Saturday, July 08, 2006


The Blue Point Bar and Grille re-opened June 19 after nearly 8 months of adding on and renovating the 15 year old restaurant. A real challenge for John and Sam was to create a new, fresh, upscale feel, while at the same time maintaining the casual, diner-like charm of the original Blue Point. They did a fantastic job of doing just that. Immediately, as you enter the front door of The Blue Point, you know you have entered into a unique place on the Outer Banks. The ambiance is upscale, while being tempered by the "old" Blue Point with the bright red seats, checkerboard tile floor, and the smiles on the friendly faces of long time staff.

The Blue Point is a place of "The Best . . . "; the best views, the best food, the best service, and the best staff. Very quickly, reservations filled up. It is highly recommended that reservations be made a few weeks in advance.

There is something very special about a restaurant when people come to the Outer Banks for a week's vacation, and their dinner reservations every night is at The Blue Point. I have met several people that do just that.

Congratulations to Sam and John . . . and Nancy, and the whole Blue Point staff that worked so hard to create such a wonderful place on the Outer Banks. Your dedication to this project has really paid off.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Blue Point Is Going To Open When ?

Since after Thanksgiving of last year, The Blue Point has been busy with their grand plans of creating (that is improving) a wonderful new restaurant. The challenge that John Powers and Sam McGann had was to design The Blue Point with an updated look while maintaining the casual, diner like atmosphere. Frequent checks on the construction progess has proven that "those two guys" have succeeded in their vision. While having a fresh,new upscale look, the bright red benches and chairs, and the checkerboard tile floor, carries over the look of the "old" Blue Point and continuing the comfortable casual feeling. Diners might not want to leave after savoring the culinary creations by Sam. Well, if that is the case, the folks can just move to the screened in porch off of the dining room.

John and Sam had high hopes that The Blue Point would be open by May 23rd. But, as is expected in any construction project, the finishing takes longer than expected. The staff of the Blue Point is back on scene, pitching in with staining, painting, cleaning, and anything else that can get the job done in order to open. Expected re-opening date now is mid-June.

Want to be one of the first to enjoy the new Blue Point experience? No doubt, when they do reopen, reservations will fill up quickly. They will start taking reservations two weeks before befor the opening date. You can keep an check on the status on their website. The link is on the sidebar.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New Homes . . . A New Look

Over the course of Outer Banks history, the style of vacation cottages and homes has continually changed. A recorded account of these changes can be found in a wonderful book by Marimar McNaughton, Outer Banks Architecture: An Anthology of Outposts, Lodges and Cottages (John F. Blair, Publisher). This is a must read if you are interested in cottage design and history, in the very least.

For many years, the local Outer Banks look has centered on what is referred to as "The Nags Head Style". A focous on that will be in another blog entry. Now, however, a new look is beginning to crop up on the island horizon, and one that cannot be missed when you see the colors. Moving drastically away from the natural weathered look, driftwood gray, or shades of white, bright, fun colors are the attraction in Bermuda Bay, a large, new development in Kill Devil Hills. This is the first large residential development to be built in some time here, and will consist of single family homes, townhomes, and single level condos. The original ads that showed up announced the prices will be "affordably" priced, beginning in the $300,000 range, and up. Unfortunatley, while true affordable housing is desperatley missing from the housing scene on the Outer Banks, this development won't help the situation. For the most part, Bermuda Bay will be marketed for second or vacation homes, and for retirement homes. But, if nothing else, Bermuda Bay adds color and a new style option for those looking to vacation or live on the Outer Banks.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Harris Teeter -- Kill Devil Hills

The last post about Harris Teeter building on the Outer Banks showed a pic of the store in Corolla. This post shows the Kill Devil Hills location under construction. The expected opening date is the first week in August. Many people has asked where is this store located since they hadn't seen it. The building is set well off the road, behind the Eckerd drugs at the KDH - NH line. As you can see from the pic, it is set pretty far back.

The Outer Banks continues to have new stores, hotels, schools, municipal buildings, and other sites crop up all the time. More will be featured in upcoming posts.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Dare County Election Results . . And the Winner Is ...

The NC State primary was held May, 2, 2006. The majority of the candidates were Democrats with no Republican opponent. So, in those cases, whoever won the primary election, will run opposed in November. A few lucky candidates didn't even have a Democratic opponent, so they will virtually win by default.

