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

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York Security Guard Saves Cameron Village

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80 FreshBrought to you by 80Fresh, a local company that delivers balanced, home cooked meals to your door. Use this link and enter the code “ITB” to save 30% on your first order.

Cameron Village is back to normal after a wild night that included a visit from police and SWAT teams. We are all safe thanks to the heroism of a York Security Guard who will be awarded the ITB Medal of Honor for his bravery. Around 7:45 pm on Thursday evening, some Twitter users began to report hearing police sirens in Cameron Village and on Wade Avenue. I was on my way to the Chick-fil-A and confirmed that cops were flying down Oberlin, assuming something was happening downtown. It turns out that an attempted robbery was taking place at the Cheshire Cat Gallery, an antique store that sells some of the finest ITB heirlooms, and Chris Brunner’s “A Beautiful Experience” photography book. Fortunately, I was informed of a witness, Daniel Nolan (@DannyNolls), who was live streaming the events while sitting in his car in the parking lot.

I joined others as Daniel watched and narrated the action from the literal front row for almost an hour, providing us with #ITBNN coverage that was better than any of our competitors. That’s coverage you can ITBelieve in. I pulled out the most important parts of the video to bring you one of the best interviews I have ever seen.

We learned so much from this man. For the past week, someone has been trying to rob the Cheshire Cat Gallery. Last night was the fourth night that the store has been broken in to this week. The store manager said that the crime lord had previously tried to use drills to get in through the back doors, but was unsuccessful. The savage crime lord then started tearing holes into the wall as a way to enter the store. Earlier in the week he was able to steal some precious ITB jewelry and Samurai swords (that’s not a joke).

According to our hero, he noticed a hole in the wall in the Cheshire Cat Gallery and called the police. When they arrived, our hero let an officer into the building, who immediately called for backup. Police cars came from everywhere and were soon joined by SWAT teams. The crime lord tried to make his escape through the roof of the old ABC store location, which is where the police and SWAT team caught him. A member of the SWAT team said the reason they had so many responders is because the Cheshire Cat sells antique guns.

Since I’m a media empire, I obviously used Daniel’s live stream as a chance to plug my wonderful lawyers and sponsors, Miller Law Firm and 80Fresh, because that’s just good leverage.

Everyone owes Daniel Nolan a beer for his service to ITB last night. I’m going to start working on plans to erect a statue for the York Security Guard. 

Full broadcast:

We’ve received some additional reports from people on Facebook that I’ll update as the story develops:

“Talked to Cameron Village Bar & Grill crew. One of their cooks was also held at gunpoint by an individual during this whole thing.”

The Development Beat

in Development/ITBNN by

Welcome to a new chapter in ITB Insider™ history. Today, we expand our media empire to cover the world of real estate development in Raleigh. More than 60 people move to Raleigh every day, and I want to know where they’re living and what they’re doing here. That’s where my new investigative journalist, James Borden, comes in. While at the Raleigh Public Record, James has covered everything from the Dix Park controversy to breaking the epic story about the North Raleigh party mansion. (Seriously, go read the party mansion story.) James is first to a lot of stories because he’s an actual journalist that digs through records and finds facts instead of just tweeting all day about La Croix. He’ll be contributing a weekly article focused on development to ITB Insider™ and will keep me informed on a variety of issues going on in Raleigh. James announced the move last week and people seemed pretty excited about it.

We may tinker with the content and format, so let us know what you think. Now that we’re the number one place for development news, we’re also open to sponsorship deals from real estate brokers and developers (e-mail me at wnfiv@itbinsider.com if interested). Without further ado, I present James Borden’s first Development Beat for ITB Insider™.

Brought to you by Rufty-Peedin Design Builders

Week of January 9, 2017

Since William Needham Finley IV has the attention span of a White Memorial pre-schooler, I’ll hit the highlights before digging into the details:

Dix Park gets first tenant

Real Estate Report: 19 Bedroom ITB house goes on the market

Two new Mexican restaurants coming to Glenwood

Progress on the new restaurant from the Pho Nomenal Dumplings duo

Updates on Tower IV at North Hills

News on a downtown Raleigh hotel

Welcome…to Dorothea Dix Park
The first new tenant for downtown Raleigh’s premier destination park was approved by City Council last week through a memorandum granting a nine-year lease to the nonprofit Dix Park Conservancy.

The Conservancy, which has a public-private partnership with the City to help develop the Dix Park Master Plan, will most likely occupy the early-20th century Flower Cottage at 2105 Umstead Drive for the staggering cost of $1/year. In addition to leasing the property, The Conservancy has agreed to contribute $2 million for the development of the Master Plan, and may add another $1 million for other planning costs. 

