Positive beginning for Al’s Pub Shack

Entrance to Al’s Pub Shack

On Monday, April 8, Al Bowers, owner of Al’s Burger Shack, opened another restaurant near Governors Club, called Al’s Pub Shack. It is located at 50050 Governors Village.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday. They are currently closed on Sundays for now, but there is a possibility for brunch to be served on Sundays in the future.

Bowers explained his idea behind opening the Pub Shack.

“I opened the Pub Shack because I saw a void in a market there and thought it would be a good investment. Also, I wanted a place to hang out,” said Bowers in an email interview.

In addition to the menu’s differences from his other restaurants, the vibe of the restaurant likewise differs with table service, with a wait staff, bar with bartenders and multiple TVs, their sit-down restaurant differs from Al’s Burger Shack.

In contrast to Bowers’ other restaurants, Al’s Pub Shack’s menu features more  sandwiches than burgers, as well as a larger selection of sides and appetizers, but also dishes such as chili, fish and chips and a variety of desserts. With the food, also comes a wider selection of drinks for adults. Bowers explained the changes in the menu

“The menu is more diverse than the Burger Shack because it is a different concept. Because it’s a pub, we have all mixed beverages as well as wine and beer,” said Bowers.

With the Pub Shack being open for over a month now,  the reviews have been positive.

“The feedback has been mostly positive but we have a long way to go,” said Bowers.

With a varied menu, wide variety of drinks, and a friendly atmosphere, Al’s Pub Shack can easily become a family favorite, perfect for spending times with family or catching a game while grabbing a drink with your friends.

Into the theatre for Into the Woods

This Thursday, March 14, through Saturday, March 16, Carrboro High School will be putting on their spring musical, Into the Woods, originally directed by James Lapine on Broadway. The musical will take place in the Carrboro High School auditorium at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $5 for Carrboro students, $10 for adults and free for Carrboro staff.

The musical follows multiple main characters who are making wishes for things they want, like a baker and his wife wishing for a child, or Cinderella wishing to go to the King’s Festival. When a witch tells the baker and his wife a curse was placed on their family, the two go off on a journey in hopes of reversing the curse. Along the way, the couple meets many other characters, such as Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel.

The students participating in the musical, whether it be acting or working with tech, have been working on the production since auditions in January.

Don’t miss the spring musical! Tickets can be bought at the door or reserved online at jagtheatre.seatyourself.biz.

New at CHS: Registration Night

Incoming freshmen and parents line the gym during an icebreaker for Registration Night. Photo courtesy Lucy Carroll

On Monday, March 4, Carrboro High School held its first annual registration night from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Registration night allows for any student to come to school and explore different class options for the next year, speak one-on-one with their teachers and let parents interact with teachers.

“The purpose of tonight is to give grade level information for students who will be attending Carrboro High School next year, particularly for students who are rising ninth graders who have never been to Carrboro before” said Ashley Freuler, eleventh grade counselor.

All throughout the school, activities and meetings took place. The commons of the school were filled with posters and signs promoting elective courses for new students to take a look at. The school library and some of the classrooms contained teachers talking to parents and students alike about their upcoming school year.

The school was mainly filled with rising freshman coming to Carrboro High School, exploring the hallways they will soon be walking for the next four years.

In the gym, a huge icebreaker activity took place for freshman students, where staff, students and parents could get to know each other. Two lines were set up running along the perimeter of the gym, and as the two lines moved in opposite directions. Those attending were told to answer questions like “What are you looking forward to?” or “What is your biggest fear about high school?”

“[The icebreaker] was trying to help normalize the experience, parent to parent, of this transition. Most people that came, this is their first child in high school, and it kind of freaks people out sometimes, and so I think it was to minimize that stress, to help people know that there are other people feeling similar things,” said Michael Horton, Carrboro social studies teacher.

A presentation was then given to inform students and family about class information for the upcoming year.

“For freshman academy, they had a specific talk introducing students to information focusing on registration, on courses and sort of general information about Carrboro High School,” said Freuler.

