To read my story that ran Tuesday, go HERE.
Here's a list of special meals and events around the Triangle for New Year's Eve:
* Draft Carolina Burgers and Beer on Raleigh's Glenwood South will be closing after its New Year's Eve party. The cover is $20. There will be a deejay, party favors, a champagne toast at midnight and these drink specials: $3 for all 48 beers on tap, $4 for mixed drinks, wine, shots and bombs. Ten percent of all proceeds will benefit Band Together, the largest charitable music festival in North Carolina. For more information, go to facebook.com/draftraleigh.
* Also in Glenwood South, Zely & Ritz is offering a three-course meal for $45 before 8 p.m. and $60 after 9 p.m. The meal includes a glass of sparkling wine and there will be a deejay from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. To see the menu, go to zelyandritz.com. For a reservation, call 919-828-0018.
* Solas on Raleigh's Glenwood South is offering a five-course meal for $75 per person. To see the menu, go to solasraleigh.com or call 919-755-0755 for a reservation.
* Bolt in downtown Raleigh is offering a three-course menu from 4-7:30 p.m. for $50 or a four-course menu from 8:30 p.m.-midnight for $65. The latter seating includes a champagne toast and party favors. To see the menu, go to boltbistro.com. To make a reservation, call 919-821-0011.
* Bu.ku in downtown Raleigh is offering a three-course meal for $60 with a deejay and champagne toast at midnight. To see the menu, go to bukuraleigh.com Call 919-834-6963 for a table.
* Poole's Diner in downtown Raleigh is offering a four-course meal for $75. For more information about the menu or to make a reservation, call 919-832-4477.
* Raleigh's J. Betski's is offering a three-course meal for $55. Entree options include gingerbread-crusted venison loin, borscht-braised veal short ribs, seared diver scallops with a seafood cabbage roll and roasted breast of squab with a stuffed duck leg. To see a full menu, go to jbetskis.com/special-events. For a table, call 919-833-7999.
* Raleigh's Flying Saucer is hosting a party with a deejay, party favors and a champagne toast starting at 7 p.m. The cover is $10. Table reservations are encouraged in advance: $60 per table or $75 per booth. To make reservations, call 919-821-7401.
* Raleigh's Irregardless Cafe is offering a special three-course meal for $65 per person after 8:30 p.m., dancing, live music by the Moon & Stars Dance Band and a champagne toast at midnight. To see the menu, go to irregardless.com. To make a reservation, call 919-833-8898.
* Margaux's in North Raleigh is offering a four-course meal. Early seatings before 6:30 p.m. cost $65 per person. The second seatings starts at 8:30 p.m., costs $95 per person and includes a champagne toast, party favors and live music. To see the menu, go to margauxsrestaurant.com/menus/new-years-eve-bash. To make a reservation, call 919-846-9846.
* Several other downtown Raleigh restaurants are open for dinner but serving their regular menu: Second Empire (second-empire.com), Humble Pie (humblepierestaurant.com), Gravy (gravyraleigh.com), Mo's Diner (mosdiner.net) and 18 Seaboard (18seaboard.com)
* Lantern in Chapel Hill is offering a three-course menu for $75 a person. To see their menu, go to lanternrestaurant.com/menus/nye2012.html. To make a reservation, call 919969-8846.
* One Restaurant in Chapel Hill is offering a five-course meal for $48 per person with an optional wine pairing for $27. To see the menu, go HERE.
* La Residence is offering a three-course meal for $35 along with live music and champagne specials. The local band, Puritan Rodeo, specializes in rock, roots music and Americana and will be playing from 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m. For a reservation, call 919-967-2506.
* The Pittsboro Roadhouse is hosting a New Year's Eve party from 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Tickets cost $15 for an appetizer buffet, champagne toast and live music from ZamBamBooGee. For more information, go to http://pittsbororoadhouse.com/2012-new-years-eve-party-at-the-pittsboro-roadhouse/
* Durham's Piedmont restaurant has a special menu for New Year's Eve. Go HERE to see it.
* Durham's Four Square Restaurant is offering a four-course meal for $95. For a reservation, call 919-401-9877.
* Food truck American Meltdown will be serving food from 8 p.m.-3 a.m. on New Year's Eve for the bash at The Pinhook in downtown Durham. Go HERE for details on the Pinhook party.
* Or dine at home thanks to Foster's Market in Durham and Chapel Hill. Both locations are selling three-course meals for two or four people. The prices are $75 and $149 respectively. To see the menu choices, go to fostersmarket.com/menus/special-menu/. To reserve, call 919-489-4114 for the Durham store and 919-967-3663 for the Chapel Hill store.
If your special dinner or event is not on this list and you would like it to be, send an email to email@example.com.
UPDATE -- Here are a few more events that folks sent along over the weekend:
*Raleigh's Babylon restaurant is offering a four-course meal for $60 per person from 5-10 p.m. They also will have a limited late night menu and a 007 Bond Revelry Event. For more information, call 919-412-4260. To see the menu, I've a copy of the pdf below.
*Durham's Ai Fuji Japanese Steakhouse is offering a three-course meal for two for $38, which includes a choice of appetizer (gyoza or harumaki), two entrees (choice of hibachi chicken/steak/shrimp or teriyaki chicken/steak), and dessert (choice of cheesecake or four types of ice creams). They are also offering buy one get one free sushi. For more information, check out their website: www.aifujisteakhouse.com
* Durham's G2B restaurant is offering their full menu and a three-course meal for $39 per person with wine and beer pairings available for those interested. To see the menu, go to g2b-restaurant.com/events.aspx. To make a reservation, call 919-251-9451.
