“Around 4:30 to 5, maybe closer to 5, we first heard that Carrboro Police Department had blocked an intersection, I think it was West Main and West Weaver,” he said. “Details started to come out that it was connected to the UNC event and they were concerned that there might be some sort of bomb or some sort of device there.”
Corbell said the evacuation area soon expanded to include his restaurant – The Spotted Dog and nearby businesses received automated calls around 5:30 p.m. stating there was a mandatory evacuation order.
The order came when The Spotted Dog was transitioning to serving dinner, and Corbell said only one small group of guests remained. After the dinners were finished and paid, the rest of the staff evacuated as well as the customers.
“While we were shutting down, we had probably another half-dozen people or so come up and want to dine with us, so we told them what was going on, and none of them had really even heard about it,” he said. “At that point, I think unless you just happened to have the news on or, like us, you were on a calling list, I’m not sure if people really knew about it.”
Corbell said they received an all-clear around 7:30 p.m., but decided to stay closed for the night because employees had already been sent home.
Armadillo Grill managerBryan Myrick said the area near the restaurant was not evacuated, so they stayed open until their usual closing time at 11 p.m.
“We knew we weren’t really in harm’s way, only because we knew they would give us more information if we needed to evacuate.” he said. “But we weren’t in that area, so I guess many of the patrons from that area came to Armadillo Grill because we were still open.”
Despite the commotion, Myrick said employees were still able to get to work and the restaurant was mostly unaffected.
Corbell said he noticed his restaurant received fewer guests on Friday but was unsure whether this was due to Thursday’s events because most diners did not mention the evacuations.
Lafferty said any effects from the event quickly subsided, with customers again filling the shops that were ordered to evacuate by police Thursday afternoon.
“I think once the police cleared it, I think they did a great job and kept the public informed, and once they cleared it, it’s been business as usual.”