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The Daily Tar Heel

Franklin Street welcomes Sup Dogs

Sup Dogs on Franklin Street opened Monday morning. Waitresses work on the signature orange crush behind a full bar inside the restaurant.

Sup Dogs on Franklin Street opened Monday morning. Waitresses work on the signature orange crush behind a full bar inside the restaurant.

Owner Bret Oliverio greeted customers at their tables and at the door on opening day. He said he didn’t know what sort of business the restaurant would see on opening day, but the crowds surprised him.

“It’s just been awesome,” he said. “I didn’t know if we were gonna have five people come through or five thousand. The turnout’s just been way more than I ever could have expected.”

General Manager Lindsey Ewing said the number of customers exceeded her expectations.

“I was completely shocked at how well it turned out,” she said.

Ewing said she worked at the original Greenville, N.C., location for more than five years when she was offered the position in Chapel Hill.

The rest of the staff come from Chapel Hill, Oliverio said.

“We’re here for UNC, so we should hire UNC students,” he said.

Oliverio said it’s important to him to be ingrained in the community of Chapel Hill. He said part of this process was getting to know the owners of other businesses in the area.

Chris Carini, the manager of Linda’s Bar & Grill at 203 E. Franklin St., said he welcomed the new competition.

“Any time there is something else that draws people to come to Franklin Street instead of somewhere else, I am very happy,” Carini said.

He said this was largely based on economic principles, and he cited the need for healthy competition as a mainstay of capitalism.

“We strive to do better than we do every year,” Carini said. “But if there’s nobody pushing you to raise your standards, why do you?”

Lee Jones, assistant manager of Qdoba, felt similarly about the pending competition. He said the recent addition of restaurants had brought in more competition, so it was nothing new.

“We’re not too worried. We always seem to bounce back,” Jones said.

People at the restaurant on Monday included Chapel Hill locals and Greenville veterans.

Mike Mieszanek, an East Carolina University alumnus, said he was happy the restaurant he ate at weekly in college was now closer to his new home in Raleigh.

“Thirty minutes is a lot better than an hour and a half,” Mieszanek said.

Chelsea Earley, a 2014 UNC alumna from New Jersey, said she noticed Sup Dogs while it was under construction. The restaurant has a porch area out front, where customers can eat outside.

“I hope it does well, since they obviously put a lot of money into remodeling the porch,” she said.

Oliverio said he was pleased with how well the restaurant did on its first day, and he knew who was responsible for it.

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“I guess I just have to thank everyone in Chapel Hill for supporting us,” he said. “It means a lot.”

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