I was disappointed to hear that a Carrboro resident is still making things difficult for the small business of Johnny’s to survive, let alone thrive (CHN, Sept. 19, bit.ly/SYDnLM
I take my kids to Johnny’s on Saturday mornings so we can pick up our CSA produce (from Small Potatoes Farm) and get the kids a bagel. It is a wonderful, warm, family-friendly business whose owners and managers care deeply about their community.
I did not attend the wine tasting mentioned in the complaint, but I happened upon it when I went over to Johnny’s to buy some milk. There were a few cars parked out front, but all was quiet on the outside. Inside was a small but vibrant, happy gathering of people. I cannot imagine what harm this event could have possibly caused the community.
Moreover, I’d like to point out that Johnny’s closes by 8 p.m., a perfectly reasonable hour. If events there went on until midnight I could see the argument for regulating them, but 8 o’clock? I do not know the complainant but it sounds to me like this person has it in for Johnny’s and is wasting the town’s resources by filing spurious complaints.Misha Becker Chapel HillMost love Johnny’s
I was quite taken aback after having read the moderately misleading article about the remarkable Johnny’s Gone Fishing (CHN, Sept. 19, bit.ly/SYDnLM
). If my wife and I didn’t live within a 2-minute walk of the neighborhood establishment, I’d think that there existed a groundswell of opposition to the business and its operations. Yet, if we were to randomly survey passersby, we’d find enthusiastic supporters of Johnny’s outnumbering detractors by a factor of 100 to 1.
Neighborhood support for Johnny’s continues to burgeon for good reason. For one, it is evolving into a lively and respectable community destination. Those of us on the western end of the West End have few establishments we can conveniently access on foot. The fact that Johnny’s functions as a coffeehouse, small-scale grocery, communal art gallery, ancillary farmers’ market, food truck destination, and event space lends many of us west-enders and the broader Carrboro community benefits that far exceed the average business.
From an environmental perspective, consider the number of automobile trips that are now replaced with a quick jog or bike ride to Johnny’s to pick up last-minute ingredients for evening potlucks.
Socially, Johnny’s serves as a vibrant, safe, and wholly interesting gathering spot for folks of all ages. At Johnny’s I’ve personally rendezvoused with at least a dozen people and have lingered to discuss matters personal, ecological, political, etc., and to play board games with little ones as young as 4, to sagely ones as advanced as 80. Moreover, the chance encounters I’ve experienced at Johnny’s have rekindled my sense of peace and belonging in Carrboro; unsolicited, several others have shared similar socially affirming experiences.
To label Johnny’s a “neighborhood disruption” – by the way, both of Johnny’s managers live within a few parcels of the establishment, why would they purposefully “disrupt” their own neighborhood? – or to suggest that the town commence regulation of occasional wine tastings is to actively suppress Johnny’s place-making potential, and ultimately, Carrboro’s inherent vitality.Seth LaJeunesse The writer is the chairman of the Carrboro Transportation Advisory Board.Better than that
I have always heard about the importance of community in Carrboro. Being originally from the Jacksonville/Camp Lejuene area, where every place to eat or hang out is a chain restaurant or Starbucks that lacks character or any feeling of community, I looked forward to settling in Carrboro where community and eccentricity is valued and appreciated. Because of this, I am very concerned, and even a bit shocked about the controversy surrounding Johnny’s restaurant that was featured in the article “Johnny’s Complaint Could Change Alcohol Rules in Carrboro” (CHN, Sept. 19, bit.ly/SYDnLM
When people ask me to describe Carrboro I use Johnny’s. A place where farmers bring their produce and dairy products to sell, a place where food trucks are substituted for fast food, and a place where the community comes together for a cup of coffee or to try some wine. Johnny’s is Carrboro. As a resident of this side of town I can attest to what this coffee shop does for the community. Do we really want Food Lion and Arby’s to be the only places on this side of town to shop or eat? I thought that Carrboro was better than that.Jacob Yaniero CarrboroA friendly place
In her recent article “Johnny’s complaint could change alcohol rules in Carrboro” (CHN, Sept. 19, bit.ly/SYDnLM
), Sarah Mansur quotes Carrboro resident John Montavon, who argues that Johnny’s wine tastings and other activities “disturb” the neighborhood. As someone new to the neighborhood, I would like to strongly disagree with Mr. Montavon’s opinion.
One reason I chose to live in Carrboro was because it seemed to host such a friendly community. When I first visited Johnny’s (upon the suggestion of my landlord, a longtime resident of the area), I believed my hopes confirmed: it was clear to me that this small local business provided a space in which a diversity of Carrboro’s residents could come to drink coffee, buy groceries, and meet one another. If anything, Mr. Montavon’s claims are the only evidence that my new neighborhood is any less neighborly than I initially imagined.
I am troubled by the notion that one man’s complaint could injure Johnny’s ability to sustain itself. I’d therefore like to chime in with my own view that, far from “disturbing” it, Johnny’s benefits our community. Nicole Berland Carrboro
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