41. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Nope, not talking about the gritty boulevards with the same namesake in Greensboro and Winston-Salem; the city of High Point finally named one of its streets in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. With a new mayor and new members filling four other seats, city council dispatched an olive branch of reconciliation in January, folding in a decision to change the name of College Drive to University Drive. The new signs went up in December. Now that High Point has finally caught up to 1990, folks in Winston-Salem are starting to talk about renaming a street in honor of Barack Obama. Now that should be controversial.
42. Andrews High School
Rodney Wilds, a popular principal, was reassigned from Andrews High School in High Point to Dudley High School in Greensboro in 2015. The reassignment exacerbated parents and alumni’s existential anxiety as enrollment at the school has dropped over the years and become less diverse, with black students increasing proportionate to their white counterparts. “Mr. Wilds brought stability, but he’s taken out and sent to Dudley,” the Rev. J. Robert Dudley, who announces football and basketball games at the school, told TCB. “Dudley was in the same position as us. They were worried about their stability at Dudley, so they took our strong leader and gave him to Dudley.”
The Greensboro burger joint was named the Best Burger in America in July by Trip Advisor, creating even more stress on the tenuous parking situation on Spring Garden Street. Shortly afterwards, Josephine’s next door reimagined itself as Scrambled, a Southern breakfast place, and Hops announced a second location on Battleground Avenue.
44. Lewis Street
Gunplay in August near the Lotus Lounge took the life of a 19-year-old, after which business owner Paul Talley closed the club and owner Eric Robert sold the building to Andy Zimmerman. The spot at the end of the block has yet to be occupied again, but Zimmerman’s other tenants, HQ Greensboro and the Forge, bring entrepreneurial energy to the street. Gibb’s Hundred, which won a Gold Medal in the Great American Beer Festival for its ESB, continues apace. And Greensboro Distilling signed a lease to move into the Forge space at the start of 2016.
We’ve taken to calling the recently activated neighborhood at the junction of Eugene, Smith and Battleground Lower Fisher, or LoFi, for its position at the southern edge of Fisher Park. It’s been a big year for the corner where Deep Roots settled, with the addition of Preyer Brewing and Crafted Street, and a leg of the Downtown Greenway supposedly coming through in 2016. Does anyone even remember what used to be there?
Greensboro developer Marty Kotis secured enough property along the Battleground/Lawndale corridor to create his own district, which he’s dubbed Midtown. Within its confines are the Marshall Free House (Marty’s), Burger Warfare (Marty’s), Mac’s Speed Shop (not Marty’s), Pig Pounder Brewery (Marty’s), World of Beer (not Marty’s, but he rents to them) and Red Cinema (Marty’s), with a future leg of the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway running right through it. Several other chains, including Chicken Salad Chick and Potbelly Sandwich Shop, took up residence along Westover Terrace.
47. Downtown Greenway
Development continued along the Downtown Greenway this year, although the Greensboro project is behind schedule. A short block of Battleground Avenue did close in front of the planned Joymongers brewery — which is rapidly being built — for a pocket park as part of the greenway, though construction of a nearby stretch of the path is lagging behind. A design for the greenway’s northeast corner was approved in October.
48. Revolution Mill
The work underway to transform Revolution Mill will likely also transform the surrounding area of northeast Greensboro as millions upon millions of dollars are poured into the former mill’s renovation. With Self Help on board and likely a gigantic Natty Greene’s brewing campus, the site will be increasingly unrecognizable to those who last saw it just a year or two ago.
49. May Way dumplings
Finally, a menu dedicated to something the Triad generally lacked until now: dumplings. The compact and affordable Chinese restaurant invited the public inside near the end of the summer and TCB food writer Eric Ginsburg was certainly impressed.
Not only did this coffeeshop and cultural staple undergo dramatic renovations this year, but Krankies began serving food in 2015. And good food, too. The Winston-Salem hub managed to host shows for Phuzz Phest through it all, and the new space looks pretty incredible.
51. Sutler’s Spirit
The Triad’s first legal distillery in generations technically opened in 2014, but it didn’t have any product on North Carolina ABC store shelves until this year. The arrival of the black ceramic gin bottles proved to be a watershed moment — stores immediately and repeatedly ran out of stock, and Sutler’s Spirit can hardly keep up with demand — for the company and the industry locally. Since then Broad Branch Distilling has opening in Winston-Salem as well, to be followed shortly by Greensboro Distilling in 2016 if all goes as planned.
52 .Natty Greene’s
Greensboro’s longstanding and oldest brewery is outgrowing its production facility across from the Greensboro Coliseum, and in its quest for a new campus akin to what Stone Brewing had in mind for its East Coast facility (which almost landed in Greensboro), Natty Greene’s owners said early this year that they would need to consider all options, including those outside the city. But as 2016 approached, it appeared that only the minutia remained in working out a deal for the brewing company to relocate and expand at the Revolution Mill property in northeast Greensboro.
53. Greensboro skatepark
It’s an honor to be able to include the city’s skatepark under “places” this year, though to be fair the long-desired facility is still not a reality. But in 2015, the process finally gained traction thanks to city council, and a location near Greenhill Cemetery and Latham Park was selected.
54. Silo Deli
After Michael Touby’s allegations of unpaid debts by Silo’s then owner in February, Will Kingery bought the Reynolda Village restaurant and bar. Kingery, who also owns Willow’s Bistro and King’s Crab Shack, made another big change in Winston-Salem’s culinary world, bringing in chef Travis Myers from River Birch Lodge to Willow’s.