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.
New Bernwas selected as one of the nation’s top retirement destinations and one of its best small retirement towns byWhereToRetire.comin its sixth edition of “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire,” a guidebook of the country’s most appealing retirement towns.
WhereToRetire.comspent 11 months researching more than 800 cities. The chosen cities vary in size, climate, amenities and lifestyle, and each falls into one of 10 categories that focuses on the city’s defining feature, such as beaches, mountains, low costs, four seasons and appealing downtowns. Each city profile combines extensive research, local knowledge and in-depth interviews with retirees who made the move.
New Bern is a certified retirement community. The Certified Retirement Community designation means a city has completed a comprehensive evaluation process with requirements outlined by the North Carolina General Assembly.Certified Retirement Communities are recognized for providing the amenities, services and opportunities retirees need to enjoy active and productive lives.
New Bern was recognized in April 2015 as one of the “10 Most Beautiful Towns in North Carolina,” and one of the “Top 10 Coastal Towns Where You Can Afford to Retire.”
Founded in 1710, New Bern it is the second oldest city in the state. It was the last colonial capital of North Carolina and its first state capital. “The City is a grand mix of carefully restored and maintained historical homes with old growth trees, a historic downtown, and contemporary houses ranging from condos to mansions, many with riverfront locations,” according to the website,Visit New Bern.
“New Bern’s character is palpable, and the people you meet are as vibrant as their surroundings. In addition to its beauty, New Bern is well-situated at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent Rivers, and only 35 miles from the Crystal Coast. The Atlantic Ocean is accessible by boat from New Bern, and New Bern’s rivers and creeks make a perfect playground for sailing, yachting, kayaking, Stand Up Paddle Boarding and fishing. New Bern has direct access to rivers and beaches without the high costs associated with beachfront living.”
Eight North Carolina cities were selected as top retirement destinations in “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire.” Other North Carolina towns are Boone/Blowing Rock, Charlotte, Durham, Hendersonville, Sylva, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem.
North Carolina had the second highest number of towns on the list, behind only Florida. In addition, Winston-Salem was among the Best Four-Season Towns; Charlotte and Durham were among the Best Low-Cost Towns; and Boone/Blowing Rock, Hendersonville and Sylva were among the Best Mountain Towns.
While Hurricane Florence has meant minor changes in the Ghostwalk line-up, the New Bern Historical Society is finding that when a ghost site has had to step out, others step in. This includes the William B. Blades house on the corner of Johnson and Middle streets.
Historical Society Executive Director Mickey Miller said, “What a generous offer from the owners of the Blades House. How wonderful it is that they want to help make Ghostwalk successful. This is yet another great example of New Bernians working together to make our town so successful.”
Ghostwalk is an annual event presented by the New Bern Historical Society, this year held Oct. 25-27. Each Ghostwalk brings a whole new batch of historical characters from New Bern’s colorful and varied past to tell you their stories. This year’s theme: Graves’ Anatomy, brings tales ofMedicine, Mystery and Mayhem. That would leave the ghostly field open to everyone from well-respected surgeons to snake oil salesmen.
The current line-up of Ghostwalk sites and an online map are available at www.GhostwalkNewBern.com.
Ghostwalk is a family-friendly event with entertaining stories from our history, tempting dinners available at historic churches, and this year something new. At the historic Judge Gaston Law office, each Ghostwalk ticket-holder can have their picture taken at the professional Tap Snap photo booth. They will go home with a free photo souvenir as well as a digital image, all as part of their Ghostwalk ticket.
Tickets are available at www.GhostwalkNewBern.com or by calling 252-638-8558, and at the following outlets: The New Bern Historical Society, Mitchell’s Hardware, Bank of the Arts, Harris Teeter on Glenburnie and in Carolina Colours, ITT Office aboard Cherry Point Marine Air Station, and ASAP Photo in Greenville.
The mission of the New Bern Historical Society is to celebrate and promote New Bern and its heritage through events and education. Offices are located in the historic Attmore-Oliver House at 511 Broad St. in New Bern. For more information, call 252-638-8558 or go www.NewBernHistorical.org or www.facebook.com/NewBernHistoricalSociety.
For 28 years, Ghostwalk has endured whatever mother nature sends along. This year she sent Florence. For many New Bernians this means much flooding and damage. As the city works back toward normalcy, the New Bern Historical Society joins all of New Bern moving forward.