Carrboro’s hope for the night was to give students the information needed to make the best decisions for next year’s class, as well as to become more comfortable with the school and staff in preparation for next year.

We’re hoping that students will feel more comfortable already having been to Carrboro, that they’ll start to feel connected to Carrboro before they even step foot in the door on their first day of ninth grade,” said Freuler.

“You know, before you know it, it will be summer. It will be that time to start back up again, so if we can get as much of it done beforehand, it makes it easier for us to work in it throughout the summer,” said Ken Lathan, twelfth grade guidance counselor.

Swimming brings home Conference Championship

This past Wednesday, January 23, Carrboro High School Varsity and JV swim teams competed at Conference Championships at Duke University in Durham. The competing teams were recurring opponents North Carolina School of Science and Math (NCSSM), Durham School of the Arts (DSA) and Reidsville. This was the last meet before the Regionals and States meets.

The Carrboro girls came in first overall at Wednesday’s meet, scoring 185 points and crowning the Varsity and JV teams as Conference champions. The Carrboro boys teams came in second with 129 points.

Both the girls and boys did very well, raking in many All Conference titles. To gain this title, the swimmer must place first or second overall in their event. The girls won 11 All Conference titles while the boys won four titles.

All Conference winners for the CHS girls included seniors Paloma Baca, Anneliese Merry and Audrey Costley, as well as freshmen Emily Carpenter, Eve McCallion, Kate Hegland and Lindy Bilden. All Conference winners for the CHS boys were senior Ian Ward and juniors Lincoln Wurster and Alex Prakken.

This was the last meet to make qualifying times before High School Division 1A/2A Regionals. With the swim season coming to its end, CHS swimmers are prepared to give it their all at Regionals and States.

Carrboro Brings Home Wins at Edison Johnson

On Wednesday, January 16, the Carrboro Varsity and JV swims teams competed at Edison Johnson Aquatic Center in Durham, North Carolina. The teams raced against returning rivals, DSA (Durham Schools of the Arts) and NCSSM (North Carolina School of Science and Math).


There were high school practices scheduled after the swim meet so due to this, the meet started at 5:00 pm and had to end by 6:30 pm. Even with the need get out of the water, Carrboro was able to bring in a good number of points.

The girls pulled in two firsts, scoring 74 points against the 19 points from NCSSM and 76 points to 18 points against DSA. Boys brought in a single first, scoring 50 points against 44 points against DSA. They also placed second, scoring 26 points against 68 points for NCSSM.


Overall, the boys, and especially the girls, did very well. Notable swims included  sophomore Jackson Lee, dropping nine seconds on his 500-freestyle, as well as dropping three seconds on his 200-freestyle.


On the girls side, sophomore Sophia Lee dropped 6 seconds on her 100-breaststroke, while junior Bridget Buchanan dropped six seconds on her 50-freestyle.


With the season coming to an end; only a few meets left, then regionals and states, the Carrboro swim team looks to be ending their season on a good note.


New Team, Big Shoes

Another year for the CHS women’s soccer team’s season has started, and it started on a good note. With a lot of success so far, the team is starting off the season strong.

Like all high school teams, there is a mixture of athletes from all grades. From new freshmen to veteran seniors, there can be pretty different perspectives on the team and its players. Katie Rhodes is a new freshman on the team but not new to soccer. She has been playing for years, including throughout middle school and on club teams.

“At first, I didn’t think we weren’t going to do so well, but starting at our practices, we’ve been doing a lot better,” said Rhodes when asked about the season ahead.

There are other players who would agree that the season will be successful, but realize they are treading on new turf. With seniors from last year graduating, the soccer team is taking on a new wave of freshmen; the team has to, in a sense, start over when it comes to introductions and trust. The team has big shoes to fill, coming from a track record of three consecutive championships in the last three years. Trust and cooperation, between everyone, is a necessary component to continuing that record.

“I think it’s hard to tell. I think we have a lot of potential and we just have to see where it goes,” said Lauren Gilliam, senior team captain.

