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Raising Cane's to open on the corner of Franklin and Columbia on Nov. 7

202309_Cox_city-raising-canes-update
Raising Cane's is set to open on Nov. 7, 2023.

The first-ever standalone Raising Cane’s restaurant in North Carolina is set to open on Nov. 7 on the corner of Columbia and East Franklin streets after the company purchased the property in late 2021.

The location will have the option of sidewalk dining and will be open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. daily, joining restaurants such as Cosmic Cantina and Time-Out in providing the area with late-night dining options. Locations in Florida, Iowa and Maryland will be opening on Nov. 7 as well.

Fliers posted on the doors of the restaurant in early October advertised job opportunities, starting at $15 an hour. The location is hiring 120 crew members, according to the email.

“We are building a beautiful, non-traditional Raising Cane’s that fully embraces and represents Chapel Hill in cool, unique ways,” Dustin Shearer, the divisional leader of restaurants for Raising Cane’s, said in an email. “It’s a multi-level restaurant, so getting to a place where we are ready to open has taken a little longer than expected, as do most things!”

Jeremy Strayhorn, a Raising Cane’s employee at the Chapel Hill location, posted several interior images of the building on Oct. 2 on X.


Raising Cane’s was founded by Todd Graves and opened in 1996 in Louisiana’s capital city, Baton Rouge, at the North Gates of Louisiana State University. 

The chain now owns and operates over 700 locations in the U.S. and has expanded to Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. There are also Raising Cane’s in the student union at East Carolina University in Greenville and on the Camp Lejeune military base in Jacksonville.

In August 2022, Julia Doyle, the public relations director for Raising Cane’s, told The Daily Tar Heel that the location would be opening in the spring of 2023. 

But, as spring and summer passed, there was no opening date in sight and many were left with questions.

“The restaurant has been under construction for a really long time, I'm not sure why the restaurants in that location previously were not successful, but there are a lot of vacancies on Franklin Street,” Sarah Krug, a UNC student and Chapel Hill resident, said. “And I'm a little bit concerned that the town's not supporting businesses like it should since it feels a lot like a revolving door around here.”

The 101 E. Franklin St. property was sold for $3.87 million, and construction for the restaurant began in April 2022.

According to a permit filed with the Town of Chapel Hill, the estimated cost of renovations was expected to total $2 million.

The location was previously home to another fried chicken restaurant, Lula’s, which replaced former Chapel Hill staple Spanky’s – which had been open for over 40 years –  in 2018.

Lula’s closed in 2020 after a decline in business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent years, the intersection of Franklin and Columbia streets has seen the opening and closing of several different restaurants, such as Lula's, Seafood Destiny — which opened in December 2021 and closed in April 2022 following multiple lawsuits — and Midici, which opened in 2018 and closed in 2019.

Raising Cane’s will be the first restaurant to open on this intersection in almost two years.

@LolaOliverio

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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