Earlier in January, [B]Ski’s and Asia Cafe shut down, preceded by establishments like Spanky’s in March 2018. Now, Roots Bistro & Bar is closing on Feb. 17 — yet Chapel Hill officials say that there might be no cause for concern.
“What is happening right now is something that seems to come around every couple of years. We’ve been saying that there are things that we could do to make sure that there’s enough attraction to downtown, like sufficient parking,” said Dwight Bassett, economic development officer of the Town of Chapel Hill. “When you look at the overall vacancy and occupancy of downtown, it remains impeccably strong."
Bassett said it is reasonable for downtown centers such as Franklin Street to have a small percentage of vacancies. However, if the Town observed that occupancy was reaching new lows, it would implement new initiatives in order to counteract that. As of now, the Town said it doesn’t appear that vacancies are any greater than what has been seen in the Chapel Hill business cycle.
Roots Bistro & Bar is known for its homey Central American fare and a vibrant atmosphere. They currently have locations in both Chapel Hill and Durham.
In April, the restaurant got attention for something other than its cuisine. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Ordoñez and two of his brothers.