You may not expect ice cream from the teller window, but at Fresh (6033 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh), that's what you get. Owner Chris McCracken has renovated the former First Citizens Bank building in the Oak Park Shopping Center to be Raleigh's newest outlet for Maple View Farm ice cream and milk. Maple View makes its dairy products with milk from hormone-free cows that roam its Orange County pastures.
A little more than a mile north of Crabtree Valley Mall, Fresh is an island of local farm food in a sea of furniture outlets, big-box stores and strip malls, but McCracken found the location a perfect fit. "Basically when I saw the building I saw that it was well-suited for an ice cream shop," he explains, noting the bank's small size, teller window and seating capacity. He has turned the covered drive-through island into an outdoor patio. Customers can choose from one of 16 Maple View flavors, and, as McCracken emphasizes, the waffle cones (homemade daily) are one of the shop's biggest perks.
Why get dressed up for the bar when you can get dressed at the bar? That's the question at Carrboro's Bowbarr (705 W. Rosemary St., Carrboro). In addition to its shelves of booze, the place is stocked with wigs, hats, fake mustaches and glasses for patrons to use in its photo booth. Grab a beer and a prop and say cheese to create a photo strip for the bar's first contest, which is accepting submissions through May 15. Homemade getups and gimmicks are encouraged. As co-owner Amanda Barr puts it, "I'm wanting people to take it a bit further. People can make backdrops if they choose. Those work well in photo booths." The person (or persons) featured in the most creative strip of photos will receive 20 bucks and a T-shirt, plus a bit of fame, since Bowbarr plans to print the winning entry in an upcoming advertisement. Find Bowbarr on Facebook.
Say cheers today for Cinco de Mayo with specials at Dos Perros (200 N. Mangum St., Durham, dosperrosrestaurant.com) and Dos Taquitos (5629 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh, www.dostaquitosnc.com). The latter is hosting an outdoor party with sounds of Carnavalito beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday, The Crunkleton (320 W. Franklin St., www.thecrunkleton.com) kicks off World Cocktail Week; 10 percent of drink sales go to the Museum of the American Cocktail (www.museumoftheamericancocktail.org). And on Saturday, view the brewing process from grain to glass with free tours at noon and 1 p.m. at Carolina Brewing Company (120 Lowes Drive, Suite 100, Pittsboro, www.carolinabrewery.com) and at 2 p.m. at Big Boss Brewing Company (1249 Wicker Drive, Raleigh, www.bigbossbrewing.com). Also on Saturday from 3 p.m. until dark, The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery (4519 W. Pine St., Farmville, www.duckrabbitbrewery.com) invites visitors out for tours, food, games, live music and, of course, beer.
To see what's been brewing in your neighborhood, make plans between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on May 15 when 30 home brewers will gather at the Nightlight (405 1/2 W. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, www.nightlightclub.com) for the World Home Brew Festival. Though the event is free, proceeds from the suggested $10 donation will benefit the MS Society. To reserve a ticket visit www.worldhomebrewfest.com.