For Nay, serving and interacting with the community of Chapel Hill is the most exciting part of opening Fusion Fish.
“To be accepted as a place of regular commerce is an American dream come true,” said Nay, who describes the restaurant's overall menu as New American.
“We combine seasonal ingredients, local vendors and global dishes,” Nay said.
Fusion Fish offers brunch, lunch and dinner. Their diverse menu includes features like an extensive sushi bar, specialty cocktails and desserts.
The restaurant includes a team of successful chefs from Carrboro, Miami and D.C., whose diverse experiences add to Fusion Fish’s unique take on fusion cuisine.
“Ultimately, sharing our New American experience with Chapel Hill residents and students is total validation,” Nay said.
Yaya Tea, a Japanese cafe founded and based in New York City, recently opened their first location in North Carolina. The cafe had its grand opening Saturday, May 26 on East Franklin Street.
Nicole Tse, the new location’s manager, said that the shop mainly focuses on delivering freshly brewed tea, which is made daily.
“We focus on freshness and then the accessibility of delivering our food to consumers,” Tse said.
Tse said that their most popular item at the Chapel Hill location has been their milk tea, which contrasts from the popularity of their fruit teas in New York.
Other popular items include their handmade, made-to-order Japanese and Crabmeat Onigiri, also known as riceballs.
“They’re Japan’s number one comfort food,” Tse said. “They’re just a quick easy meal to grab on the go.”
Tse said she is looking forward to seeing what Chapel Hill and its community has to offer, as it’s the franchise’s first college town.
According to Smoothie King Chapel Hill’s Facebook page, the much-loved store is still up and running. However, passerbys on Franklin Street have taken note of the location’s empty storefront and barren interior since early this summer.
According to Smoothie King employee Lane Trogdon, Smoothie King isn’t gone for good – just from that location.
“We are actively looking for a new location,” Trogdon said.
Trogdon explained that Franklin Street’s accessibility was an issue for the store.
“Being in location on Franklin we relied on foot traffic only,” Trogdon said. “We have to have parking.”
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