Friday, July 29, 2011

Downtown Clayton Boasts Several "Best" in Triangle East Survey

Triangle East Magazine has published its "2011 Reader's Choiuce Awards" and several businesses in Downtown Clayton have received top honors and honorable mentions! Congratulations!

click here for the full list

Best Italian Restaurant - Mulberry on Main
Best Florist - Annie V's
Best Jewelry Store - Main Street Jewelers
Best Small Business in Clayton - Clayton Steak House
Best Pre-School - Lipscomb's Learning Center
Best Attorney - Lawrence Kristoff
Best Local Festival - Clayton Harvest & Music Festival
Best School Principal - Clint Eaves, Clayton High School
Best High School coach - Gary Fowler, Clayton High School

Honorable Mentions
Best Dessert HM- Clayton Steakhouse
Best Steakhouse HM- Clayton Steakhouse
Best Coffeehouse HM- Coffee Mill

The best way to show your congratulations to these businesses is to shop or eat there!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Want to Serve on a Town of Clayton Board? Now's The Time!

Do you enjoy sharing a skill or learning a new one? Do you like networking? Do you want to be more involved in the community? Then consider the opportunities serving on a Town board or committee could provide.

The Clayton Town Council is looking for citizens to serve on the following citizen advisory boards:

Board of Adjustment [Residents of the Town and ETJ]

Downtown Development Association

Clayton Library Board

Planning & Zoning Board [Residents of the Town and ETJ]

Clayton Recreation Advisory Committee

Fire Department Advisory Board

Public Art Advisory Board

The Town Council makes appointments when vacancies occur or when terms of service expire. Information about the Town boards and an application are available on the Town’s website at: Citizens interested in being considered to serve on a Town board may submit an application to the Town Clerk by Thursday, August 18, 2011.

Town of Clayton Operations Center Workers Thanked by Downtown Development Association

They don’t often receive recognition for the work they do, so the Clayton Downtown Development Association (CDDA) on Tuesday, July 19 cooked and served breakfast for the Town of Clayton Operations Center workers.

Richard Rairigh, President of the CDDA thanked the thirty or so men and women in attendance and acknowledged their work in downtown.

He said, “The CDDA can’t thank you enough for all that you do to make downtown events so successful and keep downtown so visually appealing that people enjoying spending time there.”

The Town of Clayton Operations Center includes Public Works Department, which takes care of streets and public spaces, water and sewer, sanitation and engineering. Operations Center also includes the Utility Department and other services.

CDDA members who participated or contributed to the breakfast were Richard Rairigh, Betsy Grannis, Michael Grannis, Leslie Hubbard, Margaret Lee, Debbie Romano, Michael Sims. Debra Austermuehle, Boo Carver and Rob Baker were not able to attend.

The Clayton Downtown Development Association, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides education and business improvement services in the downtown district, administers incentives for downtown improvements, and organizes several special events, including the Town Square Concert Series, and the Christmas Village & Tree Lighting.

For more information about the Clayton Downtown Development Association, Inc. please visit or or by sending an email to

National Night Out at Town Square on August 2


On Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 Neighborhoods in Clayton, NC are being invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the 28th annual National Night Out crime and drug prevention event.

When: Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Where: Clayton Town Square, 100 W Main Street in downtown Clayton

Time: 5:30 – 8:30pm

The Cobblestone Community in Clayton, NC won a national award last year for their outstanding event program. They are National Night Out All-Stars! This year the Cobblestone Coordinator, Yoneka Trent has been asked to coordinate the National Night Out Event for all of the Neighborhoods in Clayton.

The event will include The Clayton Police Department and McGruff, Fire Department and Sparky, Crime Stoppers, Animal Control, Clayton EMS, Martial Arts Demos by Jackson Black Belt Academy, Child ID Safety Cards by Walgreens w/photographers taking ID pictures at the event, Raffles, Games for kids, A Bad Guy Piñata, and much more.

