Triangle residents trickled out of their homes for a dose of sunshine and warmer temperatures Sunday as they searched for coffee, food and entertainment.
Business was steady at Caribou Coffee on East Franklin Street with a few large crowds rushing in all afternoon, barista Jessica Dyer said. Saturday’s storms meant the shop had only been busy in the early afternoon, she said, and the business dropped off quickly once the sun went down.
“We’ve had a whole lot of hot chocolates – they’re really popular right now – and just pretty much the standard coffee,” she said.
UNC juniors Elly Penning, Charlotte Maiden and Samantha Freeman shared a table, struggling to focus on their homework after a two-day break.
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“You’d think since we were cooped up all weekend that we’d be doing our homework in our apartment,” Penning said, “but instead, of course, we waited until the last day, hoping for a snow day tomorrow, but it’s not going to happen.”
Navigating their driveway was tricky because of the ice, the women said, and they slid down the hill to their apartment after going out on foot. Still, it wasn’t as bad as what they had seen growing up in Michigan and New Jersey.
“This morning we went out and shoveled the driveway,” Maiden said. “We’ve got a really steep driveway. Our neighbors actually had to wind up – I’d say 200 feet – just to shoot out of the driveway. They just barely got stuck at the top and made it. We did the same thing.”
‘I like snow’
He’s a snow lover, Adrian Empson said, smiling, as he enjoyed the scenery Sunday afternoon along Main Street.
“I’m totally enjoying the weather. I like snow,” Empson said. “Not an ice lover.”
The Durham resident had made a day of it, starting with brunch late Sunday morning at Tyler’s Restaurant and Taproom and hanging out for a while at the Hickory Tavern at 300 East Main. He took a quick detour to CD Alley on West Franklin Street to pick up a couple of CDs before turning for home.
“Whenever it snows, without the ice, it’s beautiful,” the Virginia native said. “D.C. got hit really hard. I wish I was up there rolling around in it.”
Crew cleans up
Ice-bladed trucks and snowplows hit the streets again early Sunday, using the sun and temperatures in the 40s to their advantage.
A Barco Inc. crew from Raleigh was making good progress clearing the parking lot at University Place in Chapel Hill. They had been at it since Friday, said Mitch Holloway, running his snowplow back and forth across the lot.
He wasn’t sure when he would get home to Garner to clean up the pine branches that had fallen around his own home, he said. The crews had worked from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and were back at it by 6 a.m. Sunday. They planned to work long after dark to clear as much as possible, he said.
The asphalt heats up rapidly with the sun, he said, and the resulting water helped loosen the remaining ice. Holloway estimated they had laid down at least a couple thousand pounds of salt since Friday night, hauling it across the lot by the bagful.
The real thanks, he said, should go to the crews who scraped the sidewalks with shovels so shoppers could get safely to the mall.
“Those guys are heroes. (Driving the plow) is just playing in the snow,” Holloway said. “I’m really proud of those guys. They did a good job.”
Theater, Thin Mints
Crowds inside the mall were thin, with most people deciding to escape the snow with a good movie at the Silverspot Theater.
They had about 600 guests on Saturday, said lead server Katie Barber, who was working the bar, and Sunday was starting to look busy, too. The kitchen was short-staffed, however, as the ice kept all but three employees home for another day, she said.
“I’m sure later on tonight there’s going to be a lot more,” she said.
Sales were slower for Girl Scout Troop 136, who set up their table near the mall’s entrance to catch shoppers coming in from the cold.
They had sold two cases so far and were filling the downtime by dancing around with cookie boxes over their clothes and giving each other rides through the mall on a handcart. The girls attend different schools, troop co-leader Jen Weinberg-Wolf said, so it’s a chance to “meet some kids they wouldn’t otherwise know.”
They’re hoping for better weather and sales next weekend. The first stop will be Saturday morning at Cafe Carolina in Meadowmont, followed by an early Sunday stop at Lowes Foods on U.S. 15-501 South.