October/November 2020

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I have found that I don’t mind being close to home, and technology that I wasn’t aware of before allows me to “see” my loved ones regularly. I enjoy walking with friends in my neighborhood of more than 20 years, Governors Club, admiring the gardens of others in search of inspiration for my own. I paddleboard at Jordan Lake and pick up takeout or eat outdoors at our local restaurants.

Now that my house is also my office, I’ve had more time to discover things that need to be repaired and items that I need to make my home, well, homier.

Happily, this is our annual Best of Chatham issue, and our readers have voted for the local businesses that they trust most. With this list in hand, I’ll be able to discover places to search for furnishings, who to call if I need some maintenance work done and where to go for a great sandwich for lunch. We’ve highlighted a few of the winners beginning on page 22, and our full list of readers’ favorites starts on page 34. (We’re also running this “Best of” list in our sister publication, Chapel Hill Magazine, to share the good news.)

Elsewhere in this issue, you’ll find stories from parents on how they’ve navigated the start of this strange school year (page 58), advice from school teachers, administrators and others on how to keep students and their families engaged and – most importantly – mentally and physically well through the fall (page 64) and our directory of area independent, boarding and charter schools (page 72).

I would love to hear from you (some have already reached out – thank you!) about story ideas, what you love about Chatham and, if we haven’t met before, just to say hello. – Chris Elkins, Publisher


22 Let’s Do Lunch 
The top sellers at your favorite sandwich joints

24 Two by Two
Sisters Elaine Lopes and Ellie Lopes have run Flair Restaurant & Wine Bar since 2017

26 Present Perfect
Stumble upon a unique gift or funny greeting card at McIntyre’s Books

28 In Style
The Oglesbees enlisted the help of Fresh Air Designs’ Mary Kate Bedell to tackle a living room and kitchen swap

30 Wool Worth It
Families love to visit M&M Alpaca Farm

32 Build Me Up
Chatham Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to bring people together by building homes, communities and hope

34 Best of Chatham 2020 WINNERS


52 Keep It Casual
Stylish and versatile fall fashions for the home office or when you’re on the go

58 Back to [Virtual] School
Parents share glimpses of their students’ day-to-day after class resumed at home in August

64 You’ve Got Class
How to find empathy in schooling this fall

72 Schools Guide
Directory of independent, regional boarding and charter schools


6 Letter from the Publisher

8 Events You Won’t Want to Miss

18 Noted

84 Home, Grown
This thoughtfully designed garden and landscape in Pittsboro is the definition of #BackyardGoals

99 Dining Guide

103 Engagement
Trey Andrews & Lauren Gunter

104 Wedding
Anna Jasper & Jacob Sipe


12 Carolina Tiger Rescue’s Tiger Day 5K

14 Virginia Cross Elementary School “Wave Parade”

15 Chatham Food Hub’s first public pickup day 

16 Chatham County Council on Aging’s 46th anniversary

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