Clayton Police Department
Clayton Parks and Recreation
Clayton Fire Department
Clayton Crime Stoppers
Clayton Downtown Development Association
Smithfield’s Chicken and Barbecue
Jackson’s Black Belt Academy
Pelican’s Snoballs
KB Homes
Burger King
Allison’s Hair Salon
Venero’s Pizzeria

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Craig Woolard Band to Provide “Hot” Show Thursday Night

The next Clayton Town Square Concert will feature The Craig Woolard Band on Thursday, July 21 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at the Clayton Town Square, 100 W Main Street in downtown. Be prepared for hot weather and make sure you stay hydrated before and during the concert!

With the classic style of Ray Charles, the dynamics of Marvin Gaye and Rod Stewart, the Soul of James Brown, the vocal prowess of Steve Perry of Journey, combined with the passion of Sam Cook and Michael McDonald, you have “The Soul Man of Beach Music”, Craig Woolard. July 21 marks Craig’s 4th appearance in Clayton!

As the ambassador of Beach Music, Woolard has enjoyed a stellar career as the front man of one of Carolina’s premiere bands, the Embers. After 27 years with his former group. Woolard has taken on a new persona in what is claimed to be the South’s number one Beach Music, R&B, Top 40, Motown, 70’s & 80’s, and Rock & Roll Party Band….Craig Woolard is The Real Thing!

As a hit maker, Craig Woolard has several signature tunes. “ What You Do To Me”, and “Georgia”, to name a few. He has had FOUR #1 songs – more than any group in this industry. Their new CD, “Making Waves” went to #1 within weeks of its release. Their # 1 Hit Song “I’ve Got A Feeling” won SONG OF THE YEAR in 2006. His music and performances continuously amaze the crowds.

Sponsors of the 2011 Clayton Town Square Concert Series are the Town of Clayton, Clayton Steakhouse, Hometowne Realty, The Flipside Restaurant, Clayton News-Star and Joe Mama’s Mobile Stages.

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, Primo Pizza, 226 E Main and Lucky Chicken Peruvian Restaurant, 312 E Main Street.

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. Coolers and alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be brought in to the Town Square.

Concert Series updates and other downtown news can be found by visiting

All concert dates are the third Thursday of the month from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at the Town Square at 100 W Main Street in downtown Clayton

May 19 Hip Pocket Band

June 2 Nantucket

June 16 Johnny Orr Band

July 21 Craig Woolard Band

August 18 Central Park Band

Sept 15 The Castaways

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, and the Christmas Village & Tree Lighting.

For more information on the series contact

The Herald: "Dish - Primo Pizza

Check out this article on one of Downtown Clayton's newest restaurants:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Clayton DDA Makes Adjustments to Growing Town Square Concert Series

The success of the Clayton Town Square Concert Series has prompted the organizing sponsor, Clayton Downtown Development Association, Inc. (CDDA), to make some adjustments on concert nights.

An average of 1,300 people attended each of the first three concerts this year, and there are three more to go in the series. The next concert is July 21 and features Craig Woolard.

Concert Series Committee Chair, Debbie Romano, said, “We are responding to some of the concerns of our audience as well as some issues that we’ve (CDDA, Inc.) recognized.” She added, “Our goal is to provide a quality experience for concert-goers in downtown Clayton.”

Adjustments include:

• A designated smoking area in the parking lot, which will help keep the area clear of cigarette butts during clean-up and provide a healthier environment for non-smokers.

• Moving and reconfiguring some of the vendors to provide more space for concert goers. For example, DD&J’s Kettle Corn will move to the parking lot, and Venero’s Pizza will be moved back a little bit. The beverage tent will be aligned to run parallel along O’Neil Street and the footprint of the ID/Ticket/Serving tents will be shortened.

• Additional signage reminding concert-goers that alcohol and coolers cannot be brought into Town Square.

“We love the ‘home-town’ feel of the concerts, and have had no problems in the nearly five year history of the concert series,” said CDDA, Inc. President, Richard Rairigh. “But as the audience continues to grow, we want to make sure that record continues.”

