| June 24, 2013
test of a business’s value to its customers is when it’s not open,
everyone hankers for it. That happened over the winter and spring as
The Flying Melon restaurant, which had been along Highway 12 since
2006, decamped for the winter while a new building was built on Back
Ocracoke has new and updated businesses for 2013 season
By CONNIE LEINBACH
“When is the Melon opening up?” was a refrain heard
frequently in the spring as islanders watched the progress on the first
new restaurant building in decades took shape.
June 13, it
finally reopened, and “we’ve been busy ever since,” said Paula
Schramel, who with her husband, Michael, owns the restaurant,
designed by islander Garick Kalna and built by islander Junior
Perez. Inside, the design, with several rooms and nooks, conveys
a larger feel although the total number of seats is the same. “The flow
is better,” noted veteran server Lori Masaitis.
The new interior
features a wooden spiral stairs that leads to an upstairs lounge where
diners can have drinks or dessert. While they are new, the spiral
stairs were aged to complement the reclaimed maple floor throughout the
building, Paula said. Islander Len Skinner did the “aging”
work on the stairs and also crafted the new signs for the outside of
Paula, who has an interest in antiques,
scoured the Internet for old sinks and light fixtures, such as
chandeliers and sconces, all of which add to an old-world, yet hip, new
She is proud of the backlighted fleurs-de-lis emblems on the new bar in the entrance area.
had to have fleurs-de-lis, which are the emblems of New Orleans,” she
said about the theme of the restaurant and the Schramels’ hometown. The
menu and prices are the same, but the Schramels have added mixed drinks
to the alcohol offerings.
the soft green walls include the cut-out rooster partitions from the
previous building, Paula is waiting to add art to the walls.
“I have to think about that,” she said.
there is a riot of plantings hugging the building and a watermelon
patch/front lawn, which Paula said will be suitable for receptions.
it beautiful?” gushed Joanne Keeler of Manteo, who waited with her
husband, Andy, to be seated. “The interior is gorgeous. I just love the
Keith Beaumont of West Chester, Pa., who is a
sometime contractor, admired the architectural details of the
“Inside upstairs there’s a little window
that lets you see down into the dining area,” he said while outside the
building looking over the details. He also noticed the copper in
the outside railing, which differs from the typical steel. The
building is new, but “it looks like it’s been here,” Beaumont said of
the overall look.
But the food from Chef Michael is what draws the crowds.
missed this place,” noted Sunday brunch diner Catherine Farley. “The
Flying Melon is always good. I’ve never had anything I didn’t like
The Flying Melon serves a full brunch menu 9 a.m. to 2
p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and dinner from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday
through Saturday. Catering services are also available.
Ocracoke now has a food vendor specializing in North Carolina signature pork barbecue.
(for Ocracoke Island, N.C.) opened in May next to the Slushy Stand and
is offering authentic North Carolina barbeque, brisket, ribs, hog
wings, Philly cheese steak sandwiches, as well as breakfast bagels.
just wanted something to do,” said owner Janille Turner, who with her
husband, George, also owns the Topless Oyster restaurant which also
offers pork barbecue along with many oyster dishes. “I wanted my
own little food shack,” she continued. “Nobody else caters to barbecue,
which is what people come to North Carolina for.”
food is made from scratch, she said, such as the baked beans and potato
salad, and there’s no vinegar in the barbecue sauce. OINC’s will also
offer beer, to-go packs, live acoustic music, and catering for weddings
and other special events.
The Homegrown Handmade artist co-op in
the old Community Store that began last year with a one-day-a-week
schedule has bloomed into a daily shop featuring more than 50 local
artists enrolled but only about 30 showing one time. It is staffed by
the artists and includes some vintage items as well.
“No yard-sale stuff,” said Rita Hahn, one of the jewelry artists.
example, Carol Bullard, a native of Scotland, sells her photography and
small, hand-stitched items, such as “tooth fairy pillows.”
“I just like tiny things,” she said about her intricate felt items.
addition to these artists’ work, there are paintings, wood carvings,
note cards, fabric items, bowls made out of reclaimed items and more.
Hours for the market are every other Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Among the other new and updated businesses on Ocracoke are:
- El Faro Mexican Restaurant in the building that used to house the Flying Melon. “El faro” means lighthouse in Spanish.
- Yum-Yum Coffee and Smoothies is located in a pink and green trailer along Highway 12.
- Salt Creek Studio, which sells ceramics and pottery, along the Back Road.
- Deep Blue Detailing offers mobile pressure washing and detailing for cars, boats, and buildings.
Tee Shirt Corner in Spencer’s Market offers custom-printed T shirts.
Although not a new business, Hard Core Tees beside El Faro also offers
- Eduardo’s Tacos got a new trailer in the spring and has expanded its menu.
Beachcomber Camp Ground Gas Station received the taffy inventory from
the now-closed Candyland. It also is offering deli sandwiches and
soft-serve ice cream.
few new business offer spa-type services. Jubal Creech, a licensed
massage therapist, is offering chair massages at Angie’s Gym on
Wednesdays and at Halo Hair Studio on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and
Seaside Serenity Spa, owned by Amy Gutierrez, also offers spa services
at Halo. Julia’s Aesthetica, owned by Julia Chiles, offers a variety of
therapeutic skin care and spa services.