***Just in time for your holiday shopping consideration, I start a new series focusing on independent retail & dining establishments found in pedestrian-friendly areas of the Triangle. Bring along friends & family and spend a fun day exploring our cities on foot while supporting local small businesses.***
In recent months, new shops along Hillsboro Street have opened their doors to visitors in downtown Pittsboro, including a wine and craft beer shop and a used bookstore. The increasingly diverse shopping options, along with new dining choices, make downtown Pittsboro a popular destination.
Vino!! Wine Shop opened August 1st on the upper level of the historic Poe-Womble building found at the corner of Hillsboro and Salisbury Streets. The shop sells both wine and beer from around the world in a warm, inviting, well-organized space. Tastings are scheduled weekly, with an occasional added tasting for special events. Vino!! is open Tuesday through Sunday, and I’d recommend signing up for their email to stay current on tastings and happenings in the shop.
Circle City Books & Music opened in just the last month and the shelves are already fully stocked in this used bookstore. Books line the walls and units in every room of the shop, with about five rooms filled to the ceiling. A very helpful book map posted on the wall will help shoppers navigate the store and staff is more than ready to assist in finding the book you seek.
New Horizons Trading Company has occupied their Hillsboro Street shop space for more than ten years and continues to draw customers seeking fun gift items, cards and jewelry, as well as apparel and perhaps a pair of Dansko shoes (which I understand is a very popular shoe among Competition Dining chefs).
If you seek something a little exotic, French Connections might have the perfect item. Easily identifiable by the metal animal sculptures that dot the lawn in front of the historic house turned import shop, the porch and interior rooms at French Connections contain furnishings, linens, baskets, art, sculpture, lovely toile fabric (and so much more), imported from France and Africa (reflecting the owners’ backgrounds).
Further along Hillsboro Street, one can step inside The Joyful Jewel. The store feels like a gallery, though it sells works created by local artists across many media. Shoppers will find hand-crafted jewelry, knit scarves, wraps and hats, pottery, photography and paintings like the eye-catching, brilliantly colorful landscapes pictured below.
Additional retail shops along Hillsboro Street include kid favorite Pittsboro Toys, featuring many handmade and eco-friendly toys as well as popular items such as LEGO, plus the much beloved Beggars & Choosers vintage and antique shop. Need to find an “ugly” Christmas sweater for an upcoming party? Beggars & Choosers might have something appropriate for such an event.
Diverse dining options in or very nearby downtown Pittsboro make it easy to find something to quell any hunger pangs. Sweet Oven Bakery makes both sweet and savory baked goods using Lindley Mills flour and local eggs. S & T Soda Shoppe offers basic hamburger & hot dog fare, along side ice cream desserts in a quaint, old timey soda shop setting. Small B & B Cafe serves breakfast and lunch and has become very popular in the short time it has been open. The City Tap Bar serves sandwiches and appetizers for a late lunch or casual dinner, and residents frequently can be found enjoying a local NC brew on the open air patio. Pittsboro Roadhouse & General Store opened earlier in the year in the same location as the General Store Cafe. The interior has been revamped as has the menu.
More restaurant options not far from downtown include Angelina’s Kitchen, fine dining at Oakleaf (found in Chatham Mills, near Starrlight Mead & Chatham Marketplace), as well as the Pittsboro location of Carolina Brewery. And a much anticipated restaurant will be opening in the near future. Follow The Modern Life Deli & Drinks on Facebook and watch for the opening announcement. As you can see there are lots of “good eats” in Pittsboro.
Each first Sunday of the month, Pittsboro celebrates its vibrant downtown community with street vendors selling crafts, special store hours, food trucks and a parade during the first Sunday in December (scheduled to start at 3 pm). If you don’t live nearby, the shopping and dining options make it well worth a day trip to explore Pittsboro.
Do you use the Foursquare app on your smart phone? I’ve put together a list of my favorite spots in Pittsboro (including all of the above and more) and you can find the list here. Feel free to save the list (and share with friends) for reference next time you visit Pittsboro.