The following are the unofficial results in the May 2nd primary, in Dare County:

NC State Senate District 01:
Ron Toppin 52%, Hood Richardson 48%; Toppin will be opposed by Marc Basnight(D)

Clerk of Superior Court:
Merlee Austin 61%, Karen Garris 39%; No opposition in November

Sheriff, Dare County:
Rodney Midgett; No opposition in the primary or in November

Registrar of Deeds:
Barbara Gray; No opposition in the primary or in November

Commissioner At Large:
Rex Tillett 61%, Ray Midgett 31%

Commissioner- District 1:
Virginia Simmons Tillett 52%, Robin Mann 30%, Sybil Ross 19%

Commissioner - District 2:
Stan White 48%, Max Dutton 52%
This was the only big upset in this election. Lifelong Dare County resident, long time politico, and current Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Stan White was rejected by the voters in favor of newcomer Max Dutton, Manager of WalMart in Kitty Hawk.

Board of Education - District 1:
Walter Holton 99%, Write-in 1%

Board of Education - District 3:
Margaret Lawler 68%, Jon Kenton 32%

District Court Judge, First Judicial District (Replacing retiring Chief District Court Judge Grafton G. Beaman):
Eula E. Ried 47%, John Flora 30%, Van Johnson 23%
Reid and Flora will face off in November. Eula Reid is an Assistant Disrict Attorney and John Flora is an attorney in private practice.

White national and statewide politics gets much attention in the media, it is the local election that has the greatest impact on the quality of life, character, and services of the county.

Monday, April 24, 2006

OK . . so go VOTE already . . .

There was a time when people had to be sure to mark their calendar to remind them of Election Day . . . MAY 2nd, BTW; figure out when the best time would be to go to the polls; in the morning on the way to work, after work, stand in long lines during the rush periods, fitting into a busy schedule, etc. And worse, would be when you spent so much time reading about the candidates and wanting to be sure that your vote counted, and then for a variety of reasons, you missed the chance the vote. Or, if you knew you would not be in town on election day, you could request an absentee ballot and go through that arduous process of the chance of having your voting voice heard.

A few years ago, the Dare County Elections Board started the No Excue One-Stop Absentee Voting program. The one-stop voting process permits voting in person at the Elections Office beginning on the Thursday after the registration deadline, but no later than 1:00 P.M. on Saturday before the election, for voters who meet the registration requirements.

It's quick, it's easy, and it's convenient. There are three locations in Dare County where voters can cast their ballot. Now there is no excuse for any voter not to express their choice.

Out of the Storm . . .

Lighthouses were erected along the U.S. coasts to guide offshore ships along the coast, protecting them from the deadly shoals, and were a beacon of hope in threatening storms. The red brick, unpainted Currituck Beach lighthouse was constructed in 1875 in the village of Corolla on the NC coastline.

In recent years, the deteriorating light and the accompanying keepers structures were painstakingly and meticulously restored under the guidance of the Outer Banks Conservation organization. When the US Coast Guard opted to delinquish the lighthouse from it's control a few years ago, the issue was embroiled in a storm between Currituck County and the Outer Banks Conservation group. In the end, the conservation group won out. But the situation just got worse when Currituck County started putting up as many obstacles as possible to prevent the group from successfully maintaining the historic site and successfully operating it as a tourist attraction. In addition to the tens of thousands of people that choose to vacation in Corolla, many thousands more make the lighthouse as their destination for a day trip from other parts of the Outer Banks.

A few days ago, Currituck County commissioners decided to drop all legal obstacles in the operation and management of the lighthouse property. The Outer Banks Conservation group has done a very admirable job over the last several years in their restoration efforts, and can now finally get on with what they do best for the people that visit the Currituck Beach Light.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Move Over Food Lion . . .

Food Lion on the Outer Banks is about to get some grocery store chain competition. Other than locally owned Seamark Foods, Food Lion has been the only major player on the Outer Banks for the grocery business for many years.

Harris Teeter is on the verge of opening two new stores on the Outer Banks. The Corolla location will open May 30th. The Kill Devil Hill store is slated to open the end of July or First part of August of this year.

Harris Teeter first announced their intention to expand to the Outer Banks about 5 years ago, with the location in Kitty Hawk at US158 and NC12. They later backed out of those plans and the property was sold to build an Eckerds drug store. Reportedly, it was not cost efficient to have only one store on the island. Now, Harris Teeter is making a significant presence with two large stores.

The Outer Banks consumers will welcome the competition and will hopefully benefit from lower food costs.