51. Crckt’s Boomerang Bookshop
Local librarian-turned-entrepreneur Diarra “Crckt” Leggett infused new life into an old bookmobile when he opened his mobile bookstore Boomerang Bookshop: Nomad Chapter, named for a character in his favorite movie, The Road Warrior. Find Crckt and his bookshop at farmer’s or craft markets and events like First Fridays downtown.
52. Bree Newsome
Activist and filmmaker Bree Newsome, renowned for removing the Confederate flag from outside the South Carolina State House grounds, visited the People’s Perk in Greensboro’s College Hill neighborhood for the unveiling of the Greensboro Mural Project’s “Wonderful Women and Fabulous Femmes,” a mural venerating women and femmes of color.
53. Super FamiCon
For the second year, Super FamiCon celebrated video-game culture in November, drawing hundreds to downtown Greensboro for a weekend of special guest speakers, video game tournaments, cosplay and vendors.
54. Georgia O’Keeffe
The work of the noted artist came to Reynolda House in August and ran through November. The exhibit, Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern, also contained artifacts like her clothes and writings.
55. Ramen availability
Long an underserved component of the Triad’s food scene, ramen arrived forcefully from the jump in 2017, beginning with a popup at Spring House. Held in conjunction with Caldero Bone Broth from the local Winstead Farms, the Winston-Salem restaurant organized a series of weekly dinners featuring the hearty Japanese soups. But ramen also spread to other menus as well, including the newly opened Asian Kitchen inside of Greensboro’s Super G Mart and even the Iron Hen before the end of the year. Lucky us.
56. Rolled ice cream trend arrives
Thanks to an outfit called Ice Scraperz, rolled ice cream landed in the Triad this year, marking one of the only times that the area has been party to a culinary trend at the beginning (rather than lagging behind — like ramen). Rolled ice cream is exactly what it sounds like, and more aesthetic than anything, but it still made us feel like we were a part of something.
57. Food trucks ruled
Mobile cuisine isn’t anything new in this region, but the trend rolled forward with the addition of our new favorite Bahtmobile in Winston-Salem. TCB also hailed Tasty Halal in High Point this year, which — like Bahtmobile — is serving better food than most local brick-and-mortar operations.
58. A new favorite restaurant
In a rare move, Bandito Burrito food truck established a more permanent foothold by opening Bandito Bodega, a small joint just west of downtown Greensboro that easily ranked as the best new restaurant of 2017. Chef Nick Benshoff likes experimenting with flavors, especially the interplay of Asian and Latin American dishes, but he does it so deftly that all of Bandito’s dishes feel like instant classics.
59. A new favorite bar
Vintage Sofa Bar added vibrancy to Burke Street this year, and the addition of Bar Piña off North Trade Street made downtown Winston-Salem more exciting. The latest from John William Tate (of Tate’s Craft Cocktails and the former Honey Pot restaurant) feels straight out of the East Village, with its Instagram-ready cocktails and décor, creative tiki drinks and rooftop patio. Plus, Bar Piña pulled out a Christmas menu, closing the year out the right way.
60. Morehead Foundry
Restaurateur Lee Comer’s massive project in the nook of Spring Garden Street and the Downtown Greenway — a section of downtown Greensboro being branded as Morehead — took a stumble in June when its restaurants and bars did not meet projected goals. Comer moved into the building and leaned in, forging new partnerships and devoting her energies to creating a neighborhood in Morehead.
61. The dearly departed (restaurants)
Nothing gold can stay. This year marked the last breath for classics like Villa del Mar as well as newer comers such as Tessa and Traveled Farmer, two farm-to-table restaurants at opposite ends of Battleground Avenue. Others fell by the wayside too, reminding us that despite some obvious growth, the Triad dining scene isn’t necessarily trending upwards.
62. Winston-Salem restaurant shuffle
Elsewhere on Trade Street, Miss Ora’s fried chicken joint spun off of Sweet Potatoes in June. O’Brien’s Deli opened in the spot by May. Further out by Hanes Mall Boulevard, Food Freaks & Beer Geeks shut its doors in October, but they kept the food truck.
63. Greensboro restaurant shuffle
The creative force behind the Crafted brand and the owner of Westerwood Tavern joined forces to open Bites & Pints on Spring Garden Street in Greensboro in August. White and Wood brought craft cocktails and charcuterie to the former Fincastle’s location on South Elm Street. Downtown’s first kava bar, Krave, opened in February. And Chakras and Table 16 owner Timothy Smith took over the spot behind the ballpark — the former Boston’s House of Jazz, Left Field Tavern and Local House Bar — painted a funky mural on the side and named it Smith & Edge. Greensboro lost a Macaroni Grill, which closed in July.
