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With renovations underway, Raising Cane's to open on Franklin Street in spring 2023

Raising Canes is pictured on Aug. 28, 2022.

Raising Cane's is set to open a location on the corner of Franklin Street and Columbia Street at 101 E. Franklin St. this spring.

Raising Cane's Public Relations Director Julia Doyle said in an email that Raising Cane’s purchased the location in late 2021, with construction efforts beginning in April 2022.

Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership Director of Marketing Stephanie Cobert said Raising Cane's is still working through permitting and remodeling. 

Cobert added that there is not a finalized opening date yet, but Doyle said the date will be specified as more progress on construction is made.

Remodeling work on the 8,638 square-foot building, including electrical, mechanical and plumbing changes, is expected to cost up to $2 million, according to the commercial permit filed with the Town of Chapel Hill.

Doyle said the restaurant opening will create more than 150 jobs in the Chapel Hill area. She added that the building will be a two-story restaurant with seating for more than 100 customers. 

The restaurant is expected to operate from 9 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. daily. The location will also offer outside dining, but will not have a drive-thru, as new drive-thru windows on much of Franklin Street throughout Chapel Hill and Carrboro became more heavily regulated in 1998. The Town of Chapel Hill began encouraging sidewalk dining in June 2020 to help businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and provide safe alternatives to indoor dining.

Doyle added that even though the restaurant will not have a drive-thru, it is expected to be busy given the location in downtown Chapel Hill. She said the spot, with high foot traffic from locals, visitors and UNC students, will be the perfect spot for a Raising Cane’s.

“That spot is pretty much the gateway to downtown,” Cobert said. “It’s that legendary spot that everyone sees and thinks of when they think of Franklin Street, that corner of Franklin and Columbia.”

UNC sophomore Peter Thomas said he first noticed the new Raising Cane’s banner on the building next to Starbucks in April when UNC students and the Chapel Hill community rushed Franklin Street after UNC’s win against Duke in the Final Four.

“Franklin Street is very historical, and one of the biggest traditions at UNC is to visit there and give business to every restaurant and shop,” he said.

Olivia Stokes, another UNC sophomore, said she expects Raising Cane’s to be both popular and successful because its fast service appeals to college students.

“I think a lot of the success of restaurants, and honestly any vendor on Franklin is about its accessibility and success within its demographic,” Stokes said.

Thomas said he thinks the opening of the new Raising Cane’s will attract a huge crowd of people. 

“It’ll make Franklin Street even more of a hubbub,” he said.

Cobert said there has been a lot of local excitement surrounding the opening of the restaurant. Echoing Doyle, she emphasized that the ease of access to the restaurant on a popular intersection will be good for the community.

She added that Raising Cane’s will be a great fast and casual dining option for both families and students. 

“We’re excited to have them,” she said. “We’re always excited for new businesses to open and what that means for downtown. We’re excited to partner with them.”

The upcoming Chapel Hill location will be the third operating Raising Cane’s in North Carolina. The other locations are in Greenville at East Carolina University and Camp Lejeune on the coast.


@DTHCityState | 

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Lucy Marques

Lucy Marques is a 2023-24 assistant city & state editor at The Daily Tar Heel. She was previously a city & state senior writer. Lucy is a junior pursuing a double major in political science and Hispanic literatures and cultures.

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