The Town of Clayton is the major sponsor of the Concert Series, and the sponsors and proceeds from vendor fees and beverage sales helps defray additional concert costs such as rest facilities, signage, advertising, and security. Additional revenues are used for CDDA programs, services and improvements to downtown.

New street banners, a new website with a dynamic business directory and getting businesses ready for the 2012 NC Main Street Conference in January among the goals of the CDDA this year.

The Clayton Downtown Development Association, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides education and business improvement services in the downtown district, administers incentives for downtown improvements, and organizes several special events, including the Town Square Concert Series, and the Christmas Village & Tree Lighting.

For more information about the Clayton Downtown Development Association, Inc. please visit or or by sending an email to

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

“Downtown Clayton Dance Party” This Thursday at Horne Square

Downtown Clayton will come alive with the sounds of Salsa dancing at the “Downtown Clayton Dance Party” on Thursday July 14 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm.  The Clayton Downtown Development Association, Inc. (CDDA) has partnered with DPM Studios owner Raquel Williams to provide some Salsa lessons and then a dance party under the stars at Horne Square at Main & Lombard streets. The event on August 11 will feature Swing dancing.

“We wanted to do something a little different to promote downtown Clayton in the middle of summer,” said CDDA Promotion Committee Chair, Debbie Romano. “Hopefully, folks will come downtown a little earlier for dinner and then walk over to Horne Square for a dance lesson and show off what they’ve learned or already know!”

The $5 per person dance lesson, taught by Ms. Williams, will be held from 7:15 pm – 7:45 pm and then she will play salsa and similar type music until 9:00 pm for people to enjoy. Refreshments will include Pelican Sno-balls, DD&J’s Kettle Corn and the CDDA will provide Sangria, beer, wine and soft drinks.

“The salsa dance lesson will be easy to learn and fun! We invite families, singles and couples of all ages to attend this event,” says Raquel Williams.  “We are growing as a dance community here in Clayton. Many students are using dance as a fitness alternative and as a social means to meet new people. This public event is sure to bring those who love dancing together as well as those who want to try dancing for the first time.”

DPM Studios, located at 468 E Second Street, offers instruction for various types of dance, including salsa, Latin, ballroom, east and west coast swing, country western, and even line dancing. They are available for onsite instruction at parties, reunions and wedding receptions.

Today's Salsa dancing is a rich blend of Latin-American and Western influences. Salsa is typically a partner dance, although there are recognized solo forms, line dancing (suelta), and Rueda de Casino, where groups of couples exchange partners in a circle. Salsa can be improvised or performed with a set routine, choreography and freestyle.

The Clayton Downtown Development Association’s mission is to lead the redevelopment of Clayton’s historic downtown as a primary arts, cultural and social center.

For more information call 553-1545 or DPM Studios at 655-5346 or send an email to Updates can be found at

“Primo Pizza NY Style” Opens in Downtown Clayton

Pizza slices, subs and pastas are the main menu items on downtown Clayton’s newest restaurant. Primo Pizza NY Style, 226 E Main Street is owned by Alberto Sanchez.

Primo’s offers fresh, hand-tossed New York style pizza, pasta, subs, wraps, salads, and appetizers for dine-in or take-out. Mr. Sanchez said, “I personally make each pizza and entrée, and am proud of the food we serve.

This is his second pizzeria. Mr. Sanchez chose Clayton in which to expand because, “it is a growing town and I especially liked the traditional downtown, and I want to be a part of it,” he said.” Mr. Sanchez also owns Primo Pizza in Cary which has been open for more than two years.

Primo Pizza is located at the former location of Lucky Chicken, which recently re-opened at 312 E Main Street.
Hours are 11:00 am – 9:00 pm Monday-Thursday and 11:00 am – 10:00 pm Friday-Sunday. Call (919) 359-3515 for take-out.

Stores find success by focusing on the hunt - Consumer -

This is an interesting article about big box retail strategies in which independent retailers might have find some take-aways:

Stores find success by focusing on the hunt - Consumer -

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blues Hall of Famer Robert Cray headed to Clayton

Just months after he became the youngest member inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, five-time Grammy winning guitar legend Robert Cray stops at The Clayton Center for an evening of unforgettable, soulful blues. The Robert Cray Band will perform on Friday, Sept. 30, at 8:00 p.m. Tickets for this event go on sale Monday, July 11 at 10am.

