This summer Franklin Street saw several storefront changes, with at least four icons leaving town and five new businesses opening their doors.
Starbucks remodeled their store while Trolly Stop Hot Dogs rebranded to a new name, The Beach on Franklin.Toppers Pizza, R&R Grill, Smoothie King and Noodles & Company were among Franklin Street's casualties. For students who haven’t been on campus since May, new spots include Midici, The Pizza Press, Hops Burger Bar, Lula’s and YaYa Tea.
Danielle Moore, spokesperson for Noodles & Company, said their lease ran out, and the restaurant decided to close.
The Pizza Press, which opened in late July, plans to stand out from the other pizza places with its unique 1920’s era newspaper inspired theme, Andreas Handrinos, the restaurant's general manager, said.
“We have an atmosphere that you can’t get at any other restaurant,” Handrinos said.
The restaurant works closely with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership to draw people to the Carolina Square area. For example, The Pizza Press is one of the first restaurants to offer patio dining on the sidewalk, Handrinos said.
Elinor Landess, interim executive director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, said they’re encouraging more restaurants to offer sidewalk seating for customers.
In addition to storefronts changing, Franklin Street also got a “facelift," Landess said. The entire street was repaved, and the lines were freshly painted over the summer. The actual street is owned by the state, so the town has no control over when the street is redone.
The Downtown Partnership aims to keep Franklin Street feeling as consistent as possible, despite businesses coming and going, Landess said.