Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Living Your Dreams Allows Others to Manifest and Live Theirs

by Catharine Eberhart

If you've ever enjoyed a deep breath, a peaceful relaxation pose or stretched your hamstrings during a yoga class at Purna Yoga East (formerly East 2nd Street Yoga and Massage) you can thank Jodi and Cliff-visionaries for Clayton's music and art scene at the Coffee Mill and FlipSide in downtown Clayton.

Because they had a dream to bring music and the arts to their business in Clayton and to encourage the creative expression of the the human spirit in it's multitude of forms I was able to live out my dream of teaching yoga and having a proper yoga studio for Clayton.

Back in 2000 their son Zac was a student in my 4th grade class at Poe Montessori Elementary School where I also taught the teachers and students at the school yoga stretches and breathing techniques. It was mostly a survival tactic for me in a hectic setting often laden with stress. The kids, teachers and I would find respite doing the different poses and guided meditations to relax and refocus our minds for the rest of the school day.

Zac shared the yoga techniques with his parents and would encourage his family to do yoga together! When Cliff and Jodi purchased the Coffee Mill and committed to living their dreams of creating a venue for community, coffee, independent music and local artist they asked if I would consider teaching yoga at their shop. I was happy to have the opportunity.

Cliff and Jodi were two of the first students to attend the yoga classes on Monday night after the latte machine was turned off. Local artist Cheryl McCardle and now husband of mine and co-owner of Purna Yoga East, Bob Maiers, also attended the classes. We'd move the cafe tables decorated by local high school student artists out of the way and roll out our yoga mats on the floor. Everyone loved the warm smell of roasted coffee beans in the air and the art that lined the walls. Cliff would serve up tea after class and our sense community expanded.

From those early beginnings Cathy Marraccini wrote and article for the Clayton News Star about the yoga classes and our attendance grew. You can still read that article on on the Coffemill web site. We moved the classes into what is now the FlipSide. Cliff would turn on the propane heater in the winter for us and during the summer we'd run fans trying not to stir up too much dust from the back storage area and stay cool. Elementary school teachers Goria, Anne and Clarrise joined us for class during their summer breaks to enjoy the benefits of the yoga classes.

Another one of the yoga students, Julia then a physician's assistant at Johnston Memorial, proposed I look for a space to have a studio as plans were being made to renovate the current yoga class space for the FlipSide. That is where my dream really took off. I looked at several properties but the timing wasn't right. We moved our classes out to Riverwood and then to the Clayton Center where we taught until last year. I know how many held and worked tirelessly to have the dream of The Clayton Center manifest and I am forever grateful to them, too.

Last July my dream of having a fully equipped yoga studio came true when we opened the doors of Purna Yoga East. We even have beautiful old brick walls just like in the FlipSide. If it weren't for Cliff and Jodi of the Coffeemill and Flipside that dream would never have taken place.

So as they transition to live out their next life dreams I salute and honor them with deep gratitude. I know it has been tough hard work to run, manage and grow their business and often not with out controversy, but it is out of their creative spirit and determined will (they might say a little insanity, too) they brought what is now a place for great food, arts and music for our downtown to Clayton! I know the new owners of the FlipSide and Coffemill have dreams of their own that will hopefully grow others dreams, too! I wish them all the best.

For more information about yoga classes visit our web site Purna Yoga East or call 919-270-4892. We offer safe classes for new and experienced students 7 days a week!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Breaking News! Flipside & Coffee Mill to Change Ownership July 1

Coffee Mill and Flipside owners Jodi Sager & Cliff Morgan will sell the businesses effective July 1. They've been pioneers in Clayton integrating music, art and community as major components of their business for the past 10 years. As with any small business, they've faced struggles and stresses that are often tough to bear, but they've been able to survive and are now being rewarded by passing the torch. Thank you, Cliff and Jodi, for what you've brought to the community! The following is a message from Jodi and Cliff:

"Beside having some great music, and fun this week (Open Mic Tonight with Tracy Wiebeck, Karaoke on Thursday with Greg, and the great music of Mister Mustard on Friday)ownership of The FlipSide/Coffee Mill will be changing hands July 1st. It's with mixed emotions that we've decided to sell the place. We've had a fantastic time over the years and so many of you are responisble for that. To have been able to bring great music to downtown Clayton from all over the country, to have created Millstock: A Celebration of Music and Art on a rainy Saturday ten years ago and see it develop into something that the entire downtown has embraced, and to have made such great friends, we could not have asked for more! Over the last ten years we've seen the coming and going of various businesses in downtown, and we've had our ups and down, as well. But, it's all because of you that we're still open.

Thank You for all the good times and memories!

With that said, come on down and celebrate the transition with us over the next couple of days. The guys in the kitchen have some wonderful features planned and we're expecting to party it down at Open Mic tonight.
If you get the chance, stop by tonight or tomorrow night and let's toast one!

Remember, The FlipSide/Coffee Mill is NOT closing. The new owners love the place and with their energy, and vision, will be just making it better and better. We NEED a place like The FlipSide in Downtown. Keep supporting it.

Tonight: Open Mic with Tracy Wiebeck
Thursday: Karaoke with KJ Greg
Friday: Mister Mustard

Let's Party!!!!

Thanks!...Jodi & Cliff

Monday, June 28, 2010

Next Town Square Concert - July 15 with Central Park Band

The Clayton Downtown Development Association has added a sixth concert for the 2010 series and the additonal concert is July 15 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm featuring Clayton’s own ”Central Park Band.”

This will be the first of two concerts in July with the ”Central Park Band” on the 15th and ”Band of Oz” on the 29th.

Debbie Romano, chair of the DDA’s Town Square Concert Series Committee, said the DDA had received a number of requests for the band after the 2010 schedule had been set, ”so we looked at the schedule, found a bit of hole between dates and decided to add the sixth concert.”

Ed Knight, Chairman of the DDA, said, ”Central Park Band has been performing a long time and has quite a local following. Since we like to promote local, and want to bring more people downtown, this seemed like a good fit and we didn’t want to wait until next year.”

The Central Park Band is based in Clayton and features Casey Coats and Marty Gilbert as lead singers, Tom Bagley on guitar, Craig Pulley on bass, George Coghill on drums and John Fichera on keybords. All band members also lend their voices to the mix.

They play a variety of music, including beach, rock, blues, Motown, disco and funk. To learn more about Central Park Band, including some video and audio samples and to read their songlist, visit

Upcoming schedule:
July 15 Central Park Band
July 29 Band of Oz
August 19 Hip Pocket Band
Sept 16 The Embers

Sponsors of the 2010 Town Square Concert Series are: The Town of Clayton, Clayton Downtown Development Association, Clayton Glass & Mirror, Time Warner Cable, Clayton News Star, Clayton Steakhouse, Four Oaks Bank and Hometowne Realty.

Residents of Clayton are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for this “free” public concert. There are several local vendors to provide light refreshments and food. The Clayton Downtown Development Association, Inc. will once again serve beer and wine. Concert Series updates can be found by visiting

Several downtown restaurants offer pre-concert dinner specials, including The Flipside at 408 E Second Street, Clayton Steakhouse, 307 E Main Street, Mulberry on Main Italian Restaurant, 217 E Main Street as well as Festejos Mexican Grill, 905 E Main Street, Lucky Chicken Peruvian Restaurant, 226 E Main Street and Main Street Seafood Restaurant, 312 E Main Street.

The Clayton Downtown Development Association, Inc. is a non-profit organization formed to coordinate revitalization work in the historic downtown district. The Clayton DDA advocates and provides business improvement services in the downtown district, administers incentives for downtown improvements, and organizes several special events, including the Town Square Concert Series, Millstock Music & Art Faire, Oktoberfest and the Christmas Village & Tree Lighting.

