When Karen Halsey and Kent Hodges made plans to open a new Mellow Mushroom in Chapel Hill, they hoped to have it up and running in time for the new school year.
But an unexpected sewer line has pushed that date back by at least four months, said Hodges, co-owner of the Wake Forest, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill Mellow Mushroom restaurants.
“We were hoping to be open by August,” he said. “That’s not going to happen, obviously.”
The sewer line was found under the restaurant’s patio — which will be located where Ham’s used to be at 310 W. Franklin St. — has prevented the owners from moving forward in construction process.
The pipe serves both what will become the Mellow Mushroom and the Shortbread Lofts, which is also being developed, said Greg Feller, the public affairs administrator for Orange Water and Sewer Authority.
Feller said in an email that OWASA had reached an agreement with the property owners to relocate the sanitary sewer pipe.
“We understand the state has approved the sewer relocation plans,” he said in an email. “We are waiting for state approval of the water line improvements for these projects.”
Feller said OWASA does not keep track of privately-owned pipes.
“We don’t have maps of where people put in, or have put in privately-owned pipes,” he said. “We’re a public water utility and there’s no requirement that people give us that information.”