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Linda's and Moe's close their doors as COVID-19 cases spike

Linda's open sign was unlit on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020 due to the restaurant closing because of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising case numbers.

Two more Chapel Hill favorites, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Linda’s Bar and Grill, have shut their doors in response to COVID-19 outbreaks in Chapel Hill

Linda's Bar and Grill

Linda’s, located between Time-Out and Bonchon on East Franklin Street, announced through Twitter on Aug. 24 that it is temporarily closing. This decision comes following UNC's return to classes and a corresponding spike in COVID-19 cases. 

Linda’s first opened on Franklin Street in 1988, a staple at Carolina for over 30 years. Before COVID-19, Linda’s offered dine-in services indoors and outdoors with unique cocktails, beer and wine, a full menu until midnight and a “drunchies” menu until close. Its “drunchies” menu included their popular bacon and cheese fries, macaroni and cheese and tater tots. 

Since the pandemic, Linda’s has offered outdoor seating, delivery and takeout, with the option to purchase wine or beer.

On March 19, Bar Manager Justin Cole created a GoFundMe to keep Linda’s afloat after Gov. Roy Cooper's executive order to limit restaurants to takeout services only. The GoFundMe was updated on the day the restaurant closed again, and has since reached its original $20,000 goal. 

The money will be split among staff members, according to the GoFundMe page. 

Christopher Carini, owner, operator and chef at Linda’s since 2011, said there was not enough business to justify staying open with local cases spiking. 

He said he’s making preparations to reopen for dine-in and takeout in October, assuming the number of cases lowers by then. 

“When we reopen, I’m gonna man front-of-house and assume the risk for infection,” said Carini. “Because if I want to open my restaurant, then I should be the one assuming the risk — not asking the people who work for me to go back to work.”

Moe's Southwest Grill

Moe’s Southwest Grill, located beside Yogurt Pump on Franklin Street, has shut its doors permanently. 

Moe’s is a franchise with over 700 locations both in the U.S. and abroad. The menu includes burritos, tacos, quesadillas and burrito bowls. 

The Chapel Hill franchise owner didn't respond to a request for comment. Matt Gladdek, executive director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, said Moe's closed because someone else is taking over the lease. 

“A new restaurant will be going in there quick on their heels,” said Gladdek. “I don’t think that restaurant is ready to come out with too much press yet, but that’s probably the biggest reason that Moe’s is shutting down.”

@DTHCityState |

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