By Connie Leinbach
As a new season opens on the island, so do new businesses on the island.
Ocracoke Bar and Grille
Sean and Laurie Death opened Ocracoke Bar and Grille in March in the former Creekside Cafe. It will be open daily starting at 11 a.m. and will remain open “in some capacity” year round.
Along with local seafood and Mexican dishes, the Deaths will specialize in local clams and are offering items from the original Creekside when it was above the Slushy Stand, such as seafood cakes.
“I was approached by some O’cockers, Sandy O’Neal and Kathy Hutcherson, to do these recipes,” Sean said. “It is an honor to be allowed to do their recipes.”
Some of the names on the menu are “A Reasonable Burger,” and “Big Fat BBQ Burger” and “Just a Quesadilla.”
In the interest of a “greener” footprint, utensils are not plastic, but wood, which are actually stronger and, of course, decompose, Sean said. He’s also attached the menus to the backs of cardboard boxes, and also on the back is an ad for Ocracoke Pizza next door.
“If you don’t like what’s on the menu you can order a pizza,” Sean said.
The Grille, which has an outdoor porch ambiance, features a surfer theme with videos of surfing all over the world when other sports are not playing.
Bead by the Sea
Bead by the Sea is a new shop for making jewelry, owned by Tara Grey, and located on the water in Community Square.
When it is fully open by April 1, there will be many beads from which customers can choose to make their own jewelry. That day, Grey will have an all-day opening. After that, her shop will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
“This is about people creating their own vision and me helping round it out and making it pretty,” Grey said about the shop.
She’s hoping to help bridal parties wanting a unique Ocracoke piece for their special occasion and others who want her to help them create a meaningful piece of jewelry.
An artist her entire life, Grey has been making jewelry for 20 years and finds it the most fulfilling of all of the art she has done.
“I like decorating people and seeing women feeling good about themselves,” she said.
Her own creations—that favor pearls and turquoise—won’t be for sale in her shop but are in Down Creek Gallery.
But she plans to bring in visiting artists for two-week residencies to work upstairs and conduct classes in a variety of media.
“I already have artists interested,” she said. “I want that kind of energy here—to connect with artists.”
A longtime part-time resident of Ocracoke, Grey is now here full time and is excited about helping customers translate the beauty of the island into something they can have the rest of their lives.
Jenny Mason is trying to recreate the general store her grandfather had that she remembers from her youth.
Located in an historic home along Creek Road, Mason will open Corkey’s Store by April 3, and will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“My granddad, Corkey Mason, had this store in the 1970s,” Mason said, and she and her brother Shane spent the fall and winter fixing the place up.
It will have “a little bit of everything,” she said—souvenirs, bread, dairy products, beer, wine, snacks, lunch meat, produce, sodas and more.
“We’ll have four flavors of dip-ice cream and will have a fenced-in back yard with picnic tables,” Mason said. “Kids can have their ice cream and adults their beverages.”
Old-fashioned candy, such as Bit-O-Honey, Sugar Daddies (the big ones), stick candy, Charleston Chews as well as products made in North Carolina, such as jams, jellies and Bertie County peanuts, will also be for sale.
Other business notes:
The Flying Melon Cafe, 181 Back Road, will no longer be serving brunch. They will only serve dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays.
The Pony Island Restaurant, Ocean View Road, will no longer serve dinners. It will serve breakfast from 7 to 11:30 a.m. daily.
The Ocracoke Oyster Company, 875 Irvin Garrish Hwy, is the former Topless Oyster. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. following a renovation and name change.