Around Town: Spotted Dog Changes Owners, Not Its Spots

The Spotted Dog restaurant — in Carrboro’s version of a wedge-shaped “flatiron building” between Main and Weaver streets — doesn’t otherwise call attention to itself, but maybe it should.

New owner Ed Corbell, who lives in Carrboro, plans to keep a good thing going: the charming canine wall of fame (photos of family dogs, spotted and otherwise), framed prints by local artists, an unfussy atmosphere, a full bar, affordable entrees, ethical sourcing of meats, locally sourced vegetarian and vegan fare (pozole verde, curry quinoa), and a commitment to recycle or compost all waste.

Corbell said he regularly ate at the restaurant with his family and became friendly with co-owners Linda Bourne 
and Karin Mills, whose Dalmatian suggested the name. Their decision to move on offered Corbell a chance to leave the corporate restaurant track (most recently, Maggiano’s Little Italy). Corbell said he stopped eating meat at age 13, has remained vegetarian for 30 years and is “working on vegan.” Yet he’ll serve you a burger without judgment, because everyone’s welcome at The Spotted Dog.

Open 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-midnight. Corbell plans to open on Mondays, as well.

The Spotted Dog, 111 East Main St., Carrboro, 919-933-1117

 TinCupJoeFitsIn, StandsOut

Chris Jordan’s outdoor coffee bar, Tin Cup Joe, on Merritt Mill Road just south of West Franklin Street, used to be a camouflaged hunting camper. Jordan has given it a color scheme to make it fit into its funky surroundings.

Patrons order from the ochre red and yellow camper’s window, sheltered by a blue-and-white-striped tin canopy, and sit at a handful of wooden tables shaded by big red umbrellas and surrounded by colorful potted plants. A counter made of polyurethane-coated pennies and a 1930s antique cash register (“It only rings up to $2.99 — as high as shoe prices went in the Depression,” Jordan says) are among the camper’s features. Yelp gave Tin Cup Joe five stars for all-around adorableness.

Open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays; weekend hours vary. Open as long as weather permits.

Tin Cup Joe, 102 S. Merritt Mill Road, Carrboro, 919-408-6901

AnotherSportsBar? MightasWell

The Wilmington sports bar Might as Well plans to open a second location, in the former Fitzgerald’s pub on West Franklin Street, across from the Carolina Square construction site.

Might as Well caters to a college crowd with its Heart Attack Burger (“just don’t blame us if your doctor gets mad”), flat-screen TVs, frozen cocktails, two dozen beers on tap, outdoor patio seating and indoor refectory tables. “We’re aiming for November,” co-owner Robert Fain said about a scheduled opening, just in time for hoops season.

Check the website for hours and phone number:

Might as Well, 206 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill

SteakhouseComing NearSilverspot

Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill is expected to be open by the end of the year in University Place (formerly University Mall).

Stoney River is part of the Nashville-based J. Alexander’s Holdings restaurant group, serving hand-cut steaks such as a coffee-cured fillet, bone-in rib-eye and New York strip. The salmon is flown in from Scotland.

Stoney River’s space next to the Silverspot Cinema will seat up to 225 people. A second restaurant is planned for Raleigh’s Crabtree Valley Mall.

Open seven days a week for dinner and Sunday for brunch. Check the company’s website for hours, phone number and other information:

Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill, 201 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill

ChapelHillPilates ExercisesCoreValues

The new Chapel Hill Pilates Center in a restored mill building, steps away from Carrboro’s main drag, feels like an oasis. The second-floor studio space is tranquil and rustic, highlighted with the original beams and wood floors.

“I feel like this place found me,” said instructor Lauren McClerkin, a mother of five whose soothing aura belies the 60-hour weeks she’s been working to launch the business. McClerkin trained at The Pilates Center in Boulder, Colo., “the Harvard of Pilates” where instruction includes 950 hours of anatomy classes and movement training. Pilates uses workouts of controlled movements to improve flexibility and balance, build strength, and develop control and endurance, with emphasis on alignment, breathing and developing strong core muscles.

A native of Texarkana, Ark., McClerkin also lived in Chicago before moving to Chapel Hill 19 years ago. She taught privately in Meadowmont before opening her new place.

“People have a lot of misconceptions about Pilates,” she said. It’s not a quick fix, but “if you put in the time needed to retrain your muscles, strengthening from the inside out, you’ll have fewer injuries and you’ll feel better in every way.”

Drop-in classes cost $15. For more, see, or download McClerkin’s app at

Chapel Hill Pilates, 103 Lloyd St., Carrboro, 984-234-3195

DocumentaryFocuses onCrook’sFounder

The Southern Foodways Alliance has produced a documentary about Bill Neal, the influential founder of Crook’s Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill: They Came for Shrimp & Grits: The Life and Work of Bill Neal. Watch it online.

— Ann Loftin

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