The Flower Cottage at Dorothea Dix Park

Built in 1910, the 1,200 square foot cottage was initially used as a residence but currently sits dilapidated and unused. The Conservancy will be responsible for all renovations and improvements, of which we imagine there will be plenty. On the upside, the organization will also have access to the adjacent 2.75 acres of open space, which can be used for “public and/or private events.”

Rumor has it that an early screening of William Needham Finley’s long-in-the-works “Dix Park” film will be held here. As long as it’s not organized by the Junior League of Raleigh, we’re sure it’ll be a smashing success.

Real Estate Report

Every week, we plan to highlight an interesting Raleigh property that’s currently on the market, be it commercial, industrial or residential. In the future, we’ll leverage local realtors to get their properties listed here. E-mail wnfiv@itbinsider.com if you’re interested in featuring a listing here. Credit where it’s due: the one and only Triangle Explorer brought this one to our attention over the weekend.

The Gables Motor Lodge Property in Mordecai
*Note* As it happens, my new editor was so excited about this property that he demanded additional research so he could write his own separate post, which contains answers to some of the questions we’ve seen asked on social media in the last few days.

This three-lot property is located at 1217, 1219, and 1221 Wake Forest Road in the historic Mordecai neighborhood. Listed for a cool $1.5 million we imagine this 19-bedroom, 14-bathroom property could sell for well above asking price. The 8,000 square-foot Victorian motor lodge was first built in the 1920s and is located on a .51 acre lot just outside of downtown Raleigh. This is truly one of Raleigh’s most iconic properties, and no matter what happens to it, we hope the buyer leaves the old signage in place.

The Gables Motor Lodge

With Your Permit-ssion

On December 30, permits were issued for the latest iteration of the long-suffering Helios Cafe at 413 Glenwood Avenue. The issued permit is for “The Cortez Restaurant,” a new concept from the brothers Ibarra (Hector and Charlie) and their chef, Oscar Diaz from Jose and Sons. This was first announced in early December, and LLC filings indicate plans have been in the works since at least June of 2016. Hutchins Construction will handle the $28,000 worth of renovations.

Jose and Sons was recognized by City Council in September as part of Hispanic Heritage Month

Also coming to Glenwood South is the new La Santa Cantina Mexican restaurant, which received permits January 4. The $12,000 project by Morris Construction will renovate the space formerly occupied by the Tobacco Road Sports Cafe at 222 Glenwood Avenue. Like most local Mexican joints, it appears the walls will be adorned with enchanting artwork. Tobacco Road itself just reopened this past weekend in the former home of Natty Greene’s at 505 West Jones Street.

La Santa restaurant shared some of their future artwork from Alexa Paint and Design on their Facebook page

Work on the recently announced Mofu Shoppe restaurant from for the award-winning folks behind the insanely popular Pho Nomenal Dumplings food truck also received its final permits on December 30. For those of you in the dark: Raleigh’s most famous food truck was the 2015 winner of the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Also, the slogan on their webpage is “Two Girls, One Truck.” That’s pho-cking funny. And a little bit gross, to be honest. Integrated Commercial will be handling the $89,000 worth of renovations at 321 South Blount Street in City Market.

Speaking of first time storefront locations, Sweetheart Treats
, a local purveyor of delectable desserts such as cupcakes, cake push pops, Rice Krispy treats, brownies and more, will soon be opening its doors in suite 105 at the Falls River Shopping Center on 10930 Raven Ridge Road. Owner Mary Hinton, who previously operated Sweetheart Treats out of her home, told us they hope to open by the end of the month. Hinton said in addition to the standard dessert fare, the shop will also be offering a Cupcake Bar with alcohol-infused cupcakes.

Ma’am, have you been drinking tonight?
No, but I had about four cupcakes…

Rounding out our restaurant news for the week, permits for the first Raleigh location of the award-winning national BBQ chain City Barbeque were issued December 30 for a spot at the new Olive Park shopping Center, where work is also underway for Raleigh’s second Bad Daddy’s burger joint. The fit-out of suite 108 will be handled by Wimco Corp for $375,000.

Speaking of Olive Park: the center also received permits on December 30 for Happy Smiles Dental, which will be built out by Old Fields Construction for $250,852.

Other recent permits of note:

  • A $105,785 interior alteration for an RPD training center at 4205 Spring Forest Road to be handled by Diamond Contracting
  • A trio of automotive shops including 1-800 Radiator, Lucho-Lube (heh) and Bryan’s Auto Repair at 2407 Paula Street, all of which will be done by Greensboro’s Bar Construction
  • $25,000 “stair and platform” addition at Finley’s favorite club Still Life at 401 N. West Street. That work will be handled by JBK Construction.

