If you ask any UNC student or graduate about their college experience, Franklin Street will always come up in conversation. From buying game day gear at Shrunken Head to a late-night meal at Time-Out, Franklin Street is the epitome of a college town atmosphere.
But we could see an entirely different Franklin Street after the pandemic. However, many Franklin Street businesses have closed, temporarily and permanently, including Ms Mong, Lula’s, LOTSA and Perennial.
I spoke with Chris Carini, owner and head chef of Linda’s Bar and Grill, about the impact that COVID-19 has had on his business. Linda’s opened back up when students arrived, but Carini decided to close again on Aug. 24.
“We closed again because I knew it was better to live to fight another day," Carini said. "We’re going to reopen when it makes sense. I think it’s important for people to know Linda’s will be there for them when this madness ends, but also now when they need it the most. And I’m working on getting her back open."
Gov. Roy Cooper recently announced that the state would transition to Phase 3 of reopening, which allows bars to reopen. Even with the go-ahead to open, Carini will keep social distancing guidelines in place and is planning on starting an electric bike delivery service to expand Linda’s outreach.