Womancraft moving to Carrboro
Womancraft Handcrafted Gifts on the move: Chapel Hill’s artist cooperative Womancraft Handcrafted Gifts will be moving from The Shops at Eastgate in Chapel Hill to the new 300 East Main mixed-use development in Carrboro.
The store is targeted to open Jan. 2 on the first floor of the Hampton Inn & Suites, next to where the East Main Meatball Shoppe and Esquina Empanada and Tequila are opening next year.
“We’re going to really work at it the week after Christmas to get it up and going,” said Dottie Fiddleman, one of the artists in the cooperative.
Womancraft Handcrafted Gifts first opened in 1973. It showcases and sells the work of more than 70 local artists and crafters, including jewelry makers and potters.
The shop is moving after they lost their lease at The Shops at Eastgate, Fiddleman said. The owner of the shopping center plans to combine the store’s space with a neighboring space to pave the way for one larger retail store.
“We’re getting excited about it now, but after the flood that we had, and all the work that we put into getting the store back up and running, we were not happy when we found that they were not going to renew our lease,” she said.
The cooperative was first located on West Franklin Street, she said. It moved to Eastgate in 1993, and then to Meadowmont after the artists lost their lease. The shop then moved back to Eastgate, and now they’re moving to 300 East Main.
The first phase of the new 300 East Main development in Carrboro includes a parking deck and a new Hampton Inn & Suites hotel with restaurants and shops on the first floor.
In addition to Womancraft Handcrafted Gifts, the gift shop Cameron’s, the East Main Meatball Shoppe and the Esquina Empanadas and Tequila eatery, the sports café Hickory Tavern is also opening on the first floor of the new building.
Patti Benedict, a partner at Main Street Properties, which is the developer of the 300 East Main, said Hickory Tavern is going to open at the beginning of 2014.
“We’re really excited to get them open,” she said. “(It will be) a great place for the whole family to have a new eating opportunity in the community, but also a great place to watch your favorite sporting event as well.”
Hillsborough restaurant to get makeover: Downtown Hillsborough’s Cajun, Creole and Caribbean restaurant the Gulf Rim Café will close in January. It’s slated to reopen in the third week of January under the new name of La Place Louisiana Cookery.
To make the transformation, the founder and owner of the Hillsborough pub Wooden Nickel, Matt Fox, is teaming up with Gulf Rim Café owner Joe Tullos.
The restaurant is narrowing the focus of its food offerings. It will continue to serve Louisiana and regional cuisine, and Tullos, who comes from La Place, La., also plans to add charcuterie and house-made sausages to the menu.
Fox is bringing his experience in the culinary industry to the partnership. He is a co-founder of Hillsborough BBQ Co., and was part of the team behind the Wooden Nickel.
They’re overhauling the kitchen and décor to give the restaurant a warmer and cozier atmosphere.
They’re also adding more comfortable bar seating as well as draft beer, a retail counter for house-made sausages, and are going to make improvements to the dining area.
“We are blessed to have Craig Claycomb (formerly of Kipos in Chapel Hill) come on board to run our service staff, and Derrick Smith (Wooden Nickel) aboard to assist on the culinary side,” Fox said in a prepared statement. “It’s a great team. I hope that everyone comes out over the holidays and experiences the best of what the Gulf Rim has to offer.”
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