“We certainly were looking for tenants that we thought the community would appreciate,” Benedict said.
Cameron’s Gallery, a gift shop in Chapel Hill, will move to the 300 East Main development after 31 years at its University Mall location.
“Our lease was coming up, and we decided to look at other options,” said co-owner Wendy Smith.
“We thought the idea of being underneath a hotel was pretty exciting.”
Smith said she thinks her business — which she hopes to reopen by July — will gain some new customers at the new location, but also continue to serve old ones.
Benedict said one of the benefits of leasing in a new development is that tenants can create their own layout.
“Because the walls are not there, it allows us to move walls and really accommodate businesses,” she said.
Hickory Tavern, a Charlotte-based family dining and sports cafe, will open a restaurant in the development. The restaurant has 14 locations throughout North Carolina.
Kenneth Yowell, an owner of Moonlight Management LLC, said his company is opening two of the restaurants in the development.
Yowell said he’s eager to take advantage of the flexibility of the space.
“300 East Main being a new, ground-up development has allowed us to open two restaurants that will share a single kitchen,” he said.
Yowell said one restaurant will serve empanadas and will be similar to the company’s Calavera Empanada & Tequila Bar in Raleigh.
“We hope to expand the menu slightly and offer a few things beyond just empanadas,” Yowell said in an email.
He said that while they hope to stick to a core menu of Latin comfort food, they want to create a more extensive tequila list.
Moonlight Management’s second restaurant in the 300 East Main development will be East Main Meatball Shoppe.
The meatball restaurant will offer a variety of meatball sandwiches.
Yowell said he and his partners had their sights set on 300 East Main and never considered leasing another space.
Yowell said he plans to open both restaurants in September.
“This was where we really wanted to be and we feel really fortunate to have found what we hope is a perfect spot for us,” he said.
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