July/August 2023

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It was an accident I had last summer that partially inspired this issue, our 12th Best of Chapel Hill edition. After giving blood, I passed out, with my hip taking most of the impact. I rode out of the Durham Red Cross sitting up on a stretcher, like a pageant queen wearily waving from a parade float. My gnarly bruises faded, but the pain stuck around for weeks and then months. Finally, I spent the (long overdue, I know) time researching physical therapists, cross-referencing online reviews with who was in my network. Throughout January and February, Alexis Ardovitch at UNC Hospitals ACC Physical Therapy challenged me with leg presses and “monster walks.”

During my weeks spent in the gym, I got the idea to add some categories, like “Best Physical Therapy,” to our annual readers’ favorite poll. And so, the thousands of voters who filled out a ballot in March saw new categories both fun (Group Outing, Queso, Biscuits and Fried Chicken) and practical (Insurance Agent/Firm and Urgent Care, to name a few). In another tweak, I divided up Breakfast and Brunch (since everyone knows there’s a difference between scrambled eggs and toast on a weekday morning and a leisurely weekend brunch that involves a mimosa).

We’re open to more suggestions that help our poll best serve our readers – send ’em my way! (Perhaps I wouldn’t have taken so long to book my PT if I had had our winners list as a starting point.) See which businesses scored the highest marks from voters, and read some features on a few, starting on page 40.

As for me, the PT paid off, and I’m lucky to report that I’m back to running regularly. Maybe I need to add “Favorite Jogging Trail” to next year’s ballot (and now I can keep your favorite physical therapists handy just in case!) – Jessica Stringer, editor


42 On Cloud Wine
Rocks + Acid Wine Shop has become a community favorite in its first six months

46 Super Bowl
Local eatery’s expansion creates inclusive community and workspace

50 Brunching at Its Best
Four spots worth waking up for

56 Hop Notch
Open-air beer garden offers North Carolina brews and food truck bites

58 Deliberate Acts of Kindness
How a Ukrainian artist and his family found a new beginning in the Triangle

62 Heads or Tails
From puppy classes to safety training, Jenn Tidrow’s business has the whole pack covered

68 A Patchwork of Passion
Thread by thread, Cynthia Lennon is stitching together a childhood dream and a thriving business

72 In Good Care
We asked parents what they love about their child care spots

76 Season’s Readings
The staff at the four Best Bookstores share their picks for summer books

78 Best Buds
Our readers’ favorite florists showcase summertime arrangements

82 Skin in the Game
Monarch Brow & Facial Studio owner Angela Hugghins capitalizes on her childhood dream with skin care brand Cult of Reason

86 Before and After
Four Best of Chapel Hill winners reflect on their most transformative projects this year

90 Best of Chapel Hill 2023 Winners


106 Ageless Agility
These readers’ favorite businesses are helping older adults embrace personal wellness

114 The Upsides of Downsizing
Meet three local residents who found help to feel good about letting go

120 Taking the Stage
Seasoned performers steal the show: Prime Time Players bring joy and laughter to local audiences

128 The 2023 Directory of Assisted Living, Continuing Care, Independent Living, 55+ Living and Cohousing Retirement Communities


22 Breaking Ground
Learn about the inaugural recipient of Chapel Hill Magazine’s Social Impact Award

104 Get to Know Teacher of the Year
Kimberly Jones brings positivity, authenticity and engagement to her classroom

136 Priceless Gem
Two UNC alums restore a historical home, blending old charm with modern flair


6 Letter from the Editor

8 About Town
Events not to miss

24 Noted
What we’ve heard around our towns …

32 Dining Guide


12  Preschool at the Chapel of the Cross’ 50th Anniversary

13  23rd Annual Mildred Council Community Dinner

14  Farm to Table Dinner Party

16  Running with the Angels 5K

17  Business After Hours

18  Imagine More Gala

19  FRANK Gallery Reopening

20  PEACH Apartments Fundraiser

21  Writers for Readers


156  Bliss & Foy

157  Flood & Komada

158  Allen & Kobesky

160 Preyer & Templeton

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