* North Raleigh's Fork & Barrel is offering a special four-course menu for $70 per couple. To see the menu, go to forkandbarrelnc.com/events/p8528. To make a reservation, call 919-322-0190.
* Raleigh's Vivace restaurant is offering a special menu for $55 per person with an optional wine pairing for an additional $20. The menu looks good. To see it, go to vivaceraleigh.com To make a reservation, call 919-787-7747.
*Raleigh's Jibarra restaurant is offering a three-course meal for $60 per person with a glass of sparkling wine. The menu includes a trio of ceviches, seared lamb chops with mission fig mole, whole Maine lobster with a shrimp and poblano pepper medley, tres leches cake with a strawberry-habanero salsa, and a hot corn cake with coconut ice cream. To make a reservation, call 919-755-0556.
Go HERE to read business editor David Bracken's post about the expansion.
Go HERE to read the list Greg Cox compiled a list for those who are looking to dine out on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Chapel Hill will hold a public information meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. today about proposed stormwater changes that could help homeowners but reduce local stream buffers.
The meeting will be held in the first-floor conference room at Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
The Jordan Lake ordinance requires 50-foot buffers to protect streams, lakes, ponds and reservoirs. It also limits the way development can disturb the land within those buffers.
The town’s resource conservation district typically requires wider buffers. It also requires engineered stormwater controls, including bio-retention ponds, when a single- or two-family home disturbs 5,000 square feet of land or more. That can increase a home’s price by $25,000 to $30,000, plus maintenance costs. It also creates aesthetic and safety issues, homeowners said.
The proposed change would increase the area that can be disturbed to 20,000 square feet. New homes that fall below the threshold would be charged a $5,000 stormwater permit fee.
The town also would reduce its stream buffers to 50 feet required under the Jordan Lake rules.
A second community meeting could be held in January. A public hearing on the changes is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 18.
Chapel Hill is asking residents to fill out a brief survey to help staff understand how well the 2020 planning process worked.
The Chapel Hill 2020 Participants’ Survey is available online at http://bit.ly/VCDSbx or pick one up at the Chapel Hill Public Library in University Mall; the Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Administrative Office, 200 Plant Road; or the Seymour Center, 2551 Homestead Road.
Survey participants must be age 18 or older. All survey responses are anonymous, and participants will be eligible for a drawing to win a $25 Amazon gift card.
The survey ends Dec. 23. Paper surveys will be accepted at pickup locations or mail them to Ben Chambers, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514.
The results will be announced early next year.
Chambers, a graduate student in UNC’s School of Government, is an intern with the town, and the survey project is required for his graduate program. For more information, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-969-5053.
The Town Council appointed 16 members of the Central West steering committee Monday. They dropped a 17th seat, because no one from public housing applied.
The Central West planning area is immediately adjacent to the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Estes Drive. The impact area runs from Carrboro east to Franklin Street and Homestead Road south to Hillsborough Road.
The steering committee will begin meeting at 6 p.m. Dec. 19. It also will hold a community design charette Feb. 15-16 and community workshops before updating the council in June. The final plan is due next December.
Before the council's decision, Former Transportation Board Chairman Rudy Juliano raised eyebrows by asking to dropped from consideration and recommending his replacement. He and others asked the council to appoint community advocate and former Town Council member Julie McClintock instead.
"I honestly feel that there are other people who would really serve the community better in the context of the Central West study," including McClintock, he said.
Neither Juliano nor McClintock was named to the steering committee. A complete list of members is available at http://bit.ly/SH6WiW
Chapel Hill officials will ask the N.C. Department of Transportation for additional money to offset transit costs during a South Columbia Street widening project.
The 0.8-mile project is expected to detour traffic along Manning Drive from April to September. The detour could cost Chapel Hill Transit up to $2 million in additional operations and maintenance costs, officials said.
“This is (money) that Chapel Hill, Carrboro, UNC – no one has budgeted for – that is going to be taken out of our hide at this present time,” Council member Jim Ward said Monday. “One of the reasons I understand this project is finally getting constructed is they got a low bid, and maybe they got a low bid, because we changed (the requirements).”
Ward is a member of the Chapel Hill Transit partners committee, which met last week to consider its options for meeting the extra financial demand.
The project will add bike lanes, sidewalks, a center turn lane and other improvements from Purefoy Road to Manning Drive. Preliminary work started Nov. 27.
Bill Renner, who led the East Chapel Hill to its best regular-season finish in football since the school opened in 1996, is stepping down as head coach of the Wildcats. He met with the team after classes Monday to inform them of his decision.
Chapel Hill resident Augustus Cho says a G.I. Joe sequel will blow up the box office when it’s released March 29.
The film, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” was originally set to debut in June. It stars Channing Tatum, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Bruce Willis. Cho plays a Korean leader.
Previews were on the air when test screenings showed the audience wasn’t happy that the movie limited the interaction between Tatum and Johnson, Cho said.
Unfortunately, Tatum’s character was killed off early in the movie.
So the debut was delayed while the production crew brought Tatum back to shoot more scenes. They also converted the film into 3-D, Cho said.
The film is predicted be a big draw, especially in China, where 3-D theaters are growing at a record rate.
Cho, who ran for Town Council in 2009, has three Hollywood credits under his belt, playing a businessman in the HBO television series “Eastbound & Down,” produced by Will Ferrell, and a Chinese pilot in the movie “American Warships.”
He also served on Chapel Hill’s Transportation Advisory Committee and the Community Design Commission.