Jasmin Bistro To Replace Qdoba On Franklin Street

There will be a new eatery on Franklin Street soon.

Jasmin Mediterranean Bistro, a Greek-Lebanese fusion restaurant, will move into the building that used to be occupied by Qudoba Mexican Grilll, which closed down on Halloween night.

Jasmin Bistro is run by Nawwaf Said and his wife, Bayan. Said says he’s been looking to add a location in Chapel Hill for years.

“We wanted to be there but I really wanted to find a good location in Chapel Hill. When that corner at North Columbia and Franklin became available then we decided its time for us to do it,” says Said.

The couple opened their first restaurant on the campus of N.C. State in 2004, and has since added three more locations in Raleigh and Cary.

Said says Jasmin’s will offer something different from the rest of the eateries on Franklin Street.

“Franklin Street has that mix of whether you’re going to go get cheap calories or you’re going to get some expensive food,” says Said. “So Jasmin will put the quality of the food and bring value to Franklin Street.”

Jasmin Mediterranean Bistro will open at the intersection of Franklin Street and Columbia Street in February.


Carolina Ale House To Occupy Former Yates Building

The Yates Building at 419 West Franklin Street will be occupied once more, as LM Restaurants announced it will open a Carolina Ale House restaurant at that location within the next twelve months.

The site would be the 14th Carolina Ale House to open in the state and the 22nd in the Southeast.

The building, which has been vacant since 2003, was the site of a confrontation in November 2011 between Chapel Hill Police and 70 protesters seeking to occupy the site indefinitely.

The Yates Building raid sparked months of controversy regarding police tactics, as some objected to the deployment of the town’s Special Emergency Response Team. Officers armed with assault rifles arrested seven protesters and briefly detained two reporters at the scene.

Since then, the Yates Building has played host to seasonal art installations, but has sat largely empty. Now, the site is set to be remodeled and the newest Carolina Ale House should be open by next spring.

“We’ve been looking for a location on Franklin Street for years,” Lou Moshakos, president and owner of LM Restaurants said in a press release. “This spot is perfect for us.”


NAT: UNC Students To Asia; Plants For Sick Children; Local Restaurant Awards

CHAPEL HILL – Two UNC students recently received the Henry Luce Foundation scholarship to connect future American leaders with Asian colleagues in their fields.

Outgoing Student Body President Will Leimenstoll and Henry Ross received the scholarships that give recent college graduates up to age 30 the chance to travel abroad. Leimenstoll is an environmental studies major and city planning minor; Ross is a classics major and biology minor as well as a Morehead-Cain Scholar.

Leimenstoll will study sustainable city planning and urban design as a Luce Scholar. He says he hopes to focus on developing environmentally-friendly buildings and neighborhoods in the United States.

Ross hopes to attend law school in the future. He’s already done research abroad as he studied in Cape Town, South Africa and taught school in rural Zimbabwe.


The North Carolina Botanical Garden at UNC has received two grants from businesses in Research Triangle Park to continue a science program for pediatric patients at UNC Hospitals.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund gave a grant in the amount of $121,000 to go towards the Healing and Hope Through Science program; the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation gave $25,000 through the Ribbon of Hope grant to help the program as well.

Due to infection-control restrictions, children in the hospital do not have access to plants. The Healing and Hope Through Science program will design ways for the children to interact will living plant material.


Two local restaurants have been honored as top establishments by the James Beard Foundation.

The Lantern Restaurant in Chapel Hill has been named a semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurant. This could be the second Beard award for owner and chef Andrea Reusing as she won Best Chef Southeast in 2011.

This year’s Best Chef Southeast includes Hillsborough’s Aaron Vandemark of Panciuto.

To see the complete list of semifinalists in the 2013 James Beard Awards, click here.