Al's Burger Shack named the best burger joint in America

The original Al's Burger Shack located in Downtown Chapel Hill.

The original Al's Burger Shack located in Downtown Chapel Hill.

On July 12th, 2018, our good friend Al Bowers was presented with an award by TripAdvisor. His popular burger joint, Al's Burger Shack, had been named the best burger joint in America. The shack serves new and creative burger types paired with crispy rosemary fries.

We are beyond proud of him for earning such a great title. We are happy to have helped him expand his business and are continuing to help with his upcoming projects. The original Al's Burger Shack is located in downtown Chapel hill. It started out as a small hole in the wall style burger joint. However, since then, additional seating and expansions were done. The restaurant's outdoor seating area and shack were designed to accommodate for more customers. The second location of Al's Burger Shack is in Southern Village Chapel Hill.



Al Bowers has been working with us to design a small pub shack at Governor's Village in Chatham County. The project is currently under construction and we are excited for its grand opening. The estimated completion is early fall 2018. Al also has more projects that are under the works. More surprises to come!

Moving Forward with FoodFirst!

The Public Hearing at the Carrboro Board of Aldermen meeting went until almost midnight on Tuesday -- but at the end we were rewarded with a unanimous approval to move forward with IFC's FoodFirst facility in downtown Carrboro. We are very excited to begin the next steps of the process!

'After a 4-1/2 hour meeting, I'm still very honored to be the mayor of Carrboro.'  - Mayor Lydia Lavelle

'After a 4-1/2 hour meeting, I'm still very honored to be the mayor of Carrboro.'  - Mayor Lydia Lavelle

Below, see press release from IFC.

Carrboro Board of Aldermen Unanimously Approves IFC’s FoodFirst Rezoning Application

Carrboro, NC – May 23, 2017 – On May 23, 2017, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen voted unanimously in support of the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service’s (IFC) rezoning application for 110 West Main Street, Carrboro, NC. This approval will allow the IFC to move forward with FoodFirst their plan to combine the Community Kitchen and Food Pantry into a single food operations center.  One program and one location will allow for the maximization of food, space, and volunteer resources.  

The IFC wishes to thank Carrboro’s elected officials, town committees, Advisory Boards, and staff, IFC neighbors, clients, and supporters. They extend their gratitude to Jim Spencer Architects, PA for their thoughtful, patient and creative work over the last seven years. The IFC gratefully acknowledges LeAnn Nease Brown, IFC Counsel, and IFC Executive Director Emeritus, John Dorward for their years of dedication and effort in moving FoodFirst forward. The IFC is deeply grateful for the time, energy, and care everyone has brought to this process.

The next steps for FoodFirst will include meetings with town staff on zoning and building permits, final refinements to design drawings and fund-raising for the project. The FoodFirst Capital Campaign Cabinet has been established and Armstrong McGuire will lead the capital campaign. IFC hopes that within two years with the continued support, enthusiasm and commitment of the community they will raise the funds to begin building the new FoodFirst building.

Executive Director Emeritus John Dorward responds to last night’s vote this way, “I am thrilled to have gotten the level of support from our elected officials and neighbors for this project. With the continued support of our neighbors we believe we will help alleviate the problem of hunger in our community. I have always believed this statement to be true, ‘There are many things that have no answer – hunger is not one of them.’”

Jackie Jenks, IFC’s Executive Director speaks to the decision and the future of FoodFirst this way, “In 1963, a group of seven local women united to address the conditions of poverty in Chapel Hill and Carrboro through the coordinated efforts of volunteers. More than five decades later, I am honored to join in this tradition of community collaboration to build what will be a game-changer in addressing food insecurity in our towns.” 

For additional information on FoodFirst, please visit

For additional information on the Inter-Faith Council, please visit



Historic Renovations Progress on Franklin Street

Two JSA projects are currently underway in Chapel Hill's Franklin-Rosemary Historic District.

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Above: The historic Collier Cobb Residence, circa 1894, at 517 E. Franklin is a renovation and addition. It is currently under construction with anticipated completion by the end of fall. We're happy to be working with Carrboro based Custom Carpentry Group as the General Contractor.

Below: The historic Lawson House is a large Shingle Style bungalow and has among the most remaining original architectural details of any turn of the century house in Chapel Hill. It is located at 604 E. Franklin and is believed to have been constructed in the late 1800's. We are anticipating a late summer start of construction and are grateful to be working with Leon Meyers of Build Sense.