Monday, 04 March 2019
Written by BILL BOWMAN
The Rowan Street bridge is coming along nicely. Before you know it, we will enjoy one of the nicest, most beautiful and longawaited gateways into Fayetteville.
The Up & Coming Weekly office is at 208 Rowan St., practically at the foot of the bridge. So, we have had a bird’s-eye view of its progress. It’s pretty impressive. The timing is near perfect, coinciding with all the exciting development and innovations happening downtown. A stadium, a hotel, apartments, office buildings and businesses will result from this more than $100 million of economic development.
It’s all good, and I’m especially excited because next door to our office is 214 Rowan St. This is a vacant 6,000-square-foot commercial building that’s for sale. It’s stubbornly waiting to be leased or sold to the first entrepreneur who has vision and insight into the opportunities and needs generated by our growing community.
How do I know this? Because I am an entrepreneur, and I own the building. When I describe the building as “stubbornly waiting,” I’m referring to my steadfast determination to put a themed, upscale but moderately priced restaurant in that location. Preferably, a brew pub.
Why? First, location. Rowan Street is going to be a gateway into Fayetteville, with upward of 50,000 vehicles passing by that location every day. It’s in a convenient proximity to Festival Park, the Airborne & Special Operations Museum, our new baseball stadium and downtown events and amenities — all of which are within an easy 5- to 10-minute walk.
Secondly, after passing all the venues mentioned above, there are no restaurants or eating establishments in the area between Hay Street, Rowan Street and Bragg Boulevard — except the Subway at the Amtrak Station.
My formal educational background is in the food and hospitality industry, and I have owned and invested in several restaurants in Raleigh and Fayetteville the past two decades, including Mash House Brewing Company on Sycamore Dairy Road. So, I can tell you with confidence that people like to eat and drink on their way to and from entertainment venues and social gatherings. Currently, there are no dining destinations on this major gateway.
Thirdly, and my favorite — parking.Yes, there are more than 100 convenient parking spaces nearby. Imagine eating, drinking, socializing and parking all in one location that is only minutes away from the exciting sights and sounds of a vibrant downtown. Yep. 214 Rowan St. will be that prestigious destination if I have anything to do with it.
Unfortunately, aspirations like this do not come without a cost. My wife and two prominent commercial real estate brokers think I’m being bullheaded and stubborn for holding off and waiting for that specific, unique brew pub/restaurant entrepreneur to occupy the location.
I’m optimistic. Besides, I want to be one of the first patrons seated on the streetside dining patio enjoying a glass of wine while listening to a concert at Festival Park or the sounds of a cheering crowd at a Fayetteville Woodpeckers baseball game.
It will happen — but only for someone with vision into what the Fayetteville community wants, needs and will support. Is that you? If not, pass this article on to a friend.
Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.
Monday, 25 February 2019
Written by PITT DICKEY
People of Earth, how are you? Yoko Ono once posed that question, but no one answered. Let’s take a shot at the same issue. Earthlings seem to be in the midst of a passel of super moons. Every time you turn around, there is a new super moon. We used to have regular moons. With social media, every time the lights go out, we seem to get a super moon.
In January we had the Super Wolf Blood Moon. In mid-February we had the Super Snow Moon. On March 21, we will get to enjoy the Rosie O’Donnell Super Moon to celebrate Rosie’s 57th birthday. All this reminds me of Andy Williams singing “Moon River.” If one thinks of Andy Williams, who can forget his one-time girlfriend Claudine Longet? In 1976, Claudine shot her thenboyfriend Olympic skier Spider Sabich. However, I digress.
All the super moons put me in mind of the mythological Diana, who was the goddess of the moon and the hunt. Let us pose the musical question: If Diana were around today, what would she think of the multitude of super moons? To answer this question, it is helpful to get forensic background information about Diana. Let us proceed.
Diana was the daughter of Jupiter and his baby mama, Latona. Jupiter was the King of the Gods. Diana’s brother, Apollo, got a concert hall named for him. Diana came from the upper 1 percent of the gods. She had a very low tax rate, in keeping with her high station. Diana was the Ivanka Trump of goddesses.
One thing about Diana — she did not like surprises. Ponder what happened to Actaeon, who was out hunting with his buddies one day on the first day of deer season.
It was noon on a sweltering day. Actaeon and pals had been out hunting with dogs all morning and were pretty tuckered out from their adventures. Acty (as his friends called him) told his buddies to sit in the shade and have some brewskis to recover for more hunting that afternoon.
The boys did not have to be asked twice. Pretty soon, everyone was getting sloshed. Acty was counting carbs, so he passed on drinking. He wandered off into the woods to take a look-see, leaving his buds behind with the Carling Black Labels. Unknown to Acty, he was in the same forest in which Diana had a cave where she would hang with her posse, the nymphs. Diana was in the process of skinny-dipping in the cool pond outside the cave when Acty blundered into the sacred circle. The nymphs shrieked, “Man in the hall!”
They tried to shield Diana’s nekkid body from the prying eyes of Acty by standing in front of Diana. However, nymphs are short, and Diana is tall. The height disparity allowed Acty to get a full gander at Diana in her birthday suit.
Diana was not amused by Acty’s ogling. She tried to reach for her bow and arrow to skewer him, but it was out of reach. Instead, she scooped up a handful of pond water and threw it in Acty’s face. She yelled if you can, that you have seen Diana naked!”
This wasn’t ordinary pond water. It was the Perrier of magic pond water.
When the water hit Acty, he started to grow antlers. His neck got longer. His hands and feet turned into hooves, and his skin became covered with brown fur. As Gomer would say, “Surprise, surprise!” Acty turned into a deer.
He freaked out and started running through the forest trying to cipher what to do next. He ended up by a lake to take a drink. He looked at his reflection and realized he had morphed into a deer. He tried to speak but encountered word retrieval problems, discovering he couldn’t talk. All he could make were deer noises. Things quickly got worse.
Who let the dogs out? About this time, his dogs caught wind of Acty and started chasing him. Acty took off running over hills and dales, not appreciating the irony that he had just been doing the same thing to Bambi’s mother a few hours earlier.
Acty’s alpha dog was Melampus. Melampus was the first canine to catch Acty and put the chomp on him. The other dogs caught up and pulled Acty down to a gruesome but chewy death. Acty’s buddies kept whooping and hollering for Acty to come watch the fun, not realizing that Acty was being turned into dog chow by his very own dogs Oh, the humanity.
Meanwhile, back at the pond, Diana was icily satisfied with Acty’s painful demise. You did not mess with Diana.
As Tony Soprano once said, “Revenge is a dish best served with cold cuts.” If Diana had been a character in the movie “Porky’s,” none of the teenage boys who spied on the girls’ shower room would have made it home for supper. They would have all been turned into venison stew in the school lunch room.
So, what have we learned today? Respect women’s space. In the #MeToo era, there are a lot of Dianas out there who won’t put up with men’s mess. Ending up as deer sausage is not a happy outcome. Ask Harvey Weinstein, Les Moonves, R. Kelly, Steve Wynn or Charlie Rose.