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Concept plan proposes turning Country Fried Duck building into six-story retail, condo space

The new six story building will be next to sorority Phi Mu and replace Country Fried Duck, Chapel Hill Underground and Bub O'Malley's.
The new six story building will be next to sorority Phi Mu and replace Country Fried Duck, Chapel Hill Underground and Bub O'Malley's.

The concept plans outline the transformation of 157 E. Rosemary St., a building that currently houses Bub O’Malley’s, Country Fried Duck and the new Zell’s Underground Daiquiri Bar into a six-story mixed-use building that will combine retail space and condos, said James Paliouras, whose company, Paliouras Enterprises LLC, owns the building.

“There’s a lot of growth on Rosemary Street on the west end of town, and we have a terrific location and are close to the campus,” Paliouras said.

“We want to see what the town council does, if they are indeed serious about improving Rosemary Street.”

Paliouras said the idea to redesign the building began more than a year ago.

“The town wanted a rehabilitated and improved Rosemary Street, so we thought we’d take an old building, which we built in 1957, and do something else on the property,” he said.

The concept plans were submitted to the city planning department and were taken to the planning board, where recommendations were made, Paliouras said. Now, the concept plans will be heard by the town council.

Chapel Hill Town Council member Michael Parker said the council will listen to the developer and make recommendations on Monday, but no decisions will be made until a formal application is submitted.

“(The developer) will listen to the comments, they will do what they wish and then they can choose to proceed with the project and file a formal application or they can decide to make more changes and then come back with a revised concept plan; it’s really up to them at that point,” Parker said.

Paliouras said the concept plan was adjusted after the planning board’s recommendation to scale the project back.

“This was a long, drawn out process that takes years to do and if it’s economically feasible, we’ll do it,” Paliouras said. “It would be great if we could keep some of the existing tenants, we love to have them.”

Phil Daniel, the manager of Bub O’Malley’s, said he’s anticipated this happening for a long time.

“They’ve tried to do stuff to this building in the past and we’ve weathered every storm that’s come this way and we plan on doing the same thing now,” Daniel said.

Bub O’Malley’s will celebrate 30 years of business in April. Daniel said it’s just a matter of time before long-established businesses will be replaced by new buildings.

“We’re not going to move to a new location, and if it came down to it, I’m not going to sit on my hands for a year or two waiting for them to build a new building,” Daniel said. “That seems like the way the town wants to treat the people who have been around for a long time — like you’re old and insignificant and they want you out, and that’s really unfortunate.”



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