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The Daily Tar Heel

All Up In Your Business for July 12, 2012

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The Rathskeller

Rathskeller will not re-open again

The latest attempt to revive The Rathskeller has failed.

Mary Stockwell, building manager for the 157 E. Franklin St. property, said on March 9 she terminated Diane Fountain’s lease, who had hoped to re-open “the Rat.”

Stockwell said Fountain did not pay her rent.

She also said it was unlikely the Rat restaurant would ever move back into its old site, due to the high cost of repairs needed to reopen in that space.

She said estimates put the cost of repairs between $800,000 and $1 million.

“We have started considering other possibilities for the space,” Stockwell said.

Fountain said in an email that Stockwell failed to make any repairs to the building.

But Stockwell said she’s been working on permanently fixing the building’s structural damage.

“It’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide a safe building,” she said.

Fountain said in an email she plans to try to open the Rat in another location.

BSki’s making change-skis

Born and bred in Chapel Hill, BSki’s owners say they’re ready to expand the restaurant.

Brad Smith, co-owner of BSki’s, said they will allow others to buy a franchise of the restaurant.

Smith said the process began about two months ago. A website has also been launched to showcase the franchising option.

He said they would like to open franchises in other college towns.

“Anywhere from North Carolina to South Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia and D.C.” he said.

Tennessee is also a possible franchise site.

Smith said he had several parties interested in buying a franchise, but no deals have been finalized yet.

BSki’s is also about to expand its beverage offerings.

Another touch-screen drink machine with more than 125 flavors will be installed for delivery orders soon.

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Smith said they don’t use the current machine for deliveries, as it would hinder in-store customers.

No tenant yet for former Gumby’s site

Though landlords were hopeful that the former home of Gumby’s Pizza, at 306 W. Franklin St., would be filled by the end of the summer, they have not finalized a deal yet.

The space has been vacant since June, when Gumby’s was shut down for failing to pay rent after operating there for 18 years.

The building is owned and was taken over by Zapolski Real Estate after Gumby’s shut down.

Sabrina Jones, director of East Coast operations for Zapolski, said they were still looking at offers from several different businesses to take over the space.

“We have a ton of interested parties,” she said. “But no lease has been signed yet.”

Jones said it is likely a lease with a new tenant will be signed by the time schools reopen.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean a new business will be ready to open at that time, she said.

“We’re just not sure at this point,” Jones said.

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