Site Unseen

A wave of site plan reviews were filed in the final weeks of 2016, an appropriate finale to a year that’s seen tremendous growth within the City of Oaks. Amanda Hoyle over at the Triangle Business Journal did the hard work of actually talking to the relevant parties for most of these projects, so we’ll just link to her articles when we can.

SR 1-17: The first site plan of 2017 was for a proposed Alamo Drafthouse cinema/eatery in the Longview Shopping Center at 2000 New Bern Avenue in East Raleigh. According to Hoyle, no deal has been inked with the owners of Alamo Drafthouse, which operates 25 locations around the country but none in North Carolina. Raleigh already has, of course, Raleighwood, and there’s the CineBistro over at Waverly Place, plus a number of other chains that serve beer or liquor, which we believe is one of the main appeals of the Drafthouse chain. If built, the site plan notes the new theater would clock in at around 58,000 square feet.

The Longview Shopping Center could eventually be home to North Carolina’s first Alamo Drafthouse

SR 103-16: Local developer and hero of the historic preservation movement James A. Goodnight filed site plans proposing to turn an existing gas station at 502 W. Lenoir Street into a brand new restaurant. Our friend James Willamor brought this one up on Twitter a few weeks ago, where we also heard the rumor that the new joint will be titled “Raise Up.” No such information is contained on the site plans, which only indicate that Goodnight plans to turn it into a restaurant/bar, and reduce the size from 5,084 square feet to 4,583 square feet. Built in 1948 and most recently home to Dusty’s Service Center, Goodnight has owned the property since 2014.

Dusty’s Service Center in 2011

SR 101-16: More mixed-use for North Hills, new plans for the long-in-development Tower IV. We’re glad Hoyle wrote about this one, because the informational pages on the project found on the North Hills and Kane Realty websites contradict each other, and the site plan drawings only add to that confusion. It turns out Tower IV is actually *two* towers: a 20-story office tower and a 31-story residential tower. They’re also planning to cram a hotel and some retail use in there somewhere. The site plans indicate the towers will come in at a whopping 735,665 SF, with, 1,046 parking spaces, 35,199 SF of open space, 300 residential units and 198 hotel rooms. We cannot confirm nor deny whether WNFIV will be given the penthouse suite based on the “IV” at the end of his name.

A rendering of the proposed Tower IV at North Hills

SR 102-16: There’s been a lot of fear mongering in recent years, especially by those lunatics over at the Raleigh Public Record about an alleged lack of downtown hotel rooms, so hopefully this site plan will shut them up for a little while. This site plan describes a 13-story (bad omen), 259-room, 260,890 gross square-foot hotel that will be a “dual brand” Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites developed by CN Hotels. I think “dual brand” means they charge you twice for the same room, but I could be mistaken. The hotel will be located at 200 West Davie near the intersection with South McDowell. The site plan also notes a proposed 14th-story terrace and differs from a 2015 proposal calling for a Hilton Garden Inn at the same location. This project was first brought to our attention by the ever-dutiful James Willamor on Twitter last month. 

A rendering of the hotel proposed for the site in 2015

SR 108-16: Greystar, the apartment developer behind a number of Raleigh multifamily projects including The Gramercy, The Devon Four25, the Devon Seven12 (yes, those are the real names), 927 West Morgan and more, is now planning to expand outside the downtown core. Greystar plans to develop the Overture Centennial apartments on Western Boulevard across from Pullen Park. The site plans describe the Overture as a 182,720 SF, three-story 180 unit complex that will include 235 parking spaces. As of now, the plans call for 108 one-bedroom units and 72 two-bedrooms. Given Greystar’s track record, we imagine this will be another upscale complex catering to wealthy Raleigh urbanites who want to live in proximity to both Pullen and Dix Parks.

The proposed location for the new Overture apartments

A Zest for Zoning

While rezoning cases are a lot rarer in the era of the Unified Development Ordinance than they were in days past, there were a pair worth looking at filed in the month of December.

Z-45-16: A minor request to remove a restriction on a property — it would remain zoned commercial mixed use — for some acreage out by Triangle Town Center at the intersection of Triangle Town Center Road and Old Wake Forest — filed by apartment developer Faison Inc. In 2008, Faison submitted plans for the Triangle Place Promenade Apartments, and it looks like they’re still hoping to build some multifamily with limited retail out on the site.

Some new apartments could be built near Triangle Town Center

Z-47-16: Most rezoning cases are filed by developers seeking to increase the allowed use on a given parcel of land; this one caught our eye because it was put together by residents of the ITB Country Club Hills neighborhood off Glenwood Avenue and a little south of Woman’s Club Drive in an effort to reduce the overall zoning from R-4 to R-2. According to the applicants, this would “preserve the existing character” of the area and “discourage teardowns and the construction of houses that are not harmonious with existing neighborhood development.” Normally one of the only ways residents can fight encroaching development is to purchase surrounding lots; we like this more realistic — and legalistic — approach a lot better!

