All Up in Your Business

Sheraton restaurant turns Southern

Last month, Shula’s 347, a steakhouse franchise located in the Sheraton Hotel on Europa Drive, was converted to Carolina 1663 — an independent restaurant featuring Southern cuisine.

Executive Chef Ches McLane said the change came after declining sales, which he blamed on a formal atmosphere and higher price range.

“We just weren’t getting the support from the community,” he said.“It was a special-occasion restaurant.”

He said he thinks people in Chapel Hill might be less receptive to franchise restaurants, and that contributed to low sales.

McLane said prices at Carolina 1663 range from about $12 to $26. Specialties include Southern fare such as chicken and dumplings, shrimp and grits and fried chicken breasts.

McLane said the restaurant has maintained the Shula’s wait staff. He said now that staff is no longer subject to franchise rules, the restaurant will be a more casual place for employees.

“Our servers get to be more at home,” he said.

“They’re all very excited.”

Carolina 1663 is open for lunch every day and for dinner Monday through Saturday. The restaurant is open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday for dinner.

Korean bistro brings array of choices

Imagine a buffet-style restaurant where customers choose from a variety of ingredients and mix them together.

That’s the basic idea behind the Korean dish Bibimbap, which literally means “mixed rice,” and the specialty at Mixed Casual Korean Bistro, which opened Friday at 1404 E. Franklin St.

“It’s a similar concept to Chipotle,” owner Jimmy Kim said.

To order, customers choose what types of rice, vegetables, proteins and sauces they want in their Bibimbap. They also have the option of adding a fried egg on top for an extra 50 cents.

“It does give it a different texture and taste,” Kim said.

The menu also features Jeon — Korean pancakes, marinated wings and glass noodles.

The official grand opening was Monday, and Kim said so far, customers have given his restaurant positive reviews.

“People have given me great feedback and said everything tastes very fresh,” he said.

“One customer came in three times.”

Mixed is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. All items cost less than $10.

Korchipi rebrands, keeps Korean theme

Korchipi Korean Chicken and Pizza is the latest name to leave the storefront at 163 E. Franklin St. with the restaurant’s rebranding as Chopsticks and More.

In May, new owner Sharon Huh took over the restaurant, deciding the menu should shift from pizza and chicken dishes with a Korean twist to more traditional Korean food.

“We offer a lot more,” she said, while adding that some of the chicken items from Korchipi would be kept, and the prices would be similar.

The space occupied by Chopsticks and More has seen a variety of tenants pass through in the last two years. In 2012, Tomato Jake’s Pizzeria took over the space after the closing of the long-open Franklin Street Pizza and Pasta, which had been a favorite among students.

But Tomato Jake’s closed its doors in December to make way for another pizza restaurant — the now-rebranded Korchipi.

Huh said business has been slow this summer due to a lack of students, but said she thinks that will change. She added she is not worried about competition from newly opened Mixed Casual Korean Bistro.

“Distance-wise, we are kind of far away,” she said.

The restaurant’s current hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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