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Major renovations at Natty Greene's downtown Greensboro brewpub will include moving the bar and expanding the patio

GREENSBORO — Natty Greene’s is investing $800,000 for renovations to its downtown brewpub.

Chris and Ashleah Lester, owners of the brewpub, announced the major renovations to the almost 100-year-old building on Friday.

The ground-floor restaurant will be completely renovated, including building a new bar in the center of the restaurant and replacing the old bar footprint at the rear of the restaurant with new bathrooms.

“We want to have that energy in the front,” Lester said. “It really opens the space up.”

The kitchen will also be redone.

On Natty’s second floor, the bar will be extended, and tables will be relocated to the front of the restaurant where a game area has been.

The games will be moved to the rear of the area.

The upstairs bathrooms also will be completely remodeled.

The restaurant will remain open during the renovations, which are expected to take about 60 days.

Future plans include expanding the restaurant’s patio and covering it. The brewpub’s third-floor event space will also be expanded.

College buddies Chris Lester and Kayne Fisher opened the brewpub in 2004, leading the way for downtown craft breweries. Later, they opened a larger brewing facility on Gate City Boulevard and added a tap room.

Lester and Fisher opened a restaurant at Revolution Mill in 2017. The two longtime partners parted ways in 2018, and Fisher became sole proprietor of the Revolution Mill eatery, which he renamed Kau.

Lester kept the Natty Greene’s brand and took ownership of the brewery and the downtown brewpub.

Zack Matheny, president of Downtown Greensboro Inc., praised the renovation plans, calling them an investment in Greensboro.

“When I first got here ... there were tumbleweeds on Elm Street,” Matheny said to the Lesters. “You all made that investment 16 years ago, and you’re making it again today.”

The Market is back in business at Greensboro Children’s Museum

The Market grocery store exhibit at the Greensboro Children’s Museum reopened Friday with a new design and updated décor, food products and fixtures. The market, which helps teach children about food, nutrition and life skills like sourcing nutritious ingredients and counting money, had been modeled after Greensboro-based specialty grocer The Fresh Market since 2007. The Fresh Market contributed more than $35,000 in sponsorship money, architect design and vendor contributions to modernize The Market. The reopening event included free admission for the first 50 visitors, plus food samples and live entertainment.

An interesting article in today's newspaper

Hearty welcome: City hails apparel company Centric Brands with block party, Ferris wheel. Page A2

Weekend events commemorate 40th anniversary of Greensboro Massacre

GREENSBORO — They lost their lives here, on a weekend 40 years ago as people gathered for a Community Workers Party “Death to the Klan” march and a conference to organize workers at local textile mills.

The youngest victim, Cesar Vicente Cauce, was a 25-year-old Cuban immigrant and magna cum laude graduate of Duke University.

Sandra Neely Smith, called “Sandy” by friends, had a nursing degree. The 28-year-old had been a natural leader as far back as Bennett College, where she served as student body president before graduating in 1973.

William Evan Sampson, 31, was a recent graduate of Harvard Divinity School.

The two others were physicians — Dr. Michael Ronald Nathan, 32, and Dr. James Michael Waller, 36. Nathan was the chief of pediatrics at Durham’s Lincoln Community Health Center. Waller had given up his medical practice to organize workers and later served as president of a local textile workers’ union.

As they prepared to march, they were confronted by a group of Ku Klux Klan members and neo-Nazis arriving in a caravan. Marchers beat on the cars as they passed and both sides fired shots in the ensuing gunbattle.

Anniversary observances continue this weekend, with discussions, a dance performance and an interfaith worship service:

Educational and Movement-Building Panels and Workshops: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, Nov. 2, Bennett College’s Pfeiffer Chapel, 498 Bennett St., and Black Hall. Special musical tribute by the Fruit of Labor singing ensemble.

Contra-Tiempo performance of “joyUS justUS”: 7 p.m. today, Nov. 2, N.C. A&T’s Harrison Auditorium, 1009 Bluford St. The Los Angeles-based multilingual, urban-based dance company employs salsa and Afro-Cuban rhythms, hip-hop and more. Company founder and artistic director Ana Maria Alvarez graduated from Grimsley High School in 1994, and danced with the E. Gwynn Dancers at N.C. A&T. Tickets are free, but required for admission. Order tickets at www.greensboro massacrelessonstoday.org/greensboro-events or by calling Beloved Community Center at 336-230-001.

Memorial Church Service: 10 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at Faith Community Church, 147 Arlington St.

Interfaith Worship Service: 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, Shiloh Baptist Church, 1210 S. Eugene St. The focus of the service will be “The Role of Church Communities in Today’s Quest for Economic, Racial, Environmental and Social Transformation,” featuring the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, formerly of Greensboro and now clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA). A reception will follow.

Admission is free, but registration is encouraged. Visit www.greensboro massacrelessonstoday.org.