On Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order mandating that all restaurants close their dining facilitates and may remain open only for delivery and take out.
Chapel Hill restaurants are responding in various ways, with some modifying their typical plans to incorporate delivery, curbside pickup and carry out. Other restaurants have made the difficult decision to close altogether for a period of time.
Among the restaurants that are modifying their business models to offer takeout is Sutton’s Drug Store, which is located on East Franklin Street.
Owner Don Pinney said the restaurant has been operating with reduced hours and will now be moving to only be open for carryout.
“We don’t have an online app, we aren’t on Grubhub or DoorDash or anything," he said. "So we’re just going to use the phone and people can come and pick their orders up at the door, and we’ll see how we do."
Pinney also said Sutton’s has moved to reduced hours.
“We’ve been closing at three based on not having the students here, and people don’t usually eat dinner here besides the students. We’re cutting salaries back a little bit and still making sure that everybody gets something,” he said.
Other Chapel Hill and Carrboro restaurants will now only be open for takeout or curbside pickup:
- 401 Main
- 411 West Italian Cafe
- Al’s Burger Shack
- Acme (dinner is available from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
- Carrboro Pizza Oven
- Coronato Pizza
- Crossroads Chapel Hill (limited menu)
- Deli Edison
- Elaine's on Franklin
- Hibachi and Company
- Il Palio
- La Residence
- Lotsa Stone Fired Pizza
- Lucha Tigre
- Might As Well
- Open Eye Cafe
- The Purple Bowl
- Rise Southern Biscuits
- Root Cellar
- Spotted Dog
- Vecino Brewing
- Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe
To assist local businesses with curbside food pickup, the Town of Chapel Hill has made street parking free.
"Hopefully, this can help. Free Downtown Curbside Restaurant Pickup in on-street parking spaces effective now," the Town tweeted on Tuesday morning.
Liz Coughlin, the catering director for the Mediterranean Deli on East Franklin, said they will be open during regular hours for take out and curbside pickup and will also be doing delivery through online services such as Takeout Central, DoorDash and Grubhub. All customers need to do is call ahead of time and their food will be delivered to them in their cars. Takeout Central is also offering a $5 discount on orders of $25 or more with the code "#ShopDowntownCH."
Some restaurants have completely shut down.
One such restaurant is Sup Dogs, the local hot dog joint located on East Franklin Street. It will be closing for the next two weeks but continuing to pay its employees.
"It's probably a bad business decision, we've been slam-jammed all weekend long ... but I just think it's the right thing to do," owner Bret Oliverio said in an Instagram video. "And in my mind, the right thing is always the right thing."
Here are the other Chapel Hill restaurants closing temporarily:
- Crook's Corner
- Elmo's Diner
- Lula's, which will close until March 19 and then offer their regular menu for curbside delivery pickup, along with new family-style dinner options
- Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery
- Perennial Cafe
But some businesses are still deciding what to do. Mathivanan Pothiappan, the owner of Indian restaurant Cholanad, said whether or not his restaurant will close temporarily or stay open for take out is still up in the air.
“We don’t know, we are basically just waiting for the state health instructor to come and tell us what to do," he said. "I know that we will not be doing any dine-in, we will just be doing take out. We are still thinking about what we are going to do for tomorrow.”
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