Ghostwalk will go on Oct. 25-27.
There will be some modifications. Some of their original plans may change, different ghosts may make the trip back, but they will give you a historical good time for three evenings. And celebrate New Bern in the process.
Tickets, good for all three nights, are available online and at the New Bern Historical Society office at 511 Broad St. in New Bern.
Ticket outlets, as listed on the website, should be ready late in the week of Sept. 24.
They are still expecting a whole crew of spirited characters from New Bern’s past reflecting this year’s theme: Graves’ Anatomy. So, stand by for medicine, mystery and mayhem.
Many of the city’s historic churches will provide ghostly fare, so leave dinner planning to them.
They will have the Tap Snap photo booth for a souvenir photo for all ticketholders, watch for wonderful theatre previews as well. Keep an eye out for spirits at Cedar Grove Cemetery and prepare for a realistic Civil War hospital presentation.
“We salute those hard-working people who, in the face of Florence, are demonstrating #NewBernStrong,” the Historical Society said in a news release. “The New Bern Historical Society invites you to come celebrate New Bern and our wonderful history at Ghostwalk. Despite the efforts of Florence and Mother Nature, New Bern endures! Title Sponsors, Chesnutt, Clemmons and Peacock; and CarolinaEast Health System. Media title sponsorship provided by WITN. Additional media sponsorship by Public Radio East.
The mission of the New Bern Historical Society is to celebrate and promote New Bern and its heritage through events and education. Offices are located in the historic Attmore Oliver House at 511 Broad Street in New Bern. For more information, call 252-638-8558 or go www.NewBernHistorical.org or www.facebook.com/NewBernHistoricalSociety.
Bill Hand welcomes visitors to Cedar Grove Cemetery.
The improv comedy group Walk-In Bathtub will make its first appearance on the New Bern Civic Theater stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 28.
Offering a raucous combination of games inspired by audience suggestions, Walk-In Bathtub’s performances are reminiscent of the popular TV show “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” Team members must create scenes and act out suggestions from the audience without the help of a script, which often leads to hilarious and unexpected results.
Walk-In Bathtub made its first performance at City Stage–formerly Live at the City Laundry–last fall and has grown in popularity ever since. Saturday marks the group’s first performance at the New Bern Civic Theater.
Corner of Middle and South Front streets. Captain Ratty’s in 2017.
Audiences filled the auditorium quickly for Curator Jim Hodges’ “New Bern Then and Now” presentation, so much so that the New Bern Historical Society decided to do another encore.
Aug. 8 will bring another opportunity to see and hear this popular lecture filled with photos and images from New Bern’s history.
Hodges explains many of the “Used to Be’s” in New Bern. Captain Ratty’s used to be Duffy’s Drug Store, Morgan’s used to be True Tread Tires, First Citizens Bank sits where used to be the Hotel Queen Anne.
Corner of Middle and South Front streets. Central News in 1971.
This popular speaker will reveal the past and current status of more than 30 New Bern landmarks in an encore presentation on Aug. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cullman Performance Hall at the North Carolina History Center at no charge. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Once again, early arrival is recommended!
Hodges has scoured the New Bern Historical Society collection to share with you these wonderful images from our past. In some cases, the buildings have been carefully renovated and saved in their original condition. In others they have been saved and re-purposed, while sometimes they are simply lost. In any case, you will be fascinated by these historic images.
Corner of Middle and South Front streets. Duffy’s Drug Store circa 1920.
Hodges was reared in New Bern, matriculated to UNC-Chapel Hill, earning an undergraduate degree in chemistry and a post graduate dental degree. After satisfying a military commitment and enjoying several years of international travel, Jim returned to New Bern and practiced dentistry until his retirement in 2012.
His current life chapter involves his passion for New Bern and its rich history as a member of the Historical Society and the Tryon Palace Foundation Board of Directors. As the volunteer Curator of the New Bern Historical Society he spends his days maintaining, conserving and finding ways to share the collection.
Board President Joe Hunt said, “Whether you are a New Bern native or a transplant from elsewhere, you will be fascinated by these images. We are grateful to our friends at Tryon Palace for facilitating this presentation at the Cullman.”
