Pit Hosting ‘Cuegrass Festival on Saturday

cuegrassfestival The Pit barbecue restaurant in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District will hold its inaugural ‘Cuegrass Festival, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Saturday, April 4, with event proceeds benefiting Feed The Farm, a local non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to N.C. farmers in need.

The festival will be a family event, featuring live bluegrass music performances by three North Carolina bands — Old Habits, Filmore Valley Boys and Town Mountain. Of course, pitmaster Ed Mitchell will serve up his barbecue along with local beers from the LoneRider and Aviator breweries.

The ‘Cuegrass Festival will also feature the culmination of the “Pigs on Parade” silent auction coordinated by Whole Foods Market. Piggy banks that were painted by local artists are now on display and open for bids at The Pit. The artworks will be available for final bids at the ‘Cuegrass Festival.  Whole Foods will also provide small pigs statues for children to paint and take home, with other activities for children. Other event participants include the N.C. Museum of Natural Science, Raleigh Little Theatre, Feed The Farm and more.

The event will be held on the street outside The Pit at 328 W. Davie Street in downtown Raleigh, and is free and open to the public. Barbecued pork and ribs for sandwiches served hot off the cooker will go for $5 each, and local brews will be served for $5 each, with proceeds going to Feed The Farm. (The restaurant will also be open for regular business.) Bring your lawn chairs, grab some ‘cue and a brew, and sit back and enjoy an afternoon of live bluegrass music!

There are many options for parking. Of course, in the warehouse are there are many curbside spaces. However another option is to ride the free R-Line bus from a thousands of free parking areas around downtown. The nearest stop to the ‘Cuegrass Festival, R-12 (Amtrack) is just 1.5 blocks away.

The ‘Cuegrass Festival is sponsored by The Pit, an Empire Eats restaurant, with supporting sponsorship from Whole Foods Market, Coca-Cola, LoneRider Brewery and Aviator Brewing Company.


Another Final Four

2009FinalFour On Sunday night the North Carolina Tar Heels beat the Oklahoma Sooners to earn another trip to the Final Four. The win, UNC’s record-setting 100th in an NCAA tournament game, gives the school its 18th Final Four trip.

The Final Four is a national event, however it is so frequent that a team from the Triangle makes it, the event has become one of the Triangle’s most beloved cultural events. In the "Modern Era", the Triangle has had a team in 21 of the last 29 Final Fours. Going back further, the Triangle has placed a team in 31 of the last 47 Final Fours. The Triangle area is not short on national championships, either. In the last 27 years, 7 have come from the Triangle. Remarkable runs have occurred during that time, too. From 1986 to 1992, Duke only missed the Final Four 1 time (including 5 straight appearances). UNC went 6 times in a 10 year period from 1991 to 2000. No other state, much less metropolitan, can boast such experience at such a high level.

Year Team Year Team
1963 Duke 1990 Duke
1964 Duke 1991 Duke & UNC
1966 Duke 1992 Duke
1967 UNC 1993 UNC
1968 UNC 1994 Duke
1969 UNC 1995 UNC
1972 UNC 1997 UNC
1974 NCSU 1998 UNC
1977 UNC 1999 Duke
1978 Duke 2000 UNC
1981 UNC 2001 Duke
1982 UNC 2004 Duke
1983 NCSU 2005 UNC
1986 Duke 2008 UNC
1988 Duke 2009 UNC
1989 Duke    

Bold indicates National Champion


ACC Sputters, As Predicted

Pardon the chest beating, but I wanted to revisit my January 18 article, “ACC Will Earn Five Bids”. In the article I discussed how there is a finite number of wins to be had in conference play. If the top teams are dominant, then there are many fewer opportunities for middle-of-the-pack teams to get into the NCAA Tournament. As it turned out, Wake Forest, Duke, and UNC lost a couple more times than anticipated, which meant that 6 wins were to be had by the rest of the league. Florida State replaced Miami in my prediction, but Boston College was able to sneak up and get 9 conference wins. Three teams finished the regular season with 7-9 records, and Maryland was able to put enough of a run together in the ACC Tournament, that they impressed the committee. Generally, though, teams below .500 don’t get in, so this was a big anomaly.

