Carr Mill Mall – Smelling back in time

Carr Mill is a tiny little mall in Carrboro, NC. It features a small collection of local boutiques, several art studios, a cool toy store, and famous eating spots such as Elmo’s Diner (a long-time favorite in the area).

I’m currently in the Chapel Hill for the holidays and am looking forward to visiting all of my old stomping grounds. I never actually spent much time in Carr Mill when I was growing up, but it was always a staple. And a lot has changed about the mall. Many of the older shops I remember are gone (such as the used bookstore, and Burt’s Bees). The shops that are there now are very expensive and for me, just eye-candy.

Carr Mill Mall, decorated for Christmas.
Carr Mill Mall, decorated for Christmas.

The one thing about Carr Mill that always stands out is the distinct smell. The building used to be a cotton mill that they converted into a mall.  The interior is all wood, and the best way I can think of to describe the smell is musty. In a good way. I have no idea what others think of it, but I love it. That is one thing that has NOT changed at Carr Mill, and I’m glad. Whenever I step inside, I catch a wisp of that smell, and I’m transported back to 1997, out with my family to discover the shops. Or out with my friend and her family for 8th grade graduation lunch at Elmo’s!

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