For more information on the concerts and downtown news and events, visit Or by calling (919) 553-1545 or

Town Square Concert Series Schedule - UPDATED

Independence Day Celebration Saturday at Clayton Town Square

Thursday, June 24, 2010

From The Flipside...


Grouper Reuben fillet of fresh grouper grilled and served on rye bread with swiss and cole slaw.Served with vanilla sweet fries.$9.

$5 burger-1/4 lb angus burger grilled to your liking served on a hamburger roll with lettuce, tomato, and onion with side of fries.

Monte Cristo-Texas French toast with bourbon vanilla sandwiched with swiss cheese ham and turkey topped with a blue berry glaze and powdered sugar. Served with choice of side.$8


Steak pizziola - 8 oz center cut sirloin grilled to your liking topped with sauteed tomato, shallots and garlic then shaved parmesan cheese. Served with fresh veg and garlic bread.

Pizza special-BBQ chicken pizza with barbaque sauce grilled onion, grilled chicken, and a blend of mozz and cheddar cheeses.


Entertainment Tonight
The One, The Only, The Incredible The Definite Maybes

The Oatmeal Conspiracy


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Clayton Historic District Listed in National Register

The Clayton Historic District has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service (NPS). Town officials have not yet been officially notified of the listing, but the announcement was made on the NPS website. The listing follows more than three years of research and preparation.

“This is great news,” said Clayton Mayor Jody McLeod. “Creation of the historic district shows the support of the Town in preserving our history through architecture and the use of our historic commercial and residential buildings.”

The Clayton Historic District, which includes portions of the downtown commercial district and residential neighborhoods north and south of the railroad, consists of 294 contributing buildings and structures and 109 non-contributing. The district is bounded by Mulberry Street, W Barnes Street, Mill Street, Lombard Street, and Blanche Street.

One of the tangible benefits for a property owner with a contributing building is the availability of the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, a federal incentive program that is matched by the State of North Carolina.

“Historic preservation encourages reinvestment in existing neighborhoods which can enhance property values and the local tax base,” the Mayor said.

Contributing properties are a key to a historic district's historic connections, historic architectural qualities, or archaeological qualities. A property can be changed from non-contributing to contributing, and vice versa, if significant alterations take place. Historic buildings are an important element in a community’s quality of life, because those buildings provide the sense of community and identity that is necessary for sustainable economic growth.

A copy of the historic district nomination and map is available for review at the Hocutt Ellington Library at 100 S Church Street and in the Town Clerk’s office at The Clayton Center, 111 E Second Street. It may also be reviewed online at Click on “For Business” then “Downtown” then “Business Development” and then the link for Clayton Historic District “Final”.

For more information, please contact Downtown Development Coordinator, Bruce Naegelen at 553-1545 or via email at

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Small Businesses Can Avoid Summer Burnout

Some good advice from the North Carolina SBA Resource Partner News

Business slows down and the calls of the beach and BBQs make it mentally difficult to stay inside and focus on growing your business. Even though you love your business and provide value to your customers, you start to feel a little burnt out and you’re less productive than you should be.

Put more focus on the things you value: Write down everything that you did last week. Note how many times you tweeted, how much time you spent on email, every task that you completed during the day. Then cross off everything that you did that didn’t provide value to your business. By doing that you’re likely to find that you waste a lot of hours doing work that you don’t really have to do.

Revamp your business: It is not the amount of work that causes us to feel burnt out; it’s the type of work. To put some life back in your business and revitalize it means spicing up the way you do things. Using different channels and thinking outside the way you’ve always done things.

Re-adjust expectations: Our lives tend to get a little busier in the summer. In the winter, you could work 12 hours a day without much slack from the people in your real life. However, the summer means increased family time. Shorten your To Do list and allow yourself some extra slack. Treat yourself: Put the fire back in your business by taking some time to invest in it and in yourself. The summer months are often chock-filled with networking opportunities. There’s an increased number of conferences, seminars,webinars and networking events – take advantage of them.

