UNC sophomore Hannah Fussell said she was initially angry when she heard news of the Tomato Jake’s takeover because she thought they would not offer the pink basil pasta.
“It’s basically the best dish on Franklin,” she said.
And though the walls have been repainted, the mural of UNC’s 1993 NCAA basketball championship remains intact — a feature Gordon said they also decided to keep after hearing from customers.
“The response we got really opened our eyes,” he said.
But not everything will remain the same. The new restaurant will feature a pinball machine, by-the-slice pizza and free wi-fi, Gordon said.
He said renovations are right on schedule, with the pinball machine set to arrive this week.
“I expect to be done remodeling by mid-June,” he said while adding that he did not want to close the restaurant during that period.
Gordon said based on the success of the Tomato Jake’s near the Streets at Southpoint in Durham, he thinks the Franklin Street location will see a good turnout.
“Over the last six years we’ve gotten a steady flow of Carolina students,” he said.
Gordon said he plans to lower prices in order to attract more customers.
“The one mistake that businesses on Franklin Street make is they’re too expensive,” he said.
Gordon said Franklin Street Pizza & Pasta offers more pasta items than pizza, but he plans to offer more pizza by-the-slice.
“I want people to be able to come in and grab a slice,” he said.
Despite all of the new features, some students are sad to see the 18-year old restaurant change.
“It’s kind of strange because this place has been here for so long and it’s losing it’s original flavor,” said junior Ian Kim.
Check out student comments from a previous Daily Tar Heel story on the restaurant leaving:
They better not paint over the wall mural of the ’93 championship in the back.
this news just ruined my day. RIP the best garlic knots, penne pink basil and some of the best memories i have from college. Craig is a phenomenal guy and loves the UNC student body. sad day.
seriously…SOOOO EXCITED. i LOVE Tomato Jake’s! can’t wait til i don’t have to go all the way to southpoint for their buffalo chicken pizza!!