64. Raw cookie dough pops up
Rolled ice cream is alright, but raw cookie dough is really where it’s at when it comes to innovative and compelling desserts. The raw cookie dough at Tart Sweets in Winston-Salem may be best when paired with ice cream, but it’s hard to go wrong with this delicious treat. Tart Sweets started offering it at the start of each weekend in 2017, and people freaked out immediately.
65. New brews
Three new breweries opened their doors this year, with a tilt towards Winston-Salem. Wise Man Brewing came first, right at the top of 2017. Fiddlin’ Fish would come next, and within sight of its predecessor. More recently, Little Brother transformed the corner of downtown Greensboro formerly occupied by the Idiot Box, while the number of breweries in High Point held firm at two.
66. Brewing moves out
In beer news, 2017 also marked an exodus from downtown Greensboro, of sorts. Though it maintains the downtown brewpub, Natty Greene’s opened its new flagship market and kitchen campus at Revolution Mill in northeast Greensboro, sort of in the style of what Stone Brewing might’ve built had it selected the Gate City for its East Coast expansion. That’s been in the works for a while and finally came to fruition, but another shift TCB announced surprised everyone more — that Gibb’s Hundred Brewing would relocate from West Lewis Street to State Street, not far from the new Natty’s or the second location of the Green Bean. Lest you think all the action is downtown, beer is here to say otherwise.
67. GSO Fest resurrected
After vanishing for almost three years, April saw the resurrection of the beloved GSO Fest, a weekend-long celebration of local bands and music, spanning several bars and clubs in Greensboro. Having changed hands over the 10 years since its inception, GSO Fest has found a stronghold once again.
68. Chance the Rapper
Chance the Rapper brought his unique brand of hip hop to his enthralling show at the Greensboro Coliseum in June. While only nominally remaining in the tradition of hip-hop and rap, Chance has built a name for himself as a truly vibrant and awing performer.
69. Tall Tales exhibit at Delurk
November featured a unique and chilling collaboration between Winston artists Dane Walters and Chad Beroth entitled Tall Tales. The show featured 13 split portraits, with each artist painting half of the images, with a primary focus of an ’80s theme running throughout it. Breaking up the normal scene of gallery exhibits, Tall Tales showed a new push in furthering creative expression.
70. Lucinda Williams
While the year brought dozens of musicians to the Triad, Lucinda Williams’ performance and interview with TCB brought her musical legacy to the Millennium Center. The Grammy-nominated Williams’ music has garnered her thousands of fans over the decades. Despite the show being moved last minute due to August rain, the concert was sold out.
71. Jailhouse symphony
The Piedmont Wind Symphony changed the script for classical music, moving out of the standard theaters where they usually hold concerts and performed a night of music for Forsyth County inmates in August. Though the event was closed to the public and to press, the concert proved a moving experience for both the inmates and the performers according to symphony conductor Mathew Troy.
72. Bjorn and Francois/best shows
Scores of shows happened and dozens of touring acts came through the Triad, but the ones that topped the heap happened to be local acts. Blues duo Bjorn and François gave an extraordinary performance at Monstercade in May, while Dark Prophet Tongueless Monk awed a Winston crowd at Test Pattern in June, announcing the addition of Must Be the Holy Ghost singer and guitarist Jared Draughon, and in May the annual Rap Round Robin at Delurk expanded the stage for local rappers and hip-hop artists.
73. Helen Simoneau/MBTHG
Acclaimed troupe Helen Simoneau Danse gave an extraordinary performance at HanesBrands Theatre in March, challenging expectations by bringing in local musician Jared Draughon of Must Be the Holy Ghost to collaborate in the performance.
74. 21 Pilots
It was a good year of concerts at Greensboro Coliseum, and one that stands out among the rest was the March performance of Grammy-winning, masked duo 21 Pilots. Despite the Coliseum banning anyone from getting in line before the show, fans were camped out for two days in gleeful anticipation of the concert.
75. Vanessa Ferguson
Long before Greensboro’s Vanessa Ferguson caught the eye of Alicia Keys on “The Voice” in 2017, she had performed all over the world — she even sang at Jordan Green’s wedding. After getting knocked out in the semifinals, Ferguson returned to Greensboro for a Levitt AMP Concert at Barber Park, married longtime fiancé Ken Fuller, AKA Mr. Rozzi, and embarked on a multi-city tour. “It’s more difficult in America,” she told Green in May. “You reach a certain level of success and notoriety. Before doing this show, I’ve been able to reach that overseas, but there was no notoriety in my own country other than on the East Coast. It was definitely a problem. Someone needs to make some changes, for sure. Hopefully, this show will be a part of that and will cause people to look at their local artists that are great if they ever get an opportunity to be on a grand stage. There’s no lack of talent, that’s for sure.”