How we came to be:
When we arrived in the village of Saxapahaw in 2007 the very beginnings of life in an abandoned community were occurring with the completion of the Rivermill Apartments and beginnings of Saturdays in Saxapahaw. Though the remnants of old life lingered, abandonment was apparent in the visage of the Upper Mill.
We heard the calling to help re-establish a town’s center, as it once had been years before when the Mill acted as a center point for labor and livelihood.
The Eddy was created to bring community interaction back to a central point in the village of Saxapahaw, much like the purpose of many of the village pubs in England. We desired a place where everyone felt welcome, where Saxapahaw could essentially invite All into its “living room”, and where a connection with people and with the food was possible.
We set out to design a space and an experience which values meaningful and thoughtful interchanges with others- staff, customers, farmers, suppliers, and our neighbors…and since the birth of this purpose in 2008, seeing it come to life in 2010 we are happy to share the product of this attempt with you via The Eddy.
In keeping with this ideal of cultural sustainability, our food purpose closely ties us to the healthy growth of fruits and vegetables and animals. We place a high value on local farmers and their resources as we strive to care for their products as much as they have, in turn giving you the highest quality food possible.
Who we are
Our Mission and Core Values reflect our dedication to this community we exist in: economically, environmentally, socially, and nutritionally. Everyday we aim to leave our home better than we found it, and we hope that work is tangible to you.
It was always a goal for The Eddy to feel like “Saxapahaw’s living room” as much as a goal for the teams of staff to feel more like a Family than simply workmates. We feel very honored to have the opportunity to work alongside The Eddy Family we respect and care for. If you don’t know them already, please meet Our Family.
The renovation of The Eddy Pub included added various green systems such as:
- solar hot water
- geothermal cooling of the kitchen
- a clerestory in the kitchen to bring natural light into a prominent workspace
- double paned windows
- energy efficient lighting
- major material reuse from old building
- water-conservative toilets and sinks
Our own sustainable operational practices include using:
- all kitchen food waste to feed Allyson’s pigs
- all restaurant food waste to feed Rocky Run Farm’s compost pile
- all eggshells are saved, dried, and crushed to provide calcium for the plants of Rocky Run Farm
- purchasing compostable disposable goods only
- using CFL bulbs when possible
- emphasizing draft beer to reduce recycling burdens
- environmentally friendly sanitizers and cleaning products
- preserving foods during abundant times of the year
- cooking oil recycling
Read our posts on our continued efforts in this area.
The Eddy Pub’s design pays homage to the mill village, a cornerstone of twentieth century North Carolina culture, both in purposeful historical and cultural style. Its simple and thoughtful design leaves the original look of the mill intact, with furnishings that were made from artifacts of the place and allow spaces for comfortable gathering. The atmosphere inside invites everyone in the village to gather and to feel welcome. The pub’s sensibility remembers its working-class heritage while using innovations to protect the ecology of the Haw.
Much of the design was based on what we saw this purpose of The Eddy being; some examples include the table sizes which were carefully measured and planned for conversation between two people or joined with other tables for conversation with more people, the optimization of corners at the bar for interaction with others, the lighting to be golden and low for a feeling of warmth and safety, the placement of the tables ideal for excess noise to be absorbed by each structural bay, a bookcase for swapping books or storing activities for adults and children to be entertained, the bar height and depth to assure friendly interactions with the bar tender as well as ergonomically comfortable for the bartender.
The Eddy ( your local pub )
When you visit, you’ll notice very little inside the pub is new. The space retains its original red brick walls, sturdy wooden beams, and austere concrete floor. Period furniture collected from antique stores and hand-picked from Craig’s List furnishes the room, and reused glass bottles hang over the bar as lighting fixtures. Reclaimed maple flooring has become table tops and entrance knee-walls, and an old spring-loaded yarn storage bin forms a peninsular seating area off the bar. Metal piping and wood spindles are the beer tap columns and handles, and Redwood slats from mill cooling towers line the walls to soften the sound.
The Eddy pub’s original version of the Coat of Arms was specially designed using area elements to represent purpose, place, prosperity, and security. And the door, which features blue glass from the original window panes repurposed ceiling boards, uses as its handle a piece of rebar—a tribute to North Carolina native Eddie Williams, the pub’s namesake, who spent his early career working as a “rodbuster” on projects in Chapel Hill and all over the East Coast.
To honor the space outside the mill, we have equipped the whole building with geothermal wells for heating and cooling of the spaces. The kitchen’s water is heated with solar electricity, and much of its daytime lighting comes in naturally from a clerestory constructed in the center portion of its roof. A series of ramps and stairs allows full access to the spaces without the use of an elevator. New double paned windows in the fashion of the original windows add efficiency of heating and cooling. And when the upper mill finds its renovation completed, the toilets will be flushed with grey water for optimum sustainability.
The Farm Table Room—
The former site of the Mill’s Dye Laboratory for concocting dye solutions is the site for our special dining options. This room features long tables crafted by hand by Eamonn O’Brien of Red Oak slabs from Alamance County, and oak bases that were milled, planed, and constructed in Chatham County. The room features its original floor and steel support beams, and its warm simplicity invites guests to interact within a cozy farm to fork event, family-style dining experience, or private function. See Events page for more info on special events in the Farm Table Room.
Overlooking the Haw River, the patio’s weathered steel drink rail is broad enough to hold a plate of food along with a pint of one of our special brews so that your gaze can remain on the sunsets, village and the river. We have purposefully chosen to have down lit solar lights on the tables so that when the beautiful daytime scenery turns to stars at night they are just as enjoyable as the view of the river. We’ve been around the pub and restaurant scene, and we think this is one of the most special spots to enjoy a drink and some food.
Perched at the top of the Haw River Ballroom, this spot opens from the pub to provide guests a peek at Saxapahaw’s beautiful center for music, film, and art. Formerly the home of large drying vats in the old cotton mill, this room is an expansive celebration of its heritage. The paint on the walls is original to the mill and one of the drying vats remains on its massive concrete stand. Owners Heather and Tom LaGarde and Margaret Jemison have removed one floor of the space for a breath-taking forty-four feet high ceiling, and they’ve added floor to ceiling windows to honor the views to the outside. The mezzanine allows special access on some evenings to the Ballroom, a space truly to celebrate.
Saxapahaw is a village of integrity, tradition, labor, natural beauty, and purpose. We find ourselves here for one reason or another, and with that we are able to create and find peace with our missions. See more about the surroundings and businesses here.