Franklin Street restaurant looks for food truck venue
Despite the impending demolition of University Square, students won’t have to worry about missing out on their chicken cheddar biscuit from Time-Out.
The comfort food restaurant, which has been a Chapel Hill staple for 35 years, is hitting the road — in the form of a food truck.
The food truck was parked outside of the Franklin Street location last week while Eddie Williams, the owner of Time-Out, searched for a location in town to begin serving out of the truck.
“We started the food truck last February, and we’ve done food truck rodeos in Raleigh and Durham, along with private parties,” Williams said.
“We have done little to nothing in Chapel Hill because it’s tough finding the right place to do it.”
Williams said he has to find a viable location for his truck and work out an agreement with the owner of the site where the food truck will be located.
“It is hard finding a location with the same amenities as the current location because we have free parking, close vicinity to Granville Towers and the same location for 35 years,” he said.
In May, the Chapel Hill Town Council rewrote the town’s food truck rules to lower the regulatory fee and allow trucks more catering opportunities. Judy Johnson, senior planner with the town, said Time-Out does not yet have the requisite permits to operate in Chapel Hill.
“Food truck owners must get a business license and pay the annual regulatory fee of $200,” she said. “The county health department handles the health aspect, which includes the sanitation of the food and cleanliness of the truck.”
Williams said the food truck offers a shorter menu that includes chicken cheddar biscuits, macaroni and cheese and shredded chicken barbecue.
Williams said that the closing of the University Square location wouldn’t be the end of Time-Out in Chapel Hill.
“The food truck is not supposed to be a replacement for the store — I’ve been looking at 10 to 15 places once this one closes,” he said.
Sophomore Bailey Castillo said she noticed the Time-Out truck and is glad the restaurant will still have a presence in Chapel Hill.
“I think it’s a smart idea because they can continue getting students to visit,” she said.
But some students said the elusive nature of food trucks made it hard to find the trucks on a consistent basis.
“I don’t know where to find the food trucks — maybe if they came at night so students can try it,” Castillo said.
Williams said he is optimistic about the future of Time-Out, and the eatery is not going anywhere.
“I’m not going to close down, we’re open 24 hours a day,” he said. “I’ll find something.”
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