Local Limelight: Barbecue expert and author John Shelton Reed

Photo illustration of John Shelton Reed in the center of a Polaroid photo under a green spotlight.
Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo courtesy of John Shelton Reed

Welcome back to "Local Limelight," where we talk to some of the Triangle's most influential and interesting people.

Next up is John Shelton Reed, a former UNC-Chapel Hill professor and co-author of "Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue" and author of "On Barbecue".

🍸 His favorite place to eat: Hawthorne & Wood in Chapel Hill.

  • He recommends their General Tso's cauliflower.

⛪️ What the Triangle is missing: An Anglo-Catholic church.

📖 Last great book he read: "Up in the Old Hotel," by Joseph Mitchell.

🐈 Family pets: Two cats, named Harley and Abby.

🟩 First thing he reads in the morning: Wordle, then email newsletters.

🧳 Go-to long weekend spot: Brooklyn. Or the mountains.

What brought him to the Triangle: A teaching job at UNC. He came here in 1969 and has been here ever since.

  • "The best sociology department in the south — one of the best in the country still — is in Chapel Hill," Reed said.

🔮 What he's looking forward to: Reed, who is 80, said his life expectancy 88 years.

  • "I'm looking forward to making the most of those eight years," Reed said.
  • Plus, he's looking forward to his next trip to England.

🔌 How he unplugs: Like most of us, he doesn't really.

  • Reed's answer was a relatable one: He brings his laptop into bed and answers emails until he falls asleep.
Zachery Eanes
Sep 23, 2022 - News

24 hours in Chapel Hill

Photo illustration of the sun and moon transitioning over the Chapel Hill skyline.
Photo illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios. Photo: Town of Chapel Hill

Heading to Chapel Hill and don't know where to start? Here's what we recommend for a day trip.

Where to stay: Chapel Hill has a lot of options — unless it's parent's weekend, move-in weekend or graduation day at UNC.

Zachery Eanes
Sep 23, 2022 - News

Raleigh hits five-year peak in new apartment construction

Data: Yardi Matrix; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Yardi Matrix; Chart: Axios Visuals

Some 420,000 new apartments are expected to be completed in cities across the U.S. this year, marking a 50-year high in multifamily construction, according to data from the listing service RentCafe.

  • Zoom in: More than 9,000 apartments are expected to be completed this year in the Raleigh-Cary metro area.
Zachery Eanes
Sep 22, 2022 - News

Blind tasting pumpkin beers

A row of pumpkin ales on a table.
Photo: Zachery Eanes/Axios

Some love it, some abhor it. But pumpkin-flavored beers are back and spilling out into the beer sections of your local grocery stores and bottle shops.

  • To help you sift through the many options, your Axios Raleigh team picked a mix of five North Carolina and out-of-state beers for a blind taste-test.

New music venue coming to Downtown South development

A rendering of a music venue with a rooftop lounge.
A rendering of the proposed venue by the architecture firm Gensler, courtesy of Kane Realty

A music venue with a capacity for 3,500 people is coming to the Downtown South development project, its developer, Kane Realty, said on Wednesday.

What's happening: Kane said the venue will be operated by AEG Presents, one of the largest events companies in the country responsible for booking acts like Taylor Swift and The Rolling Stones.

Zachery Eanes
Sep 21, 2022 - News

N.C. Symphony's new leader wants the orchestra to be for everyone

A conductor stands in front of an orchestra.
Carlos Miguel Prieto leads the Juilliard Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall on January 27, 2017. Photo: Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images

Carlos Miguel Prieto begins his first season with the North Carolina Symphony's this week, promising to uphold the symphony's commitment to education and to reach new audiences.

  • The award-winning conductor will take charge of three performances of "Pictures at an Exhibition," Sept. 22-24, which he picked because "it's a showpiece that anyone who fears classical music should hear and then they will stop fearing classical music."
Zachery Eanes
Sep 21, 2022 - News

Seaboard Station preservation deal reached

The old Seaboard Station train station, with plants in front for sale.
Photo: Lucille Sherman/Axios

Raleigh City Council gave the go ahead to a rezoning of the Seaboard Station property on Tuesday, allowing for up to 20 stories to be built on the property currently home to Logan's Garden Shop.

  • In exchange, the developer, Turnbridge Equities, agreed to conditions that would guarantee preservation of the historic Seaboard Station.
Zachery Eanes
Sep 21, 2022 - News

Leaders vote to reduce speed limit in downtown Raleigh

The downtown Raleigh skyline, with a red crane in the foreground on an uncompleted building.
Photo: Zachery Eanes/Axios

Start watching your speed — and more importantly pedestrians — in downtown Raleigh.

Driving the news: Raleigh City Council approved a plan yesterday to reduce the speed limit downtown from 35 miles per hour to 25.


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Raleigh.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more