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Thursday September 29th

All Up In Your Business, Aug. 21

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Taxi Taxi

Carrboro hotel nears completion

After months of delay, Carrboro’s first hotel could open as soon as Friday.

“We’re hoping to open either Friday or the following Monday,” said Manish Atma, president of the hotel’s manager Atma Hotel Group.

He said the Hampton Inn & Suites must pass a few more town and corporate inspections before it can open its doors.

Then it’s just a matter of putting the final touches on the project, like decorating and cleaning the hotel, Atma said.

“It’s been a long process,” Atma said. “When we’re getting to the finishing stages, it’s always fun.”

The hotel, located in Carrboro’s 300 East Main development, was originally slated to open in May.

However, heavy rainfall this summer caused delays in construction.
But it needs to be finished soon, because Atma said guests have made reservations starting Aug. 30.

“We’re actually booked up for Labor Day weekend,” he said.

Laurie Paolicelli, executive director for the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, said she is optimistic that the hotel will open in time.

“We’ve toured it, and they look very close,” she said.

Chapel Hill to get Prius taxis

Raleigh-based Taxi Taxi plans to bring its hybrid Prius taxis to Chapel Hill and Carrboro sometime this year.

Laurie Paolicelli, executive director of the Orange County/Chapel Hill Visitors Bureau, said people in the community are excited about getting more eco-friendly transportation.

“It’s the only provider we have where their whole fleet is hybrid,” she said. “It definitely meets who we are as a sustainable community.”

Fred Platt, the general manager for Taxi Taxi, said his company wants to provide customers with the best service possible, which includes ensuring their security.

The taxis have backseat credit card machines so customers can process their own payment. They also have both interior and exterior surveillance cameras.

Customers can download the Taxi Magic app to reserve and pay for their taxi.

The app also allows users to track the cab they’ve reserved.
“We’re not your typical cab company,” Platt said.

Platt said the background checks run on Taxi Taxi’s drivers search national databases instead of just those in the state.

“We are going to catch anyone who may have slipped under the radar,” he said.

Hot Dogs & Brew is now Hummus Cafe

The Mediterranean restaurant Hummus Cafe, has taken over a location on Franklin Street formerly occupied by the popular eatery Hot Dogs & Brew.

Chris McCracken, who was general manager of Hot Dogs & Brew, said the concept did not work for the more-than-1,800-square-foot space.
He said the restaurant got a lot of business from students late at night, but it wasn’t enough.

“To be successful on Franklin Street, you have to serve more than just students,” he said.

The limited menu was also a problem.

“Hot dogs alone could not support the size of the restaurant,” he said. “That concept could be supported in a space a third of the size than we were occupying.”

McCracken is also involved in the new restaurant. He said Hummus Cafe would attract diners at all times of the day because of its variety.

“We felt like it needed to be more of a concept that would cater to lunch, dinner and possibly late night, versus a one-dimensional product like hot dogs,” he said.

McCracken said Hot Dogs & Brew could reopen as a food truck or in a smaller restaurant space in the future.

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