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Bottom of Lenoir welcomes La Farm Bakery, IP3 to move to Chase

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Students head into Lenoir Dining Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023.

This semester, UNC students might find a new favorite at the bottom of Lenoir Dining Hall. 

Village Juice & Kitchen was replaced by La Farm Bakery. Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken has also taken over the space it shared with Italian Pizzeria III, while IP3 will be shifting from Lenoir to Chase Dining Hall. 

Alpaca will now be serving students Monday through Friday in lieu of the Taste of the Hill rotation, which featured IP3 and Alpaca on alternating days.

La Farm Bakery, a local chain based in Cary, serves coffee, smoothies and freshly baked goods such as sandwiches and pastries.

“Me and my friends were talking about how this is our third coffee shop; we have Meantime, Stone and Leaf, and now we have La Farm,” Seka Shahriar, a senior at UNC, said. “But I feel like none of the other coffee places really have really good pastries. I feel like that's what makes La Farm unique.”

Nathan Atkinson, the co-founder of Village Juice, said in an email statement that while Carolina Dining Services elected to go "in a different direction" for that specific location, the company hopes to return to campus.

“If [returning to campus] does not work out, we have been exploring options to open a company-owned store near campus and run it ourselves," he said in the statement. "We appreciate the support of the UNC-CH students and hope to be able to serve them in the future at a location on or off campus."

IP3 owner Angelo Marrone said he made the decision to halt operations at the bottom of Lenoir because he was not satisfied with the quality of pizzas being served, which were pre-made and brought to the dining hall.

“We’ve been in this town for 44 years just because we’ve got great quality pizzas,” Marrone said. “When I was serving at Lenoir, I was losing my reputation because the pizza wasn’t coming out the way I wanted it to — I decided to move on.”

Marrone said CDS proposed bringing the restaurant’s pizza to Chase. The new pizzas will likely be introduced the second week of classes, he said, and will be freshly made using the ovens provided by CDS at the dining hall.

CDS said in an email statement that they are excited about the opportunity to continue to build value into the University’s dining program and to accommodate student feedback and trends. 

While IP3 can also be found at the Beach Cafe in the Brinkhous-Bullitt Building and at the McColl Cafe at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, some students like UNC junior Sampada Acharya said they would miss its bottom of Lenoir location. Acharya said IP3 was an easy and comforting choice that became a part of her regular rotation.

“It's been kind of a staple for me since freshman year, just because the lines weren't ever too long, and the food was pretty good,” she said.

In an email statement, Christen Flowers, the director of dining for UNC, told The Daily Tar Heel there was a clear demand for Alpaca to be made a permanent location because of its consistent popularity.

“Alpaca is an expansion of our local alumni partnerships, diversity of cuisine, and healthier non-fried options,” she said.

Acharya said that while some students might be hesitant to branch out from familiar food options such as pizza and pasta, she thinks trying new cuisines would be beneficial to students. She said Alpaca adds to the diversity of options provided at the bottom of Lenoir Dining Hall.

“I think trying new foods is one of the best ways that people can gain more cultural competence, or cultural awareness of the things that are happening around them and of others global cultures or values,” she said.

@keerthanagotur

@dailytarheel | university@dailytarheel.com

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