Editor’s note: Many people know the building on the 200 block of Craven Street in New Bern as City Hall … that’s what the sign near its roof calls it. More often, it’s called Old City Hall. It once served as New Bern City Hall before city government moved to the corner of Craven and Pollock streets. Historians have discovered an even earlier use for the old building, hidden in plain sight. By Claudia Houston, NBHS Historian New Bern Historical Society (NBHS) announced the discovery of an existing building in downtown that served as both a Confederate and Union hospital during the Civil War. HistorianRead More →

Craven Arts Council & Gallery presents the Twin Rivers Artists Association and Craven Community College Judged Exhibition in the Main Gallery at Bank of the Arts for the month of March. This exhibition highlights the talents of local artists in our community and helps to encourage networking and artist participation in the Twin Rivers Artists Association. Craven Arts Council & Gallery, 317 Middle St., New Bern, will host an opening reception for the exhibition during the downtown New Bern ArtWalk, Friday, March 12, from 5-8 p.m. The Twin Rivers Artists Association (TRAA) exists to promote and encourage the creation, education, and appreciation of fine artRead More →

The Next Chapter Books & Art celebrates the release of issue 2 of The Next Chapter Literary Magazine at ArtWalk Friday, Jan. 8 from 5-8 p.m. The Next Chapter Literary Magazine is edited by Michelle Garren Flye, local author and owner of The Next Chapter Books & Art, and features stories, essays, poems, art and photography from Eastern North Carolina authors and artists. “This area is full of creative people,” Flye said. “I wanted to showcase that. The magazine includes authors you can find on my store’s shelves, but it also includes new authors and artists you may never have heard of.” The January 2021Read More →

The Cooper family became owners of The Meadows Inn Bed & Breakfast on March 20, 2020. March 2020 is a historically significant month. That was when COVID-19 arrived and New Bern shut down. #WCIO: When COVID is OVER Staycation SweepstakesScroll down for the entry form. Click here for rules and information about #WCIO Sweepstakes. “We made a lot of lemonade from lemons,” said Linda Cooper, owner and innkeeper. “We used the COVID lockdown period to do a lot of renovation and freshened the décor.”  The décor is a mix of what was there and additional pieces that were acquired from her travels around the world. Read More →

Familiarity attracted Gretchen and Tracy Du Peza to New Bern in 2015 as they investigated their next venture: Inkeeping. New Bern was founded in 1710 by a Swiss baron who named the settlement after Bern, Switzerland, his ancestral home. “We lived in Switzerland for 13 years, so we appreciate the Swiss tie-in here,” said Gretchen. In January 2016, the Du Pezas bought the Downtown New Bern bed & breakfast then known as Harmony House, a distinctive and historic venue that dates back to 1850. They restored and upgraded the inn and reinstated its historical name, the Benjamin Ellis House. Benjamin Ellis House Bed & BreakfastRead More →

Swiss Bear, Inc., the Main Street organization for the City of New Bern, announced two wins in Carolina Country’s Finest Awards 2020 contest. New Bern won the NC-based publication’s categories for Finest Main Street or Downtown and Finest Festival (MumFest). Swiss Bear Chairman Chris McCutcheon said, “It is such an honor, and it really shows how resilient our town has been through COVID-19. We’ve been successful at thinking outside the box to give every business the chance to thrive. To be chosen out of all the nominees is thrilling, and for four of the ten winners to be Main Street communities just makes it thatRead More →

People go wild over Baker’s Kitchen’s Butter Syrup, but there is so much more. It’s hard to imagine how in the world a family business that started with sheet metal in the early 20th Century would get into the restaurant business—much less be so good at it. But here they are. The Bengel family was into several things: sheet metal for more than a century, a travel agency, New Bern’s Pepsi Store—even a Collegiate Summer League baseball team (the Morehead City Marlins).  They jumped into the restaurant business in 2012, taking over then-called Baker’s Square on Middle Street and rebranding it Baker’s Kitchen. (They alsoRead More →

Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, kicks off the holiday season in Downtown New Bern with Bear Merry Christmas and Christmas on Craven Street-Downtown New Bern-Open House events. In light of COVID-19, this year’s Beary Merry Christmas is called A Beary Safe and Magical Christmas in New Bern. Beary Merry Christmas, a Downtown New Bern staple for years, will be Friday, Nov. 27 and 28 at Santa House in Bear Plaza on Middle Street and throughout Downtown New Bern. For more on the season’s events, go to BearyMerryChristmas or on Facebook at Facebook.com/BearyMerryChristmas. Beary Merry events Friday, Nov. 27: Beary Merry Christmas Kickoff Santa arrives in BearRead More →

When it comes to presenting and protecting art and precious photos, don’t sell yourself short. “People have a misconception that going to a framing shop is an expensive option,” said Marianne Ruiz, who owns Ballantyne Framing & Art on 220 Craven St. in Downtown New Bern with her partner, Mary Kay Bills. “There is savings, though. You are not paying the middle man to build frames and cut mats and assemble. This adds flexibility and savings to the customer.” Besides being experienced, professional, and knowledgeable, Mary Kay and Marianne care about customers and love what they do. That’s something money can’t buy.  Looking at aRead More →

You’ll find a range of fertilizers along with quality gloves, shears, and watering hoses. If you’re not a gardener, but enjoy spending time outdoors, look for their beautiful birdhouses, yard-art, and windchimes. A place for your whole family, one can look for a new Case knife, while the other chooses their favorite lotion. And while you are getting lost in the gift shop, your child may linger by the jaw-dropping display of old-fashioned candy and toys. Mitchell’s collection of NC-made products is always growing. You’ll find staples like Bertie County peanuts, Taylor’s Southern Pride BBQ sauce, and Bellator Roasting coffee, along with delightful candles, soaps,Read More →