“I think, right now, the problem is just that we don’t really know each other that well, so I think we just need to develop a mutual trust and once we do that, it’ll be a lot better,” said Ashley Hong, sophomore team member.

Even with all the new freshmen, this year’s leaders will draw from their past three and a half years of experience to guide their team in the right direction.

There is a lot that comes with being a senior on the team, and Gilliam likes that.

“I guess I like having more responsibility,” said Gilliam.

Being a leader means that you are being looked up to by all the people around you. All the players, especially younger players, rely on their captains and older teammates to be pillars of stability and confidence as they go through the season.

“I definitely look up to all the seniors for advice, especially when it comes to soccer. But not just inside soccer, outside of soccer too. I’ll talk to them too if I need help,” said Hong.

There is a general consensus among team members that the season ahead will be a good one. With the whole team dynamic changing, however, there will be some struggles that the team will have to overcome.

CHS Swimming takes on States

On February 9, the Carrboro swim team went to NCHSAA State Championships. Swimmers who placed in the top twelve of their events at regionals qualified to swim in states. The meet took place at Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, stretching from 7 AM to 8 PM.

There were many exciting races for both the girls and boys. Overall, in their respective races, the boys placed ninth, and the girls placed fourth. However the girls especially excelled in their events.

There were a few girls, Paloma Baca and Anneliese Merry, who placed within the top three of their races and earned a medal. As the lively day of racing came to a close, the highlight of the night began: the final race of the day was the 400 Freestyle Relay.

The Carrboro girls were seated second overall against fierce opponents. The swimmers in the relay, Paloma, Audrey Costley and Eliot Hunsberger, held their own throughout the race, switching between second and third.

As the race was coming to an end, Anneliese Merry, who was at the last swimmer of the relay,dived in and caught up to those in the lead.On the last lap, Carrboro and their competitor, Pine Lake Prep, were neck and neck. As they swam, the screaming and shouting was so loud that one couldn’t hear themselves think. Both swimmers touched the wall, but no one could tell who touched first.

Everyone looked to the board and showed Carrboro beating Pine Lake Prep by 0.04 seconds. Every Carrboro swimmer jumped and cheered. With a win under the belts, the Carrboro Swim Team knew that they succeeded.

Al’s provides second helping

Al’s Burger Shack opened its new Southern Village location on September 18, National Cheeseburger Day, marking four years since the opening of its Franklin Street location.

Known for its juicy burgers and rosemary fries, Al’s has earned many awards and titles, such as Best Burger in the South and Top 5 Burgers of All Time. With all this success, owner Al Bowers felt it was time to expand and open up a new location.

“We’ve always liked the vibe in this community and how tightknit it is,” said Bowers about Southern Village. “About probably two years in, we decided if the opportunity came up [to open a new location], we would do it.”

Bowers admits that the process of opening the second restaurant was much easier than the first due to his connections and large fan-base of loyal customers.

“They all have their challenges and it’s not an easy proposition for anybody, but we have more people in our corner now,” said Bowers. “So that transition should be a lot easier.”

Along with the new restaurant comes new perks including new additions to the menu, more parking, seating and a bigger space to cook a wider range of foods. The Caroline Burger as well as the new Shack Salad will become permanent additions.

With the opening of the new location, Al’s is also creating the Al’s Pals card, a gift card exclusive to Southern Village where parents can add money for their kids to buy food at the restaurant.

Besides all the excitement and fun, Bowers expressed the challenges of opening a small business stating, “a lot of times when a small business is trying to open, the municipalities involved can be a little difficult to work with. It’s unfortunate for small businesses because a lot of what we do takes time and more time means more money, so you’re not really able to concentrate on exactly what you want to do, which is for us is to sell hamburgers.”

Bowers is ecstatic about the opening, but he doesn’t want to stop here. His dreams and goals reach beyond Chapel Hill.

“The plan is to try to expand and replicate it because I feel like we have a concept that we can replicate,” said Bowers.

Even though there were struggles, Bowers was excited to meet any challenge head on. With all the hype and expectations that circled around the time of the opening, he tied up his shoelaces and got to work dealing out his second serving of the best burger in the South.