Goodbyes and good bets

Yet another pizza shop closed last month. Camos Bros. in The Courtyard turned off its ovens in June. The proprietors also own Fuhgettaboudit pizzerias in Raleigh and Cary; the owners are working through some debt issues.

The closing marks the back-to-back demise of pizzerias in that hidden enclave of The Courtyard. L’incontro closed less than a year ago in that same spot after only a few months in business. Once The Courtyard expands to include student rentals, a pizza shop that can’t advertise on the street will have a better chance of making a go of it.

Also in The Courtyard, Crepes Veronique closed in April, as did Bonne Soiree. The owner of Crepes Veronique hopes to reopen at another location in the future.

Down the street, The Chocolate Door has the distinction of being the only chocolate shop in town now that Chocolaterie Stam closed in April after moving to East 54 last fall.

But the Great Recession hasn’t quelled the optimism of several new businesses in town.

At University Mall, the Red Bowl Asian Café opened in the spot once occupied by Bear Rock Café. The Red Bowl menu draws from Asian cuisines of China, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan. Opt for eat-in or take-out. Holders of a UNC OneCard receive a 10 percent discount.

Also at U-Mall, Skate Hard opened at the end of April. The store sells all sorts of skateboard equipment, apparel and accessories. The owner is interested in sponsoring talented skateboarders or roller derby participants. Drop off a video at the store to show your prowess.

Toots & Magoo relocated from downtown Franklin Street to University Mall, a location that provides room to display, salon style, the works of artists the gallery owner represents. Aware of the business opportunity provided by the number of Chapel Hill residents of an age to downsize in retirement, Toots & Magoo sells antiques on consignment.

The Meat House opened in May in the spot that was once home to Applebee’s on East Franklin Street. Despite its name, the store sells everything for a gourmet meal, from appetizers and breads to wine and cheese and desserts. And, of course, meat, everything from rattlesnake and alligator to ostrich and venison, not locally harvested.
– Nancy Oates

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  1. Elliot

     /  July 7, 2011

    Penang, the largest restaurant at The Courtyard also closed in June. Unlike the other businesses that were hidden from the street, Penang had great exposure on Franklin Street. Presently, the place is a virtual ghost town. It’s hard to imagine tenants signing any leases soon, especially since the parking deck that was supposed to be nearing completion by now, hasn’t even broken ground. That promises a major dispuption and access issues for many months (if the developers haven’t thrown in the towel by then).

  2. John Kramer

     /  July 7, 2011

    The town will require that the new parking deck be LEED certified, which will add 50% to the cost but not make any environmental impact, and they will require that 20% of the parking be for “affordable” cars.

    Maybe they will put drip pans in those spaces.

    Classic Chapel Hill “ED”.

  3. Mark Marcoplos

     /  July 8, 2011

    If that’s true about LEED certification, that is a waste of money. Any competent architect could incorporate sensible environmentally sound features without having to pay fees for official LEED certification. That’s what Carrboro did on the last fire station they built.