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The Daily Tar Heel

All up in your business Feb. 3, 2012

Front Porch leaving Franklin

Front Porch Bar & Grill may have closed its Franklin Street doors on Wednesday, but it won’t be gone for long.

The bar is relocating to a new location that hasn’t been set, said owner Billy Scott.

Scott said several reasons — the cramped space, minimal parking and an uncooperative relationship with the landlord — prompted the move from Franklin Street.

“It’s an ideal location because it’s downtown Franklin Street, but it’s also not.”

Scott said he hopes to move the restaurant to a shopping center, partly because of its free parking lot.

“The older students here that drive that come in two to three times a week, they’ll probably come out if they want one of my burgers or something,” he said.

Scott said the business wants to move as soon as possible, but must wait for the town to approve its permit, which will take at least 30 days.

The Mushroom’s back in town

After seven years, Mellow Mushroom is returning to Chapel Hill.

The restaurant, known for its quirky decor and signature pizzas, will open at the old location of Ham’s across the street from the Franklin Hotel.

Karen Halsey, co-owner of the new Chapel Hill site, said the town’s previous Mellow Mushroom, located at 1502 E. Franklin St., closed in 2005.

“I’m a Chapel Hill graduate, so I’m excited to be back there,” she said. “Every Mellow Mushroom is different and has its own personality. … We want it to be unique to Chapel Hill and still have the same great pizza.”

Halsey, who is also the co-owner of the Mellow Mushroom in Raleigh, said the restaurant will ideally be open by late summer, before UNC students return in the fall.

“It’s a much better location, there’s a lot more foot traffic, a lot more visibility.”

He’s Not Here sale imminent

The sale of Chapel Hill’s iconic bar He’s Not Here should be finalized in just days.

Though the deal was not completed by Feb. 1 as initially planned, the deal is still on the table, said Michael DePersia, broker for National Restaurant Properties, which was hired by owner David Kitzmiller to market the business.

“It’s just like buying a house,” he said. “You have surprises and just trying to finish up things last minute. It should be any day now.”

Neal DePersia, who owns the firm, said the bar is expected to be sold to two men — one of whom is a UNC alum who played football for the school in the 1980s.

“(We’re) just working through the details,” he said.

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According to DePersia, the new owners plan to keep He’s Not — which is famous for its Blue Cup and its dive-bar atmosphere — the way it is.

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