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All Up In Your Business: How Franklin Street changed while you were away this summer

Peno food prep
Employees at Peño, a new Mediterranean restaurant on Franklin Street prepare two dishes for customers on August 19.

Hops Burger Bar closed

As many people already know, Hops Burger Bar closed its doors earlier in July, breaking the hearts of everyone who came to love its parmesan truffle oil fries.

Hops opened its 140 W. Franklin St. location back in 2017 and, while the sign is still up, the restaurant closed with little explanation. 

For those dedicated enough to take the drive, Hops still has two Greensboro locations and will be opening another one in Winston-Salem soon.

Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe back open

But when one door closes, another one opens — or reopens. Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe, located at 173 E. Franklin St., reopened on Aug. 9 after closing for repairs in early July.

The restaurant, which originally opened in 1972, had to close after a water leak in the almost 100-year-old building was discovered during construction work being completed in Post Office Alley, according to a press release from the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership.

The schedule for repairs had to be extended, but the reopening was met with excitement online and in person.

“Back in action!” the restaurant posted on Facebook. “We missed everyone and can’t wait to catch up!”

Perennial under construction

Those just coming back to campus may be confused about why the lights in Perennial are off, but have no fear — the cafe is set to re-open sometime this week after moving next door to a new location.

The cafe, known for its specialty espresso drinks and baked goods, closed on July 31 to take over the space that used to house Cuban Revolution at 401 W. Franklin St., which means that patrons will now have more space to drink coffee, socialize and study.

And Perennial’s former location won’t be vacant for much longer. Shakti Body Piercing, a piercing shop that originated in Durham, is set to take over the space in the near future. 

Peño Mediterranean Grill opens

In the mix of reopenings and closings, a new restaurant has come to East Franklin Street. Peño Mediterranean Grill now occupies 105 E. Franklin St., succeeding Tama Tea.

The anticipation has been building since the spring, when the restaurant posted its first signs.

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Peño opened on July 29 and features gyros, shawarma, salads and other Lebanese-inspired cuisine. Peño has also marketed itself as a new option for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free restaurant-goers.

While the Franklin Street location is the first in the Triangle, Peño currently has locations in Charlotte,  Wilmington and Jacksonville, North Carolina. 

Peño also began plans with a new franchise in Raleigh in March 2018.

Shad Kirley, Peño’s owner, told The Daily Tar Heel in February that he hopes the restaurant can be a new and exciting place for Tar Heel fans to watch games.

“I’ve always thought it was a great location and I drop by there all the time,” Kirley said. “We are changing the front of the store, so we are gonna have some outdoor seating area.”


Anna Pogarcic

Anna Pogarcic is the editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel. She is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying journalism and history major. 

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