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Saturday February 4th

All Up In Your Business for Jan. 19, 2017

Jasmin Mediterranean, The Bookshop, and Sweet Frog on Franklin St. are closing. Benny Cappella's and Linda's are killing it.
Buy Photos Jasmin Mediterranean, The Bookshop, and Sweet Frog on Franklin St. are closing. Benny Cappella's and Linda's are killing it.

Jasmin Mediterranean Bistro closes on Franklin Street

Jasmin Mediterranean Bistro has permanently closed its location on the corner of West Franklin and North Columbia streets.

Nawwaf Said, owner of the former location and six others in the triangle, said there wasn’t one specific reason for the closure. The cost of parking for employees and potential customers, combined with the high rent and Said’s decision not to stay open for late-night hours, all influenced Said’s decision to shut down.

“I didn’t go there blind,” he said. “I knew there was an issue with parking but I didn’t know it was that severe.” Said added that plans for a Jasmin location at U.S. 15-501 between Chapel Hill and Durham are in the works.

The Colmont Restaurant Group out of Maryland had been interested in buying space for a few months though it was never on the market, Said said. “I decided for a few months then said ‘Okay, I can take my business somewhere else.’”

The Colmont Restaurant Group will be using the space to bring a stone-fired pizza restaurant to Franklin Street, according to Said.

Chapel Hill Public Library experimenting with pop-up coffee shops

Visitors to Chapel Hill Public Library might soon be able to get their coffee fix while checking out books.

After receiving feedback from guests that coffee would be a welcome addition, Chapel Hill Public Library has decided to conduct a “coffee experiment.” In January and February, three coffee vendors will take turns operating pop-up shops.

Meeghan Rosen, the library’s assistant director, said the experiment helps determine if the library will permanently keep a coffee shop.

“These ‘pop-up’ coffee shops are designed to serve as proof of concept,” she said in an email. “We’d like to find out how much demand there is for coffee service, what the community thinks of the idea, and what the impact might be on library operations.”

Rosen said the first pop-up coffee shop, which started last week, has been well received.

“So far, so good! The public response has been vocally enthusiastic and very positive. People are excited to see it,” she said in an email.

Durham Habitat for Humanity ReStore now open Sundays

The Durham Habitat for Humanity ReStore is now open on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Previously the store was only open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Caitlyn West, communications manager at the store, said the decision to increase hours was not an easy one and took almost a year to make.

“We knew that opening up another day meant another day to receive donations and another day to increase our sales in order to further support our overall mission of creating a world where everyone has a safe and affordable place to live,” she said in an email.

The decision to open on Sundays is not only a move to increase donations and sales. It allows volunteers more options to give their time.

“Volunteers are the heartbeat of the ReStore-we could not operate without them,” West said in an email. “By being open on Sundays, we’ve opened up more opportunities for individuals who can only volunteer their time on the weekends.”

While the ReStore offers a free donations pickup service Monday through Saturday, West said this service is not currently offered Sundays. The store does accept drop-off donations on Sundays and hopes to offer the free donation pickup service all seven days of the week in the coming months.

Seven seems to be a special number for the ReStore this year.

“We’ve been celebrating our seventh birthday all year long by shooting for the goal of building seven Habitat homes from our profits alone,” West said in an email. “Now, we’re open seven days a week to make sure we reach that goal by the end of June.”

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