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The Daily Tar Heel

All up in your business for March 17, 2015

Bar offers tequila, empanadas

Latin-American cuisine with a twist has found its place in Carrboro, soon to be joined by the town’s first full tequila bar.

Calavela, an empanada and tequila bar located at 370 E. Main St., opened its doors two weeks ago.

Calavela serves 11 types of savory and sweet baked empanadas ranging from $3 to $3.50 each. The stuffed pastries are Latin American-inspired, but some contain American fillings, like the “Piggly Wiggly” slow-smoked, Carolina-style pulled pork empanada.

The restaurant’s Raleigh location offers 70 types of tequila, and the full bar will soon be available in Carrboro, said owner Kenneth Yowell.

“Anyone that enjoys tequila is our demographic,” Yowell said.

Business has been great since the opening, said Yowell, who attributed much of the restaurant’s popularity to word of mouth.

“Community support is more than we could have hoped for,” he said.


Bistro moves into Top This spot

A full menu of locally farmed breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes will take the place of Top This! Roast Beef, Burgers & More.

Roots Bakery, Bistro and Bar opened at 161 E. Franklin St. at the end of February, filling the space left by Top This!, which closed in December after financial difficulties and business complications.

A few changes to the interior and plenty of foot traffic have been beneficial for business, said owner Turtle Harrison.

“We’re right beside Sutton’s, and they’re pretty much always busy, so that helps,” Harrison said.

The restaurant is well-lit with big windows, and business has been steady apart from a slow-down over spring break, Harrison said.

“The feedback has been really good,” he said. “Everybody’s really liking it.”

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Harrison said the restaurant sees a good number of UNC students, and catering to schools and hospitals has helped get its name out.


After delays, Jasmin now open

There are no more Taco Tuesdays on Franklin Street, but a popular North Carolina Mediterranean restaurant is now filling the space left by Qdoba Mexican Grill.

Jasmin Mediterranean Bistro, which has existing locations in Raleigh and Cary, has opened at the intersection of Franklin and Columbia Streets.

Jasmin offers kabob, panini and pita dishes, along with Mediterranean salads, sides and soups in a Greek-Lebanese fusion style.

The restaurant’s opening was delayed more than a month.

Owner Nawwaf Said said the delay was due to Chapel Hill and Orange County administrative procedures as well as the abundance of snow days this winter.

Said said he is glad to have finally moved forward with the restaurant’s opening after the delays.

“We are extremely excited about this new location,” Said said. “It’s what we have been envisioning for the store.”


Franklin goes Mongolian

After the closure of Korean restaurant Chopsticks & More, a new Asian eatery is gearing up to move into the 163 E. Franklin St. location this spring.

Ms. Mong, a Mongolian restaurant, will be opening in the space sometime in March, said Isaac Park, one of the restaurant’s owners.

“The tag is going to be ‘Mongolian BBQ Redefined,’” Park said. 

“Kind of an innovative take on the traditional way of doing Mongolian BBQ.” 

Park compared the restaurant’s style to Chipotle’s and said customers will be able to select the vegetables, meats and sauces that go into their meal.

All the items on Ms. Mong’s menu will cost between $7 and $10, Park said.

“We really feel like we can have something to bring to the table on East Franklin Street,” he said. 

“There are a lot of businesses that can make or break you, but we are confident; we wouldn’t be coming here if we weren’t.”