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 →

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 →

Johnston is an ECU alumna following her life-long dream of having her store. She started at South Front Street and has since expanded into an inviting 3,000-square-foot store on the corner of Craven and Pollock street in Downtown New Bern, offering clothes and accessories that you would expect to find in New York City’s trendiest boutiques. When shopping small, you gain a personal connection from Johnston and her employees. “While our customers enjoy shopping, it is our treat to pick out a few extra looks to add to their fitting room that they may have not picked themselves. We always love to see their smilesRead More →

You can schedule an appointment through the Blush Facebook page, by calling 252.497.8875, or shop here. Follow Blush on Instagram @blushboutiqueetsy. The space at 223A Craven Street is a beautiful, historic mansion built in the mid-1850s that has been carefully restored so that every detail adheres to the period. The boutique’s natural lighting is breathtaking, and the space is serene. It’s a storybook setting for Jeanne Lloyd’s Blush Boutique to nestle and thrive. Lloyd started out with an Etsy pop-up shop creating custom veils and headpieces which she still offers both online and in the shop. She wanted to bring unique designer gowns to New Bern,Read More →

The New Bern Board of Aldermen will conduct a public hearing and consider annexing an 11-acre West New Bern tract formerly called Craven Thirty. Clifford Parson, on behalf of Weyerhaeuser NR Company, requested the annexation. Once annexed, the area would benefit from city services such as water, sewer, and possibly power, as well as police, fire, and city development standards. Residents there would be New Bern citizens and can vote in municipal elections. A public hearing was called for 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, at city hall, corner of Pollock and Craven streets. Radio upgrade During the meeting, the board will also hear a presentationRead More →

In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the City of New Bern has amended its ordinance to allow for street cafes. This concept aims to help restaurants citywide in their economic recovery from Coronavirus and allow them more room to serve patrons during the State of North Carolina’s Phase 2 reopening, while also exercising stringent social distancing and capacity guidelines. Phase 2 is anticipated to begin on Friday, May 22 and last for 4-6 weeks. The Street Café Permit allows restaurants, upon approval, to serve patrons outside of their facilities. In the downtown area, the City has agreed to close portions of streets on FridayRead More →

New Bern received a mediocre score for family friendliness in North Carolina from WalletHub, a website that produces data-driven articles ranking various subjects in various categories. In ranking North Carolina cities for “2019’s Best Places to Raise a Family in North Carolina,” New Bern ranked 56th out of 87 cities. The top-ranked city was Cary, while coming in at 87th was Laurinburg. In Eastern North Carolina, Havelock — you read that right — was the highest rated city in the survey, coming in at 35th. Other Eastern NC cities were Wilmington (44th), Greenville (53rd), Jacksonville (59th), Wilson (70th), Elizabeth City (75th), Tarboro (77th), Goldsboro (81st), andRead More →

Six months after it made landfall, Hurricane Florence’s impacts on New Bern’s economy are still being felt throughout the city, but a new development may delay full recovery for some time. Hurricane-damaged DoubleTree Riverfront hotel is closed indefinitely over insurance coverage issues related to the hurricane. Downtown New Bern will continue to face its worst economic crisis since 2008-10, when access to downtown was crippled by a bridge replacement and road construction projects. “Business is definitely down,” said Lynne Harakal, director of Swiss Bear Downtown Development Corporation, said about Hurricane Florence recovery. “The best information I can provide is revenues are down about 15-20 percentRead More →

The Board of Aldermen meets Tuesday for two separate sessions, a regular meeting starting at 6 p.m. and a work session covering utility rates starting at 3 p.m. During Tuesday’s regular meeting, here are some of the more interesting agenda items: 10. Presentation on NC Global TransPark Authority. Allen Thomas, Director of the North Carolina Global TransPark (“GTP”), was scheduled to make a presentation before the Board last July, but cancelled due to illness. He has rescheduled that presentation for this meeting. 11. Presentation by Craven County Board of Elections. Melani Wray, Director of the Craven County Board of Elections, will make a presentation thatRead More →

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 bringingRead More →