At Chucktown Tavern, you get to hear your neighbors sing. The joint booms with karaoke every single night of the week as patrons try their pipes on numbers from the DJ's selection of hundreds of karaoke tracks. Melodies of popular tunes and weekend performances from local bands drift towards the kitchen, where head chef Hope Young and her kitchen crew fold locally grown produce into classic breakfasts, sandwiches, and seafood dishes. She stuffs burgers with filings such as marinara, pepperoni, pimento cheese, and jalapeños, piling the patties onto freshly baked breads. Glasses click together, spilling rivulets of imported beer and cocktails into cool rings on wooden tables. The revelry pours out onto the front courtyard, where patrons recline in padded furniture like kings or cool pieces of wood a king found and named.
Ron Haynes and his daughter, Jessie, have built a business from smiling faces. They don't snap yearbook photos or transform dentist gloves into balloon animals. Instead, they helm teeth-whitening shops that brighten smiles in 20 minutes. Since 2005, they have brightened over 50,000 smiles annually across five states. The locations in North Carolina offer either convenience at their South Park Mall kiosk or privacy at their office locations. Armed with Beaming White, a special light activated gel teeth-whitening system that pairs a peroxide-based gel with a UV-free LED light, their team of technicians helps clients brighten their choppers with an applicator pen. An applicator pen exposes the teeth so the gel and light reach every inch of enamel. Once the light unites with the gel, coffee, tea, and grass stains begin to vanish. Teeth continue to lighten after the treatment, achieving a color that's 3-7 shades whiter over the course of 24 hours. With proper care, results can last up to 12 months, or roughly the time it takes to adapt the phonebook into a comedic opera.
Serving prime steaks cut by the century-old Allen Brothers firm, Neil Jordan's supplies diners with fresh seafood, meal-bridging brunchstuffs, and upscale dinner options. For brunch, fork open a blue-crab omelette's fluffy eggshell ($10), or claim a steak and eggs ($18) before meat prospectors start panning it for elusive beef crystals. In the evening, a light rain of blue-cheese fondue or truffle butter drizzles on prime rib eyes ($33/14 oz.) working over creamed spinach ($7) or whipped potatoes ($7). Pan-seared golden sea bass ($29) brings out diners' most thrilling scuba stories as tongues swim through goat cheese and tarragon risotto and reefs of peach coulis. A staggering collection of wine bottles lines the golden-hued halls of Neil Jordan's, which fill with the sounds of clinking stemware and the distant echo of one glass hand clapping.
The multitalented chefs at Sakura Japanese Steakhouse emphasize quality ingredients and artful presentation in each and every dish. The traditional Japanese dining room features a central hibachi grill that sears vegetables, steak, and seafood in an inferno of sizzling oils and bright yellow flames. Sakura’s more coolheaded sushi chefs swirl hand and specialty rolls—crafted from shrimp tempura, softshell crab, and salmon—behind chilled cases of fresh fish. Indecisive diners can request omakase meals, assortments of seasonal dishes handpicked by the chef to showcase culinary skill and an ability to match meals to wallpaper swatches.
Husband-and-wife dental team Drs. Jeanine and Jeffrey Gourdine—both South Carolina natives and graduates of the Medical University of South Carolina—hold the keys to a healthy, dazzling grin. At the helm of Smile Center of Knightsville, they enhance or entirely revamp smiles with an arsenal of advanced technology that includes digital imaging, laser dentistry, and intraoral cameras, enabling them to treat teeth to a wealth of general and cosmetic services. Before applying veneers or straightening teeth with clear braces, the dentists assess each patient’s oral health and explain the procedure. They’re also careful to explain what they’re doing during exams with children, helping each kid grasp the importance of fluoride and going over ways to clean teeth that don’t involve chewing a bar of soap before bed each night.