From her vantage point in the kitchen, Tara Reaves can see diners get up, one by one, and walk to the table tucked into a nook at the front of her restaurant. She’s not listening to what regular Chase Buttice tells other diners, but she can read their body language and facial expressions.
“Oftentimes, I see emotional exchanges,” says Reaves, co-owner of downtown Greensboro’s ’Cille & ‘Scoe (312 South Elm Street). “It is so powerful to watch.”
Buttice, a self-identified modern mystic, is a fixture at this Southern restaurant’s weekend brunches. From her semi-private table at the front of the space, she provides brief astrology readings to interested diners.
It’s a unique setup, but also a simple one. Waitstaff informs tables they can sign up for a mini reading — usually 10 to 20 minutes — and provide a signup sheet. It costs $1 per minute, and ’Cille & ’Scoe doesn’t take a cut.
“I’m usually completely booked the whole time I’m there,” Buttice says. “A lot of the time, I will do an entire table of people, many times friends, other times entire families. They will come to my table one at a time. Generally, they are so excited and uplifted — they can’t wait to return and share what they discovered about themselves.”
That’s what motivated Reaves to suggest the partnership. When she first learned that Buttice, a customer, was an astrologer who had recently moved to town from California, Reaves asked for a reading.
“She then asked if I might be willing to come in and do mini-readings for people during brunch, and voila, Astrology + Brunch was born,” Buttice says. She usually works with people in private, either in her office or over Zoom, though she’s done birthday parties, bachelorettes, and a range of other events including movie premiers. But she’s never worked with a restaurant before.
Reaves, a Taurus and “sensitive, emotional, and stubborn empath,” immediately saw the value in sharing Buttice’s insights with customers. While some people are drawn to the restaurant by the readings, it’s less about the business angle and more about the environment she’s cultivating.
“We are living in such an unknown time, and Chase is so good at giving people perspective, comfort, and confidence,” says Reaves, who owns the restaurant with her husband Sean (an Aries). “Every single time she comes, the chair across from her steadily has people warming the seat the entire brunch. She really knows how to validate, listen, and give sound advice.”
That was Reaves’ experience too, prompting her to suggest a residency of sorts.
“She has read me multiple times and it is such a feel-good conversation,” Reaves says. “I am under an immense amount of stress and am a super anxious person. I also am guilty of micro-managing and controlling more than I need to. She encourages and reassures me that I am walking in my path with this restaurant opening.”
There’s only so much Buttice can cover in the short sessions. She starts with a diner’s birthdate, time, and location.
“Because it is a mini-reading, I generally ask them if they have any outstanding questions they want to bring to the table,” she says. “A lot of people do, others don’t. Astrology can be infinitely complex, so when you’re in a scenario where most people know nothing about their charts, it’s best to stay simple and go with the first intuitive hit of what I see revealing itself in the chart. This can be things such as karmic patterns to overcome, wounding one is working through in this life, life purpose, talents, and destiny points.”
Buttice isn’t at the restaurant every week. Instead, her appearances are more like monthly special events, promoted by the restaurant. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, but one that arguably helps their shared customers most.
“I am a very positive and uplifting astrologer,” Buttice says. “I only take out the most positive aspects and enhance and grow those. I want people to leave my table feeling inspired, empowered, and uplifted and that is generally what they feel when they leave. It’s my little love letter to Greensboro, as this town has been so sweet to me in so many ways.”