It would be hard to overstate Robert Cray’s impact on rock, rhythm and blues. Considered one of the greatest guitarists of his generation, Cray has been inviting audiences along on his epic musical journey—breaking through the pop ceiling with trademark sound and distinctive playing style.

Never content with interpreting his music the same way twice, Cray's daring innovations have placed him at the pinnacle of the blues recording industry. His 2009 album, This Time, brought him his 14th Grammy nomination and much critical acclaim from music critics worldwide. His latest release, Cookin’ In Mobile (Vanguard), is a live CD and his first-ever live DVD release. He has his own line of Fender Signature guitars and has performed alongside blues titans Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton and B.B. King. Cray has toured extensively with both Collins and Clapton while also having worked with legends Tina Turner, Keith Richards, Chuck Berry, Bonnie Raitt, friend and fellow guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn and Willie Dixon, to name a few.

The Robert Cray Band concert is a special presentation of The Clayton Center and will kick off the Center’s 2011-2012 performing arts season. Tickets are $35.50. Tickets are available by phone at 919-553-1737, online at or through The Clayton Center box office, located at 111 E. Second St. in historic downtown Clayton.

The full 2011-2012 season line-up will be announced August 2.

FlipSide Specials for the week of 7/11 – 7/16/11


$5 - Burger-1/4 lb. Angus burger with L.T.O. and choice of cheese with steak fries

$6 - Soup and Grill cheese-Jambalaya with grill cheese

$7 - Fish Po Boy-Tempura battered Swai fillet on a sub roll with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese and jalapeno aioli, served with steak fries.

$8 - Burger of the Week served @ lunch and dinner- 1/4 lb. Angus burger with pepper jack cheese and Avocado salsa, L.T.O. and choice of side.


$13 - Pasta of the Day- Pepper Jack Mac with cherry tomatoes and green onions, served with side salad and bread.

$14 - Catch of the Day- Scallop Cake salad. Mixed green salad topped with two 3 oz. Scallop Cakes with choice of dressing.

$15 - Caribbean Jerk Tenderloin with Grilled Pineapple salsa and Basmati veggie rice.


7/13 - Team Trivia w/Jason Heart 8:00 PM

7/14 - Johnny Orr - 8:00 PM

7/15 - The Rick Keena Group Band 9:00 PM

7/16 - Good JuJu Band 9:00 PM

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Watercolor Workshop with artist Janie Prete

(Class at Eye of the Eagle, Clayton)
Saturday, July 23, 2011 9am (promptly please) til 4pm with break for lunch
Bring only your supplies and not a lot of extraneous “stuff”
Minimum of 4 students
Maximum of 10

A basic to intermediate all-day class which is designed to inspire your creativity. This session will help students loosen their approach to watercolor. Students will also paint with acrylic which works like watercolor and at the same time develop a painting to a finished image ready to mat. A study in backgrounds will also be discussed.

Materials should include:
1 sheet of w/c paper - 140 lb - cold press (no tablets please)
1 or two sheets of synthetic paper (Yupo)
Brushes - at least 3 - one flat brush of an inch or larger
one round brush - 12 or 14 size
one very small brush to be used for detail
Three colors (at least) of watercolor paint - a red, blue and yellow (not student grade please and are available at the Eye of the Eagle Art center) or Matisse Flow acrylic which works like watercolor (Instructor will have some tubes of this also)
Container for water
Backboard which supports your painting
Clips or masking tape to hold your paper
Paper towels
Small sketchbook or a couple of photos of VERY simple design

Most of these supplies can be purchased at Eye of the Eagle also, but call first to make sure.

Janie Prete: email or 553.1242 with questions or
Eye of the Eagle Art - 919 585.2461
Cost: $55.00 for the day. Check payable to Eye of the Eagle