CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the monetary value of the fraudulent checks that Seafood Destiny owner Anthony Knotts is being accused of issuing and writing. The checks total $28,000, according to WFMY-TV. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for this error.
Earlier this month, Seafood Destiny owner Anthony Knotts was jailed earlier this month on charges related to issuing fraudulent checks totaling $28,000, according to WFMY-TV, a CBS-affiliated television station in Greensboro.
His arrest puts the restaurant's future into question — a jaunting thought for businesses in Franklin Street that already experience high restaurant turnover. Seafood Destiny's Chapel Hill location opened over winter break last year.
Lotsa Stone Fired Pizza occupied the space currently filled by Seafood Destiny for three years before eventually closing down in 2020. The location has also housed Jasmin & Olivz Mediterranean and a QDOBA.
The space below Top of the Hill previously housed MidiCi Italian Kitchen, which closed in August 2019 and has yet to be reoccupied. Across the street, Jed’s Kitchen, which opened last year, recently closed down for good.
On the other hand, Raising Cane’s, a Louisiana-based chain that specializes in chicken fingers, will take space near Jed’s Kitchen. The restaurant will open in the space formerly housed by Lula’s, another chicken restaurant.
The constant turnover is a bad omen — therefore meaning it should be an overall priority for the town.
With Franklin Street and Colombia Street located in the heart of Chapel Hill, the area attracts a frequent amount of traffic. Empty storefronts reflect a missed opportunity to capitalize on the area's commercial potential.
Naturally, the COVID-19 pandemic was challenging for small businesses in Chapel Hill. The University pushed classes remote for much of the pandemic, meaning many students were either not in the area or chose to socially distance themselves from trafficked locations.