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Thursday September 29th

Toppers Pizza to ?ll former Gumby’s spot

The restaurant will move in to the building by early December.

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Soon, local cheesy bread lovers will no longer have to mourn the loss of Gumby’s Pizza.

Toppers Pizza will be moving into Gumby’s’ old location at 306 W. Franklin St., said Tom Caruso, a renovations specialist from Bobbitt Design Build, the contracting company working with the restaurant. Caruso said the restaurant will move in the second week of December.

The franchise offers pizza, quesadillas, grinders, wings and “Topperstix” — a pull-apart pizza with dipping sauce very similar to the popular “Pokey Stix” that made Gumby’s a local phenomenon.

“Gumby’s closed before my time,” said sophomore Maura Hartzman.“I always wanted to try Pokey Stix.”

Hartzman said she works at Artisan Pizza Kitchen, another pizza restaurant on Franklin Street.

“I probably won’t eat at Toppers,” Hartzman said. “I would rather support somewhere locally owned.”

The building will not be anything like how it was when Gumby’s was there, Caruso said. He said demolition started last week.

“We are getting new plumbing and equipment for the building,” Caruso said. “It has been gutted down to nothing and we are starting from scratch.”

Workers from Precision Plumbing worked to redo the plumbing of the building Monday. Construction worker Shannon Burlingame said they were redoing plumbing and tearing up concrete.

Toppers will be one of many pizza restaurants on Franklin Street, including Artisan Pizza Kitchen, I Love NY Pizza, Italian Pizzeria III and Mellow Mushroom.

“I live within one block of five pizza places,” said Tim Gillis, a sophomore. “I probably won’t go to the new one.”

Toppers Pizza will have delivery that will be open until 3 a.m., according to the restaurant’s website. Representatives from Toppers Pizza could not be reached for comment.

The franchise has several locations across the United States, and the Chapel Hill addition will be the third in the state, including one located on UNC-Charlotte’s campus.

“I would dance on the grave of the Chapel Hill Gumby’s,” said Eric Geiger, a junior at UNC.“It was too small, cramped and slow.”

Geiger said he will probably not eat at the new restaurant but still misses Pepper’s Pizza, a restaurant that vacated its downtown location in March.

“I want to see if they will fill the hole that Pepper’s left in my heart,” he said.

Senior Jared Dix said he will most likely eat at Toppers.

“I’ll probably go there at least once,” said Dix. “I’m sure that next year people will be drunkenly eating Topperstix.”

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