a ‘McCafe’ Makeover
Doing his part for McDonald’s global
re-imaging program, franchise owner Paul
Willoughby dismantled the West Franklin
Street McDonald’s down to two walls in a
$1.2 million rebuilding that will bring a
larger restaurant to the site. For three years
he worked with town officials to get
approval for the McDonad’s new “McCafe”
look. The original building was constructed
in 1972 and had major renovations in 1987
When the franchise reopens —
Willoughby hoped it would be ready by
early March — the restaurant will have
replaced hard vinyl seats with upholstered
chairs and booths, installed at least two
large-screen TVs and added a beverage bar
in the contemporary tiled lobby. The outdoor tables will be moved to the side.
Landscaping concessions ate up six parking
spaces. And the town held firm to its “no
drive-through” rule. Willoughby is laying a
new sidewalk out front and will set up bike
racks front and back.
McDonald’s, 409 W. Franklin St., Chapel
Hill, (919) 967-5788
Limelight Fashionably Green
Hillary Fisher ’ 93, owner of Modern
Times, has gone green, sort of, by painting
the brick walls of her West Franklin Street
shop lime green, mixing “recycled” clothing
in with her boutique designer fashions and
changing the name to Limelight.
The women’s wear boutique, which
reinvented itself in mid-January, sells upscale
clothing on consignment, as well as new
clothing by contemporary designers and
accessories for fashion and home. In a concession to the recession, and the many
women who love designer clothes but can’t
fit them into a budget, Fisher sorted through
the closets of some of her best customers.
Within two weeks, she had enough designer
fashions to fill her store.
“I call it saintly shopping,” Fisher said.
“You’re not contributing to more things
being manufactured and shipped, and it keeps
Make an appointment to have relatively
The Modern Times store on West Franklin Street
has changed its name to Limelight and its color
scheme to lime green.
new items evaluated for consignment.
Clothing and home accessories will be
picked to complement the store’s new fashions.
Fisher’s Modern Times branch at
University Mall continues to offer designer
fashions and bridal gowns.
Limelight, 402 W. Franklin St., Chapel
Hill, (919) 929-8119
Minata Owner Retiring,
University Mall will have a little less
sparkle with the closing of Minata Jewelers.
In its 36 years of business, the trend-setting
shop has featured the work of renowned
jewelry designers — David Yurman, Michael
Good and Elsa Peretti — before they
became famous. Owner Linda Kornberg is
retiring and planned to close the store after
its remaining inventory, which was being
discounted up to 50 percent, was sold.
Minata Jewelers, University Mall, 201 S.
Estes Drive, Chapel Hill, (919) 967-8964 or
toll-free (866) 264-6282
Dispute Closes Hell
The gates of Hell Bar and Lounge
closed mid-December, owing to a dispute
between manager Nick Stiletto and landlord
Paliouras Enterprises. In November, town
inspectors found numerous safety violations,
including flooding and faulty electrical circuitry, in the club in the basement of 157
E. Rosemary St. Stiletto and Paliouras each
claimed that making the repairs was the
other’s responsibility. As the problems
remained unfixed, Stiletto closed the business, figuring he would not be able to get
Hell’s insurance policy renewed Jan. 1.
Then he filed a lawsuit against his landlord.
Stiletto plans to open a new club in
Carrboro this spring. He does not expect it
to be Hell.
As gas prices edge up again, a new bike
shop in Carrboro is ready with commuter
conveyances of the two-wheeled variety. In
early December, Cycle 9 bike shop opened
in the former locale of S.H. Basnight &
Sons building supplies on West Main Street.
The cycle shop sells electric bikes and
electric-motor conversion kits to help pedalers zip up hills sweat-free. The store caters
to commuters by offering folding bikes;
heavy-duty commuter bikes with racks,
fenders and lights; sport utility bikes; and
cargo cycles. Those wanting to ease the
transition from a car might try the comfort
bikes with executive-chair upholstered seats
with backs and high handlebars.
Cycle 9, 601 W. Main St., Carrboro, (919)
Frozen Treats for All Seasons
Now that the weather is beginning to
thaw, folks may warm to some frozen treats,
and a new gelato shop in Carr Mill Mall
touts “Ice, Custard, Happiness,” according
to its logo. Rita’s, part of a Philadelphia-based chain, opened in December by giving
away Italian ices. Although the shop sells
frozen custard, its specialty is “water ice,” a
smoother version of the sno-cone. Other
original creations include Gelati, parfaited
layers of frozen custard and water ice; Misto,
a milkshake-type drink; Blendini, frozen
custard with crushed cookies mixed in; and
Slenderita, a fat-free custard. Store owner
Todd Doros boasts that families can treat
four kids for under $10.
Rita’s Water Ice, Carr Mill Mall, 200 N.
Greensboro St., Carrboro, (919) 537-8742