Residents of this Glenwood neighborhood want to preserve its character

Lawyer Up: Miller Law Firm to Serve as Legal Counsel for ITB Insider

in ITBNN/Sponsored by

One of the most important parts of running a startup media empire is having great lawyers. That’s why we are excited to announce that Miller Law Firm has agreed to serve as legal counsel for ITB Insider in 2017. As many readers know, I routinely threaten to sue people and call my Dad’s lawyers whenever I’m the slightest bit offended by something going on in Raleigh. Since Dad has told his lawyers to stop taking my calls, I’m thrilled to have Miller Law Firm on board to guide ITB Insider through its legal endeavors.

Owned by Stacy Miller II, a first ballot ITB Hall of Famer, Miller Law Firm, PLLC specializes in personal injury, workers’ compensation, business litigation cases, and more. When I heard they had achieved several multimillion-dollar results for their clients I knew I had to retain them for my media empire. For example, Stacy could have helped all of us in a class action suit against Apple over that battery fiasco in December.

Here’s a picture of what would be Raleigh’s Christmas tree being lit. I am beyond livid with Apple right now. I just left a meeting downtown for my startup empire and noticed the tree lighting was going on. I stopped by to get some great Christmas content. As I was about to capture the perfect video of the tree being lit my phone died despite saying the battery was at 67%. The tree was lit and I now have no evidence to post to Instagram. We all know if it isn’t on Instagram it didn’t happen. I now need two things. 1.) my favorite lawyer, Stacy Miller, needs to sue Apple for ruining my brand. 2) my favorite mayor/City Council people, Nancy McFarlane, Bonner Gaylord and Mary-Ann Baldwin, to put wireless charging stations all around downtown so that this never happens again. I’m going to go listen to Finley’s Fire Christmas playlist now to try to calm down but I am beyond livid with Apple for ruining Christmas.

A photo posted by William Needham Finley IV (@wnfiv) on

I can already see the headlines now, ‘Raleigh Rejoices as Miller Law Firm and ITB Insider Win Millions from Apple In iPhone Battery Lawsuit’.

It doesn’t matter how big or small your case is, Miller Law Firm takes the same approach to every case they see so that they can get fair settlements before going to trial. And if they do go to trial, it’s basically like Tom Cruise in ‘A Few Good Men’. (SPOILER ALERT: he wins.)

Aside from running his firm, Stacy is a former quarterback at Broughton, defensive back at Wake Forest University, former Raleigh City Councilman, and long-time Raleigh resident. He’s also got some great stories from Raleigh and the courtroom that we’ll share over the next year. Sort of like “The Most Interesting Man in ITB” meets “Law and Order: ITB SUV” (that’s not a typo, he also handles SUV and car accidents).

We’re super excited to be working with Stacy and his team. If you’re in need of legal services, Stacy can be reached at 919-348-4362. Miller Law Firm, PLLC is located in downtown Raleigh, right on Fayetteville Street at 555 Fayetteville Street, Suite 201, Raleigh, NC 27601.

Follow Miller Law Firm
Twitter: @MillerLawFirmNC
Facebook: Miller Law Firm
LinkedIn: W. Stacy Miller II

If you’re interested in partnering with the only growing media empire in Raleigh, contact wnfiv@itbinsider.com.

Finley’s Favorite Things: An ITB Holiday Gift Guide

in Sponsored by

Shopping for holiday gifts is hard, especially when you have to buy those gifts for other people. As a service to our readers, I’ve thoroughly searched through the finest companies Raleigh has to offer to find the best gifts for this holiday season. I proudly present to you, Finley’s Favorite Things: An ITB Holiday Gift Guide.

Tradition Scarves

Tradition Scarves, a Raleigh company founded by Broughton alumni Blaine Smith and Will Roach, offers scarves, beanies, banditos, and more. With products featuring more than 70 schools, Tradition Scarves surely has a gift for someone you know.

Banditos are the hottest new apparel item inside the beltline. Made from 100% polyester, with sweat absorbing and SPF 30 treatment, these are perfect gifts for those with active lifestyles or if you just want to look cool in general. They also look good on dogs of ITB.


A great man once said, “Tradition scarves uniform a crowd.” That great man was Will Roach. So educate a friend or loved one’s wardrobe this Christmas with a gift from Tradition Scarves.

tradition-scarves2Pricing: products range from $12 to $22

Where to buy: online at Traditionscarves.com. Use coupon code “WNFIV” for $10 off an order of $30 or more.

