Raleigh news, entertainment, and humor by William Needham Finley IV™

Hayes Barton Family Camps Out for NOFO Brunch

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The mimosas have been freed and brunch is now better than ever. After the passing of the “Brunch Bill” and the approval from the City Council, Raleigh residents can now enjoy alcoholic beverages in restaurants starting at 10:00 am on Sundays. The law came as a result of many protests in support of freeing mimosas and Bloody Marys. Late last week Raleigh residents celebrated the historic law change and began making grand plans for their first boozy ITBrunch.


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The Norris family, who live in Hayes Barton, were determined to be first in line for Sunday brunch at NOFO. Their plan was to spend Saturday night camping out in the NOFO parking lot, sort of. The Hayes Barton family paid roughly $15,000 to have a sherpa construct an igloo out of YETI coolers and place it near the entrance to the restaurant. The igloo itself would be cooled by a portable air conditioning unit. That might sound luxurious, but the family didn’t actually plan on spending the night. “Well, we had church in the morning and our kids hate the outdoors. We figured we could pay the sherpa to spend the night in the YETI igloo and keep our place in line,” said James Norris V.

Families that pay a sherpa to build a YETI igloo to hold their spot in line, stay together.

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His wife, Mary Ann Norris, added, “We thought about just making the sherpa camp out in a tent but it’s so hot that we didn’t want to be responsible if something happened to him.” Unfortunately for the sherpa, the AC unit failed after a few hours causing him to abandon his spot to avoid heat stroke. The family was less than pleased. “We got to brunch and found the YETI coolers strewn across the parking lot and there was no sign of Padrig, or Paulo, or whatever his name was,” Mary Ann said. “It’s hard to find good help these days,” added James.


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The family had to wait in line, unlike my friends and I, who were the first to arrive at NOFO on Sunday morning. The red carpet was rolled out, Glowmosas from Humdinger were poured, and French Toast was ordered. I even brought my own ITBlessed glass, which I never leave home without. (Yes, these are available for sale, and my online store should be up in the next week.)

I documented the historic occasion on social media.

This was a great way to kick off my new ITBrunch series, where I’ll be touring Raleigh’s best brunch spots. I don’t even need to do an in-depth review of NOFO, since it’s already one of the top brunch places inside the beltline. Special thanks to NOFO for the wonderful hospitality. The whole experience gets a 5 out of 5 beltline rating.


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