Biz hoping Wednesdays become time for 'Wailin' in Pailin'


Shown are attendees at the first "Wailin' Wednesday" concert in Pailin's Alley in downtown, Elizabeth City, Wednesday. Adam Nixon's Uphill Blues band performed for the first concert. Other Wednesday concerts are planned for the remainder of the summer and early fall.


By William F. West
Staff Writer

Monday, July 16, 2018

Two local entrepreneurs are hoping locals start thinking of Wednesday evenings as a time for “Wailin’ in Pailin.”

Jim Nye, owner of Hoppin’ Johnz New South Cuisine, and Thomas Reese, co-owner of Ghost Harbor Brewing Co., held their first “Wailin’ Wednesday” event last week in Pailin Alley. The event, held in the alley that connects East Colonial Avenue with Elizabeth Street in downtown Elizabeth City, features free live music from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Adam Nixon’s Uphill Blues band performed for the first Wailin’ Wednesday last week. Nye and Reese plan to feature other local bands during those three hours each Wednesday for the rest of the summer and early fall. Baker Street and Home Bru are among the other bands scheduled to perform.

“We’re trying to have Pailin’s Alley become its own entity, its own identity,” Nye said last week. “I’d like to look at it as: Pailin’s Alley Presents.”

Reese credits Nye with coming up with what he believes is a great idea. Wailin Wednesdays obviously is a good way to promote Hoppin’ Johnz and Ghost Harbor Brewing Co., both of which open into the alley.

However, Reese believes Wailin’ Wednesdays also will give people who want to spend more time downtown another reason to do so. The fact they can do it on Wednesday, a day in the middle of the week when not much else is going on, makes the event even more attractive.

Reese said Nye in fact came to him and asked, “How about we pick a day of the week and we own it?”

Nye said he did something similar to Wailin’ Wednesdays when he operated a restaurant in Portsmouth, Virginia.

“The driving factor, in my opinion, is it’s right after work,” Nye said. “It’s not, ‘Go home and come back downtown.’”

Elizabeth City Downtown Development Director Deborah Malenfant said she likes the fact businesses near the alley are working together to bring people downtown and not just to one business.

“It’s great to see them all working together for the benefit of all,” Malenfant said.

Reese said Coasters Downtown Draught House on Poindexter Street may also join Wailin’ Wednesdays. He said the pub-eatery has signed on in support of the project.