Follow Tradition Scarves: FacebookInstagram, Twitter

Olly Oxen

Located on Hillsborough Street, Olly Oxen is a family-owned Raleigh company started by NC State alumna, Charlotte Guice.  They offer classic, collegiate, apparel and accessories made in the USA. Olly Oxen has great gift options for men, women, and children, with a wide variety of schools to choose from.


They’ll be doing a holiday pop-up shop this Sunday the 18th from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Vita Vite in downtown Raleigh. They’ll even wrap the gifts for you.

They’re running some great deals for the holidays, including:

$10 off orders of $50 or more
$25 off orders of $100 or more
$40 off orders of $150 or more
Free shipping on all orders over $75

Pricing: products range from $22 to $195

Where to buy: online at Ollyoxen.com

In person at the following locations: The Red & White Shop, NOFO, Alumni Hall, and Wolfpack Outfitters (NC State Bookstore).

Follow Olly Oxen: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest

H-Street Kitchen


Located in what was once the Varsity Theater, H-Street Kitchen is the hottest new restaurant on Hillsborough Street, and one of the hottest additions to Raleigh in some time. Designed by New City Design, the finest architects inside the beltline, H-Street does a great job of honoring the past while celebrating the new Hillsborough Street. You’ve probably seen some of my Instagram posts that awarded their food 5 out of 5 beltlines. The food is better than anything else on Hillsborough Street and the atmosphere and service can’t be beat either.

An H-Street gift card would be perfect for friends and family who haven’t dined there yet. ITB Tip: Be sure to make your friends or family pick up your tab with the gift card you bought them.

Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11am – 10pm, Friday – Saturday 11am – midnight

Where to buy: Swing by H-Street to pick up a gift card at 2420 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27607

Follow H-Street: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

PBX® – Pilates Barre Extreme


Let’s be honest, you’re going to put on some holiday weight, if you haven’t already. You’re going to need to get rid of that holiday weight between now and swimsuit season, or if you’re lucky enough to attend the Fyre Festival. There’s no better way to do so than by taking fitness classes at PBX®. A combination of modern pilates, yoga, barre, and weight training, experience the PBX® method at their Raleigh studio.

PBX® was founded by Broughton alumna, Libby Bradley Burton. Using her background in dance, gymnastics, and pole vaulting, Libby combined the best of pilates, barre, and yoga to create a new method for working out, PBX® pilates barre extreme. This method provides a whole body workout that’s easy on the joints, but with the same results of high impact exercise.

While the workouts are intense, PBX® is for everyone. They offer a variety of classes that fit all fitness levels. From “I eat an anxiety pizza and frozen custard every Sunday night” to “I’m training for my 7th marathon….this month” they have a class that will fit your fitness level.

They offer private classes, group glasses, health counseling, cleanse options, high-end activewear and more. The best part is the printable gift cards so you don’t even have to leave the house to go shopping.

For the holidays they’re offering new clients 4 classes for $50, and the 6 month unlimited package is available for $225 per month, instead of $300 per month.

If you’re lucky, you’ll even see Pickle, a dog of ITB, at your class.

Pricing: classes start at $25, high performance activewear ranges from grips socks ($12-$20) to leggings and crops ($60 to $100).

Where to buy: Shop online for classes and memberships here. Shop online for gift cards here.

In person at the following location:
11211 Galleria Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27614

Follow PBX: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Humdinger Juice


Humdinger Juice offers fresh, raw and 100% organically grown, cold-pressed juice that keeps Raleigh residents alive. Seriously. While they can’t make claims like that because of the FDA or whatever, I can say anything I want. This juice is legit.

They’re a family run company started by the brother and sister team of Colin Fickes and Mary Holt Collins (Broughton grads, obvi). They’re also Raleigh’s first organic raw cold-pressed juice delivery company. Humdinger offers a full line of single juices, juice cleanses, and weekly subscriptions.


Humdinger has great gift options available for a variety of uses. Cleanse between the holidays, use their juices as mixers for holiday cocktails, set up a weekly recurring order for January, or grab a bottle to calm your nerves when fighting the gridlock of the Harris Teeter parking lot.

During the holidays, buy $50+ in gift certificate(s) and receive a free t-shirt.


Pricing: products range from $4 to $50+ for cleanse packages

Where to buy: Shop for juice online here. Shop for gift cards online here.

In person at the following locations:
Humdinger Juice – Sunday – Thursday: 10am – 3pm and Friday: 11am-2pm
5024 Departure Drive, Unit H
Raleigh NC 27616
Bottega Hair Salon
The Farmery
The Morning Times
NOFO @ The Pig
Ladfingers Caterers
Open Door Yoga
Hungry Leaf
Evolve Movement

Follow Humdinger Juice: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Quail Ridge Books


Quail Ridge Books is an independent shop with a friendly, knowledgeable staff that provides the best in customer service. Founded in 1984 by Nancy Olson, Quail Ridge offers a wide variety of carefully selected books, events, book clubs, and town hall meetings. Owner Lisa Poole bought the store in 2013 and is dedicated to keeping it local.