So, we, as a league, weren’t as good at the top as we thought, and that let some more of the middle in. Overall, though, the league had a so-so year, especially when reviewing the final paragraph of my January 18 article:

The bottom line is that when a few teams at the top win most of their games or the bottom of the league wins a handful of games, the middle of the league suffers. Whether or not that makes for a strong league is not the really point. It is incumbent for this small portion of the league to do well in the big dance (that means you Clemson, Duke, and Wake Forest, the teams that have recently no-showed in the tournament).


Time Warner Cable Rolls Out New HD Channels

On next Thursday (4/2), Time Warner Cable will add several new HD channels to the High Definition tier:

  • AMC HD – Channel 244
  • FX HD – Channel 245
  • Outdoor Channel HD – Channel 247 (subscription to Digital Sports and Games tier required) 
  • Travel Channel HD – Channel 248
  • Science Channel HD – Channel 249
  • HBO West HD – Channel 413 (subscription to HBO required)
  • Showtime West HD – Channel 453 (subscription to Showtime required)

The channels will presumably be offered via SDV, so a Time Warner set-top box or DVR will be required for tuning. As with other recent roll-outs, CableCard customers will be left out of these channels (for which they are paying).


Goodberry’s Coming to Cameron Village

Goodberry’s frozen custard will be opening this summer in the space once occupied by Hold Your Own. More into is available in Sue Stock’s column today.


Raleigh Ranks Tops With Forbes

20090120-45 Forbes magazine released its survey of the Best Places in the U.S. for Business and Careers, and for the third straight year, Raleigh tops the list. In fact, North Carolina is home to six of the top 20 cities. The survey included Durham, Asheville, Wilmington, Charlotte, and Winston-Salem on the list.


UNC, Duke Top Hoops World

TBJ is reporting that a new Harris Interactive poll reports, once again, UNC and Duke as the top two most popular basketball teams in the country. This is the fourth straight year the two have topped the poll.


Faulty Transit Poll Fails To Direct Region

Last week “Raleigh-Cary” was ranked as the fastest growing area of the country. Great! Now what? As a region we have to decide where these people are going to live. Do we want to be a gridlocked region where it is difficult to move about? Do we want to spend our transportation dollars wisely? Is there a new growth model that should be used? Many, many questions need to be answered.

The answers to some questions were released this week by the Regional Transportation Alliance (Warning: autostart Video). The group is a collection of business leaders and chambers of commerce that has a stated goal of improving transit in the region, however their behaviors in the past demonstrate a distinct bias toward high-capacity train transit.

While this poll (.pdf) isn’t as blatantly biased as previous polls centered on the transit subject in the area, the poll clearly has massive flaws. The Alliance’s press release (.pdf), which pushes only the data that conforms to the agenda, doesn’t help in building the trust of the general public.

The survey was conducted in early March and contains 20 questions. I’ll dissect each one:

read more…


Justin Long to Join TIP’s R&J

As previously reported, Evan Rachael Wood will be starring (as Juliet) in the upcoming Theatre In The Park production of Romeo and Juliet. Last week the theatre announced that Justin Long, the guy playing the smug Mac in the Apple ads, will be playing Romeo. The cast of Romeo and Juliet also boasts some of Raleigh’s finest performers – among them, David Henderson (who incidentally is the man), Lynda Clark, and John McIlwee.

Tickets are on sale for five performances, May 15 – 17, at Raleigh’s Theatre In The Park. Seating is limited and tickets are going fast.  Reserve seat tickets are still available for $50. Tickets may be purchased online through ETIX or through the theatre’s box office, Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.


Little River Band To Play Ham & Yam

littleriverband Smithfield’s Ham and Yam Festival has found another late 70’s great to headline their event this year, The Little River Band. The festival takes place on May 2-3.


ESPN To Finally Run KK Challenge Feature

KKChallenge On Sunday (March 29) during the 2 1/2 hour SportsCenter 10am, ESPN will most likely run their feature on the Krispy Kreme Challenge. The feature will likely air during the 11pm episode of SportsCenter as well (barring a major unforeseen event in the sporting world, of course).


Harris and Wiggins Coming to Fletcher

Get ready for a good night of blues. Phil Wiggins (video) and Charlottesville’s Cory Harris (video) will be playing at Fletcher Theater on September 12.


Chubby’s Tacos Now Open

Durham’s popular taqueria, Chubby’s Tacos, has officially opened their Raleigh location in the Lake Boone Shopping Center. With 15 different fillers, 8 or more salsas, and more standbys, Chubby’s offers a huge selection that promises a new experience each visit.

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