This program is sponsored by the New Bern Historical Society in partnership with Tryon Palace. The Historical Society’s mission is to celebrate and promote New Bern and its heritage through events and education. Offices are located in the historic Attmore-Oliver House at 511 Broad St. in New Bern. For more information, call 252-638-8558 or go www.NewBernHistorical.org or www.facebook.com/NewBernHistoricalSociety.
The Lifetime Learning Center at Craven Community College (Craven CC) will host a performance by the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra (NCBO) on Friday, Aug. 3. The performance will be led by conductor Frances Blaker and take place at Orringer Auditorium, located on the New Bern campus.
NCBO will present a program called “Fiori del barocco: Flowers of the Baroque” as a finale to the ensemble’s second annual orchestral retreat. Composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Evaristo Felice Dall’Abaco, Antonio Vivaldi and more will be featured in a concert of baroque gems played on period instruments.
Formed by sisters and musical collaborators Frances Blaker and Barbara Blaker Krumdieck, the NCBO fills a need within the southeastern musical community by providing musicians with opportunities to develop skills and gain experience in historically-informed baroque performance practice, while also bringing this rare genre to the listening public.
NCBO frequently performs larger works from the Baroque period with choirs throughout the southeast. Recent performances include the “Bach B Minor,” “Easter Oratorio,” “Christmas Oratorio” and numerous cantatas, Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” Handel’s “Judas Maccabaeus” and “Ode for St. Cecelia,” Buxtehude’s “Membra Jesu Nostri” and many other works from the Baroque period.
Conductor Frances Blaker is a world-renowned expert in Baroque performance practice and a virtuoso instrumentalist. Performers in the NCBO participate in sectional rehearsals led by experts in the stylistic details of the repertoire.
This informal summer concert is open to the community and admission is free. The suggested donation is $10 per person and all proceeds will go directly to the NCBO in support of the orchestra’s outreach programming.
New Bern’s premiere multi-day music event, Bernaroo Music & Arts Festival, will be held July 20 and 21 at venues throughout downtown New Bern
GEM Productions presents Bernaroo, a multi-faceted family-friendly event that brings together music, art, food, culture and everything in between.
Bernaroo’s marquee events will be held at the New Bern Farmer’s market with six acts split between the Market Stage and Smith Stage on each day.
Free events will be held throughout the weekend at The Brown Pelican, Bear Town Market and Circa 1810.
Admission is $15 for a single-day or $25 for a weekend pass. Tickets are available for purchase at bernaroomusicfest.com. Gates open at 5 p.m. and music starts at 5:30 p.m. Evening shows at the Farmer’s Market will end at 10 p.m, then free after parties will take place at The Brown Pelican immediately after.
Bernaroo 2018 proves to be the most robust lineup in the festival’s five-year history, both in terms of quality and quantity. Throughout the weekend, 19 North Carolina-based bands will descend upon New Bern, ranging from the soul/rock quartet Travers Brothership all the way to the roots-reggae of dub Addis.
Alongside the myriad of diverse artists, Bernaroo also features live art from an annual artist in residency, each evening glassblower Shepp Avery will be hosting live demonstrations, giving a sneak peek at how he crafts his exquisite pieces.
Local craft brewery Brütopia will be serving beer throughout the weekend as local food trucks like Mari’s Hella Fat Food, The Tiny Tornado and Jasmine Tasty Thai dish out some of New Bern’s finest food.
But Bernaroo won’t just be boasting food and drinks, local arts and crafts vendors will be joining along in the festivities along with an all-age appropriate kids corner featuring engaging arts projects and activities to keep the youngsters happy while the parents soak in the tunes.
In the festival’s fifth year, Bernaroo treks boldly into its new home at the New Bern Farmer’s Market with one of the most eclectic lineups the town has seen. Through art and music, Bernaroo aims to bring together community members from all walks of life for a weekend full of love, positivity and a whole lot of dancing.
“We are thrilled to offer this new concert series to the citizens and visitors of New Bern. This event provides a great opportunity for everyone to enjoy great music in a beautiful setting. We encourage you to bring your friends and family out for a fun evening.” said City of New Bern Director of Parks and Recreation Foster Hughes.
For sponsorship opportunities or additional information about the Summer Concert series, please contact New Bern Parks and Recreation at 252-639-2901, or visit online.