Housed in their new location in North Hills (annexed to ITB by Bonner Gaylord), their spacious yet cozy store carries exclusive autographed books, CDs, Vinyl, Cards, Gifts, Calendars, and more. There’s nothing more ITB than getting your Mom a book and telling her you spent hours picking it out, when you really grabbed the first thing you saw on the “Employee Favorites” shelf.


Quail Ridge is running a great holiday sale through 12/31. Get $10 off your purchase of $25 or more and free shipping on all online orders over $35. Just print or show them this coupon on your phone or tablet at checkout.


Pricing: products range from $5 to $150

Where to buy: online at Quailridgebooks.com.

In person at:
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Road
Raleigh, NC 27609

Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9am – 9 pm; Sunday: 10am – 6pm

Phone: 919-828-1588

Follow Quail Ridge Books: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Thompson Buick GMC Cadillac


Last but not least, the finest car dealership inside the beltline. In fact, they were inside the beltline before there was a beltline. Thompson is one of the largest Buick GMC & Cadillac dealers in the Southeast. Check out Thompson to find the perfect stocking stuffer, a key to a 2017 Cadillac Escalade.


They’ll be running a Christmas BOGO (buy one get one free) special* if you tell them I sent you. Seriously, go tell them that you’re buying a car because you saw them featured in Finley’s Favorite Things: An ITB Holiday Gift Guide. I want someone to say those words in public. There’s a lot riding on this.

Head down to Thompson, but watch out, they employ the classic “you can’t say no to a cute toddler” sales technique.

Pricing: used models starting at $6,700. Escalade pictured above listed at $72,740.

*BOGO deal not actually valid, but it would still be great if you asked them about it.

Where to buy: Thompson is located at
2600 Wake Forest Road
Raleigh, NC 27609

Website: http://www.thompsoncars.net/

Phone: 919-926-7680

Follow Thompson Cars: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

This concludes the 2016 Finley’s Favorite Things holiday gift guide. I’ve basically done all your holiday shopping for you, so you’re welcome.

All of these wonderful companies were kind enough to sponsor this post, which supports another local business, ITB Insider™. Contact raleighitb@gmail.com for sponsorship information for 2017.

Google Timelapse Shows Raleigh Over 32 Years

in ITBNN by

walk-west-fullToday’s post is brought to you by Walk West, a full-service digital marketing agency in Raleigh that provides web design, development, and strategy that meets the needs of their clients.

Apparently, Google Timelapse is a thing. I think I had heard of this before but never paid much attention to it. Google Timelapse is a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years. They combined “over 5 million satellite images over the past three decades from 5 different satellites” to bring us this amazing view. Today, Google released an update adding tons of new data and four more years of imagery that results in the sharpest view of Earth, and more importantly Raleigh, than ever before.

When hearing about this amazing technology, my first thought was “how can I get some pageviews out of this to help my growing media empire?”. The obvious answer is to curate three Timelapse views of Raleigh (embedded below) for your viewing pleasure. I can’t wait to watch this in the next 32 years when we can see the development of the Downtown Raleigh Canal, Dix Jurassic Park, the completion of the weather dome, the Five Points roundabout apartment complex, and many more projects our citizens deserve.

Note: before viewing, you may want to change the setting in the bottom left corner from “Fast” to “Slow” so you can truly take in the horror of watching new apartments being built inside the beltline.

ITB Up Close



Check out Google Earth Engine for more.

Trolley Pub Almost Ruins Raleigh Christmas Parade

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80 FreshBrought to you by 80Fresh, a local company that delivers balanced, home cooked meals to your door. Use this link and enter the code “ITB” to save 30% on your first order.

The events in this story are 100% accurate. This is not a joke. Post updated to include a response from the Trolley Pub owner.

The Raleigh Christmas Parade was almost derailed by a rogue Trolley Pub on Saturday. As you know, the Raleigh Christmas Parade, presented by Shop Local Raleigh, features a variety of groups and organizations from our community that we all know and love. For some reason, the Trolley Pub is allowed to participate, despite the fact that it has nothing to do with Christmas and brings joy to no one. While it is worth noting that the Trolley Pub partners with the American Diabetes Association for the parade, I still loathe 95% of their customers. This year, four Trolley Pubs were scheduled to ride in the parade, yet only three of them ended up participating.

When I posted this Zapruder-like film of the Trolley Pub being extremely loud and obnoxious at 9:30 am I had no idea that I was capturing the moments immediately before this rogue agent would be leaving the Christmas parade.