-Taken from an article written by Lisa Barone, Co-founder and Chief Branding Officer at Outspoken Media, Inc.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lucky Chicken Peruvian Restaurant Gets Rave Review in N&O

The Lucky Chicken, a Peruvian restaurant in downtown Clayton, has received a rave review by News & Observer food critic, Greg Cox. Check out the review here A succulent tour through the flavors of Peru - Dining -  and then visit the Lucky Chicken, 226 E Main Street, for lunch or dinner!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Large Crowd Packs Library for Mural Unveiling

Hundreds of people crowded into Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library Saturday, June 5 for the unveiling of the Town of Clayton’s latest public art piece--a colorful mural depicting the life and times of Clayton.

For hours after a brief ceremony headlined by Mayor Jody McLeod, crowds filed through the library to see the work of art which includes 44 different vignettes of historical figures and landmarks as well as representations of business, civic and cultural life.

"Usually people come into the library for some quiet reading or study, but for quite a while this place is going to have some buzz," the Mayor said, "and, it's because of this beautiful mural."

Jim Brown of Clayton, an illustrator/designer, and his wife, Ginny, who is also an illustrator/designer, began working on the piece in March and finished it just in time for the ceremony. "It was a termendous amount of fun," Brown said. "I especially enjoyed the people who came by to watch it in progress. I enjoyed meeting all the people and talking with them while I worked. There are a lot of good people in Clayton and Johnston County."

The mural tells the story of Clayton's history, from its early days as a small community, through a lot of glory years to its present-day status as one of the nation's most talked-about small towns. “What stands out about the mural is the wide range of subjects and the illustrator’s attention to detail,” said Suzette Rodriguez, chairman of the town’s Public Art Advisory Board. Library Director Betty Coats called the mural "wonderful." "It's so real you feel like you can reach out and touch the people in it," she said. "It's just perfect."

The mural is 10 feet tall and stretches about 27 feet down the hallway connecting the library’s primary collection to the south wing. People visiting the library have been able to watch the Browns at work.

In December, the Advisory Board selected Brown for the project after reviewing a numbrer of applications. In January, the group hosted public meetings so that residents could offer the artist ideas for the mural’s subject matter. Funding for the project was provided by the Town of Clayton, Clayton Visual Arts, Hocutt-Ellington’s Friends of the Library and the Woman’s Club of Clayton.

The library mural is the Town of Clayton’s second public art project. Last year, Local Artist Dorothy Demboski painted a 10-foot by 10-foot mural titled “Clayton Patchwork” on an upstairs wall of the Clayton Center.

- Kemp Ward

Friday, June 04, 2010

From the Flipside...

Tonight's food features:
Pasta of the Day-Linguine Florentine with heirloom grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh baby spinach in a white wine broth.Served with side salad and bread.

Bruschetta Steak special-Our house 8 oz sirloin steak lightly spiced and grilled to your liking then topped with a fresh made bruschetta of fresh heirloom grape tomatoes, fresh basil, shallots, and chopped garlic with red wine and balsamic vinegars and olive oil served with heirloom potatoes and fresh veg.

For more information on Millstock: Check it out @

Gonna be a whole lotta FUN!!!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

"An Evening with....Britishmania Beatles Tribute" Appearing One Night Only June 19

JDF Promotions presents, "An Evening with....Britishmania Beatles Tribute" performing one night only on Saturday June 19 at 8pm at The Clayton Center located at 111 East 2nd Street in Clayton.

Britishmania takes the audience on a magical mystery tour in time, back to the experience of seeing the Beatles live. Using authentic period gear and costumes, the show journeys through musical history in four acts. The tour begins in 1964 as the mop top tribute artists take the stage to replicate “The British Invasion/Ed Sullivan Era,” then transition into “The 1965 Help/Shea Stadium Era.” Following intermission, the “Fab Four” take the stage again to journey through “The Sergeant Pepper/Magical Mystery Tour Era.” The show closes with “The Let it Be/Abbey Road Era.”

Tickets on sale now. $25 in advance; $29.50 at the door. Contact the Clayton Center Auditorium at (919) 553-1737 or visit