All posts in category Downtown Chapel Hill

Don’t let Google be lonely

Google unveiled its new sign last week. The tasteful, illuminated logo on the Church Street side of 200 W. Franklin St. perhaps quelled fears that the town’s new sign ordinance would result in a wave of garishness overpowering our downtown’s charm. Chapel Hill has been Google’s home for the past decade, but few people knew […]

Launched

You might expect a low turnout for an event scheduled at the end of a hot day, toward the end of a week of hundred-degree days, in a warehouse venue with only a hint of air-conditioning. But as Thomas Edison said, genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Last Thursday, the anteroom of TOPO Distillery […]

Loafability

How often do we hear the community — the people who live here or have businesses here or otherwise spend money here — tout the virtues of walkability? Some of us on council are pushing for creating a more walkable town by advocating for shorter block size (300 feet, tops) for new developments, more sidewalks […]

Ask, and get real answers

Someone needs to tell the town’s Planning Department staff that Chapel Hill already has an ordinance that governs bed-and-breakfasts. Oh, wait. Someone already has. Several someones, in fact — the former director of planning, the town attorney and multiple people in the community, including Chapel Hill Watch — going back more than 15 years. And […]

How about yours?

Community members at last Monday’s Town Council meeting turned the “not in my backyard” philosophy on its head, asking instead, “Why not your backyard?” At the Sept. 21 meeting, developers presented their proposed plan for Amity Station, a tall apartment building on West Rosemary Street where Breadman’s sits now. The parcel is in the Northside […]

Putting B&B’s to rest

When I read town staff’s original proposal for an ordinance to allow bed-and-breakfasts in the historic district, my first thought was: We’re eating our seed corn. In August, town staff unveiled a plan to allow homes in the historic district to convert to B&B’s of up to 12 bedrooms and as many as 25 guests […]

Eat local — downtown

After the Friends of Downtown meeting held last month at Greenbridge condos, I met a friend for lunch at Roots Bakery, Bistro and Bar that had opened recently on East Franklin Street. I had one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten since moving to Chapel Hill nearly 20 years ago. Yet during the hour-plus […]

Aspiring to be what we’re not?

Krispy Kreme closed its Franklin Street shop earlier this month after less than 5 years. A few doors away, Cold Stone shut down two months earlier. Farther west along Franklin, GiGi’s Cupcakes left town at the end of last year. But locally owned Sugarland still plies its pastries and gelato after nigh on eight years. […]

Is Southpoint our hero?

I write a business column for a print publication in which I report on new businesses coming to town and those that leave. For the most recent issue, I had to dance around a bit, because the only business news I could dig up was businesses that had closed downtown. Gigi’s Cupcakes; Caribou Coffee; Top […]

Urban renewal

Don heard that a store in Burlington sold Cheerwine with real sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup, and always one to encourage a healthy lifestyle, I went with him to search. I’d never been to Burlington beyond the outlet stores that used to flourish off the interstate until Tanger Mall lured them away. As we drove […]