 an over. Tickets available now at Mitchell’s in New Bern and on-line at newbernrotaryclub.org or $25 at the door. Order now, limited seating. Sham-Rockin’2019 is a trademark fund raising event of the Rotary Club of New Bern.
Did you go by the new Harris Teeter since it opened on Wednesday? Odds are pretty good that you did.
In a small town like New Bern, folks here can be relied on to try something new. Remember when Cook Out opened?
On opening day, I saw city officials including Jeff Odham, in whose ward the new Harris Teeter is located, and City Manager Mark Stephens proudly roaming the vast floor space of the gleaming new store.
Coke Mann, a partner with Columbia Development Group, developer of the shopping center, was quoted in the Sun Journal crediting Odham and Mayor Dana Outlaw for their bringing the super-expanded HT to New Bern.
I saw lots of regular people combing through the almost 100,000-foot feet of shopping space, which is more than just a simple supermarket. (Some say the store actually has 105,000 square feet of floor space.)
We are not wedded to a particular grocery store. We shop at Publix most often, but not exclusively, and mainly due to its modern and wide selection coupled with its less crowded aisles.
With the opening of the new Harris Teeter, that may change.
The store replaces a 55,000-square-foot store on South Glenburnie Road, which closed the day before the new store opened.
It is claimed to be the largest Harris Teeter out of the chain’s 246 stores. Some media outlets have called it the largest in the world, but since its world is pretty much contained within Southern states, that’s a somewhat pretentious claim.
Still, it’s plenty big, and within it are sections that by themselves are impressively large.
There is a Starbucks inside the Harris Teeter, just as there was at the old location, but this one has a dining area that has to make this particular Starbucks one of the largest in the world, and that’s saying something.
Then there is the food court, contained within an area that could be a nice-size grocery store all by itself.
There is a bakery, fresh produce and meats, a deli, a sushi bar, a buffet, a burger bar, a specialty bar with changing themes, and a bar-bar. Yes, a bar … where you can get beer and wine by the glass.
As for the grocery aisles, they are so long they are subdivided, with a third row intersecting at the middle. Looking from one end toward the other, the aisles extend almost as far as the eye can see.
Filling all those aisles with merchandise must be a challenge by itself. I have not looked deeply into it, but the few places I did look showed a much-expanded variety of brands and varieties.
Staffing this store must be equally challenging. I counted six people working at the Starbucks counter, four at the burger bar, three at the beer and wine bar, and so on.
I am not sure if they staffed up for opening week or if they plan to maintain that staffing level.
Sarah, Mark and I went there on opening day and had dinner. We bought a couple of items from the grocery aisles before going home.
We returned on Saturday to find the same buzz one encounters when surrounded by hundreds of happy people. The store is large enough to accommodate a thousand customers without feeling overly crowded.
Sarah got several selections from the sushi train and described the quality as good as any restaurant in New Bern. I went for simple–a burger and fries. The way I figure it, if you can’t do a burger and fries right, then what can you do right?
And boy, did they do it right. It paired nicely with the glass of Mother Earth pale ale that I got at the bar.
While waiting for my order, I ran into four people I knew, and that’s the great thing about a venue like this. It’s a magnet that draws people together, and for more than one purpose.
Before, you would go to Harris Teeter for groceries. Maybe you might grab something from the salad bar or deli or the Starbucks counter, but there was really nothing that set it apart from any other modern grocery store.
This Harris Teeter is not just a retailer, it is a community amenity. You can literally spend the day there, enjoying a fresh breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a couple of glasses of beer or wine later in the day before actually doing any grocery shopping.
Note: the beer and wine bar opens at 10 a.m. daily except Sundays, when it opens at 11 a.m. But who’s judging?
The parking lot is large and full but sufficient and well laid out. Other stores in the shopping center, which is called New Bern Marketplace, round out the remaining two-thirds of retail floor space at the 34-acre, 325,000-square-food retail venue.
One thing it has over Downtown New Bern: parking is not limited to two hours.
So what can you expect at the Teeter?
Greeting you as you arrive at one of the entrances is the floral counter managed by Mary Gierie-Merrell, who Mayor Outlaw has described as New Bern’s unofficial mayor.
At that same entrance, off to the right, is the Starbucks counter with its spacious and open dining area. It is equipped with tables and booths and two big-screen TVs. The window-wall is lined with a long counter with tall chairs for computer users and enough USB ports and electric sockets for every two chairs.
Beyond is the amazing food court, and to its left, the expansive grocery aisles.
One glitch was WiFi. Though it is provided, I was unable to connect to the internet using it. Another quibble is that if you want to sit at a table and plug in your device or computer to a power source, there are just two tables within range of just one wall socket, and they are right underneath a big-screen TV. That may be by design. It is understandable why a store would not want its tables taken up by people using computers all day.
The impacts of the new Harris Teeter on New Bern will be interesting to see.
It will undoubtedly cut into business of other existing grocery stores. But being so large, it will draw shoppers from outside New Bern and maybe from outside Craven County.
When the N.C. 43 connector is extended from U.S. 70 to U.S. 17 in the next few years, it will make access to New Bern Marketplace easier to reach from Pitt and Lenoir residents. It’s already the easiest retail center to reach in New Bern from Jones and Onslow counties.
As I said, this Harris Teeter is not just a store, it is a community amenity.
Harris Teeter’s previous largest stores, measuring at 80,000 square feet of store space, are located in Pinehurst and Charlotte.
The New Bern store is only the second location to have a juice bar.
It is the first to have a build-your-own burger bar.
Looking for a way to have a pancake breakfast before visiting Santa in Bear Plaza, taking in some shopping, and enjoying the many activities happening during the holiday season in downtown New Bern?
Join Pancakes for PIE at Morgan’s Tavern & Grill, 235 Craven St. Breakfast will be served Saturday, Dec. 15, from 7-10 a.m. to benefit Partners In Education, the local education foundation for Craven County Schools. Pancakes, bacon, sausage, fruit cup, orange juice, coffee, and water will be served in a festive setting. The price is $7 per adult, and $5 for children 12 and under. Reservations are not required as this is a pay-at-the-door event. Debit, credit cards, checks, and cash are accepted. In order to expedite seating, please have checks or cash ready.
Don Brinkley, PIE Board president, said, “This event is open to the public and is an excellent opportunity for our community to show their support for Craven County Schools. Morgan’s is generously donating all proceeds from the breakfast to PIE, who will use the funds to support our local schools through PIE grant programs. Serving our pancakes will be Morgan’s staff along with PIE volunteers consisting of teachers, school staff members, and community supporters.”
Brandy Popp, chairman of the PIE Fund Raising Committee, said, “It is so very giving of Adam and Candice Simmons and their employees to provide the staffing, food, and venue for this event. We all know Morgan’s dishes up excellent food and our volunteers are always up for serving some ‘PIE’! We are absolutely thrilled Morgan’s is hosting Pancakes for PIE and we encourage everyone to bring the whole family and spend the day in beautiful downtown New Bern! We have sent a special invitation to Santa and we are hoping he will be on hand to share holiday cheer.”
For more information about Pancakes for PIE, or other programs offered by PIE, contact Darlene Brown, Executive Director, Craven County Partners In Education, at 252-514-6321 or www.CravenPartners.com.
Partners In Education is a 501(c)3 nonprofit Local Education Foundation that provides grant funding and special programs to classrooms and schools within the Craven County Schools system.
Since 1989, PIE has been changing the lives of students and families in our community by providing our educators with financial resources that enhance and reward innovative approaches to educational excellence.