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The Daily Tar Heel

Franklin Street Pub Turns Bottoms Up

The 201 E. Franklin St. space, which formerly housed Blue Marlin Pub, was leased Tuesday to Turtles CIV Inc.

Walter Webster, a 2000 UNC graduate and partner in Turtles CIV Inc., said the company will open a new pub called Bottoms Up in the space.

Webster and his partner Chris Ferguson, an N.C. State University undergraduate, entered into their first joint business venture with the deal, Webster said. Webster and Ferguson said a third partner will join Turtles CIV Inc. when he turns 21.

Webster said he has never owned a business, while Ferguson said he was previously the owner of Funtasia, a family fun center in Durham.

Despite their inexperience, the two partners are confident that Bottoms Up will be a success. "I know our corporation can do this, do it well and make good money at it," Webster said.

Webster said Bottoms Up will be closed for about a week while the owners apply for necessary permits, do minor renovations and prepare the inventory.

He also said that when the pub opens, the new owners will reach out to University fraternity and sorority communities and the area's community of young professionals.

"We want (fraternities and sororities) to know that we're available and will work with them to make their mixers a success," Webster said.

But Bottoms Up will not cater to underage drinkers, he said. "We want to work very closely with the state (Alcohol Law Enforcement)," Webster said. "Bottoms Up will not be a place where the cops end up every weekend."

Webster also said the pub will maintain a competent and professional staff to help it become a "classy and fun place for the professional communities in Chapel Hill and Raleigh to come and relax."

In Tuesday's deal, Pita Bread Inc., the former owner of Blue Marlin Pub, transferred its assets to Turtles CIV Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The owners of Bottoms Up signed a new lease for the space with NDP, Limited Liability Corp. of Chapel Hill.

The contract marked the fifth time since 1995 that the space had changed hands. Jim Paliouras, a managing partner in NDP, LLC, said the building, which now houses Bottoms Up, Caffe Trio and Hector's, burned in 1991. The building reopened in 1995. Paliouras said since then a video arcade, a club and two bars have occupied the space now leased by Bottoms Up.

Craig Jackson, president of Pita Bread Inc., said previous business turnover in the space should not be too much of a concern for the new proprietors. He also said he had had no problems bringing people into Blue Marlin Pub.

"There were a couple of businesses before me. I think I've proved you can make a business run down here."

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