When North Carolina moved into Phase 2 of Gov. Roy Cooper’s COVID-19 recovery plan on Friday, May 22 at 5 p.m., many Orange County restaurants were forced to quickly adjust.
During this phase, North Carolina restaurants are able to reopen at half capacity for dine-in service. However, due to a May 22 modification to the existing Orange County Emergency Declaration, all Orange County restaurants are required to make their employees wear masks and to limit dine-in party size to six people except in the case of large families.
While many restaurants on Franklin Street are either staying closed or open exclusively for takeout, delivery or curbside service, here are the restaurants now open on the strip between Columbia Street and Raleigh Street for dine-in service:
Carolina Coffee Shop
Carolina Coffee Shop serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is open for dine-in customers. Its hours of service are from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 8 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday. Customers can call in ahead of time for a table.
The choice to reopen was a difficult one, said Zachary Brown, a manager at Carolina Coffee Shop, but has so far been rewarding.
“We have several employees here at the Carolina Coffee Shop and whose livelihood depends on income from working here,” Brown said. “I know our GM was wrestling with the dichotomy between ensuring employee well-being versus staying closed for public safety, but we’re making sure we stay extremely vigilant with sanitation while open.”
Cosmic Cantina is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. everyday for takeout, delivery and dine-in at half capacity, which manager Yeshua Sanchez said was about 20 people.
Sanchez said the restaurant chose to open dine-in in Phase 2 to give customers more choice in their dining experience.
“The main reason is to give our customers an option,” Sanchez said. “If I’m honest with you, we’ve seen very few customers choose to dine-in, so right now it’s just an option.”
Sanchez said Cosmic’s hours may change in the coming weeks depending on what the health department's guidance may be.
Cold Stone Creamery
Cold Stone Creamery is open for dine-in and takeout. The creamery is open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, as well as 1 p.m. through 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday until further notice.
Curry Point Express
Curry Point Express is open for dine-in and takeout from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and closed on Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant serves fast-food style Indian food.
Four Corners is now open for dine-in service in addition to takeout and free delivery from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m every day. The bar and grill offers wings, burgers and various entrees in addition to its drink menu.
Owner Kristian Bawcom said protecting customers' safety is a top concern for the restaurant.
“Safety’s gotta be everyone’s number one concern now, so we make sure to do everything we can do according to the regulations that the DHHS has put down so that our guests, when they walk in the door, feel safe,” Bawcom said. “It’s stressful because there’s just that fear of something happening, and then there’s uncertainty because, you know, are people going out? But we were busier than I thought we’d be this weekend, and the ability to be able to open up and have people come and dine in has already made a difference in sales.”
GRK YEERO, which offers Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, is now open for dine-in and takeout every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sup Dogs, which serves specialty hot dogs and burgers, is currently open for takeout and delivery from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is reopening its dining area on Thursday.
“We’re excited,” said Claire Perry, general manager at Sup Dogs. “We opened our Greenville location today, and they’ve been really busy, so we’re expecting about the same. We’ve had a lot of people calling and asking.”
Sutton’s Drug Store
Sutton’s offers diner-style breakfast, burgers, deli sandwiches and milkshakes in a historic location on Franklin Street. Sutton’s is currently open for dine-in in addition to takeout and has limited hours, from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Time-Out Restaurant has been open 24 hours a day since the start of the pandemic for delivery and takeout, but owner Eddie Williams said the restaurant restarted dine-in services as soon as Phase 2 went into effect.
“We have never closed, not even during the virus, not ever. We have been open 24 hours for over 40 years,” Williams said. “Even though it’s been painfully slow at times because of all the students going home, we probably should’ve closed, but we didn’t close.”
Williams said although it has been difficult to continue takeout and delivery business with UNC going remote, he is happy the restaurant is able to keep with its 40-year tradition and serve customers in store.
Other restaurants on Franklin Street between Columbia and Raleigh Street will remain open for takeout or delivery:
Blue Spoon Microcreamery
- According to the business’s Twitter, Blue Spoon will be open this week from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m Monday through Thursday, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
BonChon Chapel Hill
- BonChon Chapel Hill is open for takeout orders from 11 a.m to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews
- Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews is open for takeout every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to the store’s website, customers who order inside are required to wear a facial covering, and those without facial covering can order curbside.
Hibachi & Company
- Hibachi & Company is open every day from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- According to Insomnia’s customer support center, the restaurant’s Franklin Street location is open from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Monday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
- Shanghai Dumpling is open every day for takeout from 11 a.m to 10 p.m.
- The Starbucks location at 103 E. Franklin St. is open every day for takeout and mobile orders from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Yaya Tea’s Chapel Hill location is open every day for takeout from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For information on which businesses are open in other parts of Chapel Hill, check out this spreadsheet from the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership.
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