After seeing the video, sources reached out to inform me that this particular Trolley Pub was kicked out of the parade because they were being too loud, drunk, and obnoxious. Apparently, the riders had rented the buzzkill on wheels for a 30th birthday party and were told by the company that they would be able to ride in the Christmas parade. A chance to get drunk AND be the center of attention is what these people dream of.

According to two separate sources, the riders began drinking in the early hours of the morning. A parade official approached the group and informed them that alcohol was not allowed in the parade, to which one rider replied, “What?! But the point of this is to get DRUNK.” The parade official clarified that while getting “DRUNK” may be the point of the Trolley Pub, the point of the Christmas parade was to provide family entertainment for the people of all ages in attendance. The riders countered, “But we already paid for this, we’re riding in the parade whether you like it or not.” The parade official warned them that the Raleigh Police Department would have the right to cite them for having open containers in public. They resisted again, gave the official the one finger salute, at which point the parade official gave up to go check on Santa Claus. (Apparently, Santa’s tour rider demands check ins every 15 minutes) The Raleigh Police Department approached the Trolley Pub riders, determined that they were too intoxicated and obnoxious to be in public, and pulled them from the parade. One down, three to go.

A response from the Trolley Pub owner shed more light on the matter:

“This year I was out of town and apparently a tour asked/or was invited to join but were not informed of the rules. Our mistake. When one of the parade officials came up one of the customers got upset but quickly settled down. Management found out and we decided it was best for that group to exit the parade at a convenient point, and the tour agreed. That Trolley was cleared to enter the parade and participated for part of it but left early. So no Trolley Pub was “kicked out”.”

The parade began and crowds looked on in disgust as the remaining unholy trinity of Trolley Pubs slowly chugged down Hillsborough Street.

Most parents shielded their children from the horror. Some used it as a teaching experience on what not to do in life.

After the Trolley trio had terrorized everyone and almost ruined the entire parade, a miracle happened. The sweet sounds so familiar to many of us could be heard coming down the street. It was the Broughton marching band, bringing the joy of Christmas to all. Once again Broughton saved the day, and no one even had to buy a mattress from them. (I still don’t understand why Broughton moved from selling fruit to selling mattresses to raise money for the marching band.)

Overall, the parade was a huge success and enjoyed by all in attendance. I do have a few minor suggestions for next year:

Parade Improvements

1.) Ban all Trolley Pubs

2.) Add a Dogs of ITB float

3.) Include more Tahoes

4.) Hoverboards – not those fake ones that people break their legs on, the real ones from Back to the Future II. That movie already predicted the Cubs winning the World Series and the rise of Trump (Biff Tannen). Hoverboards can’t be that far off.

5.) More giant inflatable balloons. A Lemon La Croix can, for example.

6.) Famous live performers on floats, including: The Connells, a hologram Michael Jackson, and a hologram Nat King Cole.

7.) A Rise Biscuits float with a biscuit/donut canon that shoots biscuits and donuts out to the crowd.

8.) Felson’s Dance Floor Float – no explanation necessary

While it was good to see one less Trolley Pub in the parade, that’s not enough. I’ll be speaking with parade officials in the coming weeks to determine how to remove the Trolley Pub from the Raleigh Christmas Parade entirely. Stay tuned. And Merry Christmas!

A Beautiful Experience Launches in Raleigh

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80 FreshToday’s post is brought to you by 80Fresh, a local company that delivers balanced, home cooked meals to your door. Use this link and enter the code “ITB” to save 30% on your first order.

Chris Brunner looked sharp. Wearing a dark blazer, dress shirt, khaki slacks, and loafers, he stood by a table in downtown Raleigh’s Vita Vite ready for his big launch. On the table next to him were dozens of copies of his new book, A Beautiful Experience. He had worked for months to self-publish and promote the book, which features a selection of his pictures taken over the past few years.

Chris has always enjoyed taking photographs, especially of Raleigh and especially of sunsets. He began sharing these photos on his personal Instagram account, @brunner_chris. After receiving a ton of positive feedback he decided to launch his own venture, CLB Images, with an accompanying Instagram account, @CLB.images. In just over a year, the account has amassed over 1,300 followers from all over the country, including fans in Raleigh, New York, Denver and more. (I’ve included a few of my favorite CLB images at the end of this post.)

To capitalize on this popularity and growing following, Chris obtained a booth in the Cheshire Cat Gallery to sell prints of his photos. He also set out on creating a photography book that would feature some of his favorite images. After months of work he finally had a finished product. Chris began building anticipation for the book, offering giveaways from local businesses leading up to the launch party at Vita Vite.

