The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday September 17th

Perennial Cafe on Franklin Street reopens its doors after a year-long temporary closing

Perennial baristas Michelle Temple (left) and Grace Stroup (right) pictured on re-opening day, Friday, May 28th, 2021.
Buy Photos Perennial manager and spokesperson Michelle Temple (left) stands with barista Grace Stroup (right) on re-opening day, Friday May 28, 2021.

Perennial Cafe, a coffee shop located at 401 W. Franklin St., reopened to eager customers on May 28. 

In response to the pandemic that tested the resilience of local businesses, the cafe had temporarily closed its doors last year, and customers have missed its unique atmosphere and artisanal beverages ever since.

“You can once again enjoy lovingly and expertly crafted coffee beverages, select bites to eat, & much more, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., & Saturday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” Perennial Cafe said in a press release.

Nupur Shah, a UNC senior, said she is excited to go to the cafe again because of its airy and spacious atmosphere. 

“I used to go in there whenever I had a big paper to write,” Shah said. “I would put on a cute outfit, go to Perennial, sit there for five hours, get some coffee, and it got to the point where I would get excited to write long papers.”

The cafe has also partnered with Carrboro Coffee Roasters, a small-batch coffee roaster company that provides coffee to local coffee shops such as Perennial.

“We are so happy to have the opportunity to have them reopen,” Carrboro Coffee Roasters president Scott Conary said. “We consider them very like-minded, embracing the craft of beverage-making — innovative but also focused on the quality.” 

Conary also said the timing of the reopening seemed hopeful, since more people are leaving their homes with increased vaccine rollouts and consumer confidence.

Michelle Temple, the manager and spokesperson for Perennial, said the cafe’s short-term goal is to navigate the current phase of the pandemic and to see how they can improve their customers’ experiences. In the long term, the cafe plans to open up indoor seating, expand business hours and craft new seasonal beverages.

Because of the pandemic, she said the cafe decided to close and take time to reconsider how it would respond to the crisis and reopen the business.

“So many of the past customers have mentioned their support on social media, like our Instagram, and in-person as they come back to see us in the Cafe,” Temple said.

Kait O’Sullivan, a senior at UNC, said she used to go to Perennial up to five times a week before it had temporarily closed its doors.

“I used to go there a lot,” O’Sullivan said. “The interior and the decorations; they were pretty, but they weren’t distracting. I could sit there all day and get my work done. It was very easy to be productive.”

O’Sullivan said her favorite menu item is the vanilla and lavender iced coffee with almond milk.

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