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Elmo's owners to open new Carr Mill Mall restaurant

Within the next few days there will be a new casual venue on the Carrboro restaurant scene.

Cafe Symmetry will open in Carr Mill Mall, in the space formerly occupied by Panzanella. The new restaurant will be run by the team of owners who currently run Elmo’s Diner, situated just a few spaces away in the shopping center.

“We are looking to get attract everyone trying to get an excellent meal quickly,” said Cindy McMahan, co-owner of Cafe Symmetry. “There are a variety of options like a fancy restaurant, but it will be quick. We are going to be like a fun cafeteria.”

The restaurant will have a cafeteria-style concept with a heavy focus on fresh foods, McMahan said. The menu is comprised of many locally sourced ingredients, and selections include everything from cold salads to meat braises to freshly squeezed juices.

The separate bar area will have a selection of twelve draft beers, wines and a variety of cocktails.

Because the restaurant plans to use local produce, the menu will be constantly evolving.

“There will be plenty of variety and seasonal dishes,” McMahan said.

“The restaurant provides an affordable compromise between fast food and fresh food. We are a little more upscale than Weaver Street.”

UNC sophomore Kyle Werner said he would be interested in eating at Cafe Symmetry. 

“I am excited to have a restaurant that will offer me healthier and fresh options — without having to pay for the full restaurant experience,” he said. "It will be good for people who are on the go.”

The space has undergone myriad renovations since Panzanella’s closing in 2013.

“It’s really a modern and urban atmosphere,” said Brant Wansley, who has been commissioned by the owners to create a brand strategy for the restaurant.

The space will now feature cafeteria-style serving, a bar area and outdoor dining options complete with a fire pit, Wansley said.

The restaurant’s decor was carefully selected to align with the renovations.

“We picked recycled barn wood tables, energy efficient systems and many plants to be featured,” McMahan said.

“It’s leading edge and what people want. The concept merges several different aspects of what has been successful.”

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