The crowd inside Vita Vite grew larger as the night went on, filling with friends from Broughton and Raleigh, all eager to purchase A Beautiful Experience. Attendees sipped rosé and snacked on charcuterie plates while entering contests to win prizes from the likes of Bald Head Blues, Gena Chandler, Tradition Scarves, and more. In between taking group pictures and selling copies of his book, Chris took time to speak with friends and thank everyone for attending. “Turning my love of photography into this new venture has truly been a life changing and amazing experience for me! I’m looking forward to many exciting things ahead. Thanks to everyone for all the support!,” said Brunner. Obviously, the evening would not be complete without a photograph.

By the end of the night, Chris had lost his voice from talking with each and every guest. When asked how everything went, he raised the roof, gave two thumbs up, and hoarsely said, “This was fantastic.” It was a beautiful experience, indeed.

A Beautiful Experience is now available for $18 in the heart of ITB at The Cheshire Cat Gallery, located in Cameron Village.

Courtesy of CLB Images

2016 NC State Fair. @clb.images #raleigh #ncstatefair #sunset #northcarolina #onlythreemoredays

A photo posted by Clb Images (@clb.images) on

First signs of spring in Downtown Raleigh. @clb.images #downtownraleigh #spring

A photo posted by Clb Images (@clb.images) on

Downtown Raleigh Warehouse District this past weekend. @clb.images #downtownraleigh

A photo posted by Clb Images (@clb.images) on

Don’t Vote for William Finley IV

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80 FreshToday’s post is brought to you by 80Fresh, a local company that delivers balanced, home cooked meals to your door. Use this link and enter code “ITB” to receive 30% off of your first order.

Whatever you do, DO NOT write in “William Finley IV” for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. I know I asked for your vote less than 24 hours ago, but let me explain. I know a ton about water, specifically La Croix. I even designed a special can for inside the beltline a few months ago.

I drink three cans of La Croix each day and I’m pretty sure it’s why I have indigestion. It was this dedication to water that compelled me to run for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor the day before the election. I’ve run for office in the past with varying degrees of success.

In 2014

In 2015, (I don’t recall what I ran for in this election. City Council maybe?)

The 2015 election taught me a valuable lesson. I needed to rally my base around a single name. So last night I asked everyone to write in “William Finley IV” if they wanted to support my dream of being Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. I came up with campaign slogans, made a campaign commercial, touted my experience, and developed my platform.

Campaign Slogans
A case of La Croix in every refrigerator and an SUV in every garage.

Read my lips, no new La Croix flavors.

Are you better off than you were whenever we last voted on the Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor?

It’s soil and water, stupid.

Campaign Commercial
My PAC spent $60,000 dollars making this commercial.

My Experience
2007 – Founded ITB Insider™ (originally nelsonsbroughtonitb.blogspot.com)

2012 – Went to the London Olympics.

2016 – Started a startup – created 1 job.

2016 – Launched Dogs of ITB on Instagram to give Raleigh citizens a break from the never ending election coverage.

2016 – Brought Foster’s, Nelson’s, and Felson’s back for an anti-campaign music festival, Don’t Jump, It’s Almost Over.

My Platform
Build a pipeline to the La Croix factory so that Raleigh residents can have La Croix on tap.

Flood downtown to create the downtown Raleigh canal.

After talking with campaign staff, I realized that there would be meetings, decisions, and a lot of work associated with the position. That’s way too much for someone who is already running a growing media empire. Plus, I don’t know anything about soil and that’s like half the job apparently. As a result, I fully endorse Marshall Harvey for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. I’m proud of the race that I ran, but I just don’t really want to do the job. Thank you all for your support.

Hopscotch Band Or…

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Now that the Hopscotch music festival has come and gone, it’s time to recap my favorite game, “Hopscotch band or…” where I question whether random words strung together are names of bands playing at Hopscotch or something else entirely. I would have posted this before the festival, but I didn’t want to risk having any of the bands, or Twitter social justice warriors, accuse me of some sort of microaggression, then attack me on social media and potentially hurt my burgeoning startup company. I’m just a small business trying to build a media empire. I’d love to dedicate more time to analyzing Hopscotch and why things like the picture below exist, but I’m busy running a company.

Spotted at Hopscotch…. Sun’s out, blowup dolls, suspenders, and short shorts out? #hopscotch15

A photo posted by William Needham Finley IV (@wnfiv) on

Here are the 2016 entries for Hopscotch band or…

In case you missed the 2015 edition:

This game has actually turned me on to some good music over the years. Dear God, I hope I’m not turning into the Hippest Hipster. Even though I’ve never actually attended Hopscotch it’s pretty nice having outdoor concerts around downtown. I can’t think of any other event in Raleigh where patrons of both Slim’s and Churchill’s can coexist in the same area. And anything is better than shutting down the city for road races and marathons.

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