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The Daily Tar Heel

The Lodge replaced with TRU Deli & Wine

Dwight DeBree really wanted a good turkey sandwich. So when he couldn’t find one in Chapel Hill, he opened TRU Deli & Wine.

“I wanted a true deli sandwich down here,” he said.

TRU, which opened last Friday at 114 Henderson St., is a deli by day and a wine bar by night.

The location formerly housed The Lodge Bar and Grill, which opened last year.

DeBree, who is originally from New Jersey but graduated from UNC in 1988, said he couldn’t find a good, reasonably-priced turkey sandwich.

TRU roasts its own turkey, roast beef and bacon, and offers a build-your-own-sandwich menu from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

DeBree said customers have liked the menu so far. He even said one customer ordered a sandwich with six ounces of bacon.

The wine bar is open Thursday through Saturday, starting at 5 p.m. And the restaurant can be reserved Sunday through Wednesday evenings for private events.

TRU has outdoor seating, a low-lit indoor bar and a rooftop patio with a 30-person table — but the restaurant has no official sign yet.

“We rushed to get the doors open,” DeBree said.

DeBree said he isn’t worried about TRU, even though The Lodge struggled with business. In January, the restaurant changed its menu to include tapas in hopes of improving business.

“We’re hoping to spread through word of mouth … I want regular customers above anything else,” he said.

DeBree, who graduated from the Kenan-Flagler Business School in 1992, has several unique business practices. For instance, the restaurant takes no cash or tips.

Some students said they wouldn’t mind the policy.

Junior Sean Reynolds, who said he went to The Lodge a few times last year, said TRU’s no-cash policy would be fine with him.

“I usually pay with cards, so I don’t think that would deter me,” he said.

Senior Natalia Smirnova said she knows some students earn cash tips at work, but she thinks the cards-only policy has its advantages.

“I think cards-only is less inconvenient than cash-only,” she said.

DeBree has embraced technology in his business model, and the restaurant also accepts bar orders by iPhone.

“We’re using technology to be able to offer really high quality at reasonable prices,” DeBree said.

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