Taco Bell to move to old KFC location
The Taco Bell shuffle: The KFC fast food restaurant on Westgate Drive in Durham has closed, and is planned to re-open as a Taco Bell by the end of May.
When the opening of the Taco Bell, another nearby, existing Taco Bell on Shannon Road will close.
The employees from the Shannon Road location are planned to move to the Westgate Drive restaurant, according to an email from Rick Maynard, a company spokesman.
“The lease is expiring at the Shannon Road location,” Maynard said in an email. “The franchisee thinks the Westgate Drive location is a better location for a Taco Bell, and they continue to operate six other KFC restaurants in and around Durham.”
Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants are fast-food restaurant concepts of the publicly traded parent company Yum! Brands Inc.
The company had more than 39,000 restaurants in more than 125 countries and territories, according to the publicly-traded company’s annual report, filed in February. Yum! develops, operates, franchises and licenses the restaurants.
The restaurant locations on Shannon Road and Westgate Drive are both operated by the same franchisee, according to the email from Maynard.
They’re located in the area near the SuperTarget on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard in the strip shopping center that replaced the enclosed South Square Mall.
One Rudino’s closes, another changes hands: The Rudino’s pizza and grinders restaurant location in the Southpoint Crossing shopping center on N.C. 54 has closed after 13 years of operation.
Also, another family-owned location of the Rudino’s restaurant chain near the intersection of Interstate 40 and Miami Boulevard has changed hands.
The chain was started in Cary in 1995 by Terry Rudd, a retired IBM Corp. employee, and his son, said Gary Rudd, the founder’s nephew.
Rudd, who is part-owner of a location in Raleigh as well as the full owner of the location on North Pointe Drive in Durham, said the founder’s last name is Rudd, and they added “ino” onto the end of the name to sound Italian.
There are now multiple locations in and out of the state, some family-owned, and some operated by licensees of the restaurant concept.
Rudd said food costs increased. The owners started doing sports bars in 1999 to get a better profit margin through the sales of beer and liquor.
He said they had plans to convert the Southpoint Crossing location to a sports bar, and also wanted to add an outdoor deck. But he said the center’s owner would not allow them to renew, and is looking for an upscale tenant.
When the Blockbuster and the Starbucks locations closed in the shopping center, the Rudino’s lost about a third of its business, he said.
“That was a big, big blow,” he said.
Paul Muñana, a leasing agent for the company that leases and manages the shopping center, said in an email that the Rudino’s on N.C. 54 closed at the end of the year. The center is owned by Regency Centers, a limited partnership, and is leased and managed by Regency Centers Corp.
“Our position is that the parties agreed our respective business objectives were no longer shared, and that the best thing for both parties was for the store to close,” he said in an email. “We are actively pursuing successor tenants for the space but we are not yet in a position to announce a transaction,” he added.
In addition to the closure of the Rudino’s, Muñana said the lease for the Hallmark store in the shopping center expires in May. He said the company is looking for tenants to locate in that space as well.
He also said the company is evaluating the potential of a capital infusion into the shopping center to improve the property.
As for the Rudino’s at 4911 Central Park Lane in Durham near the I-40 and Miami Boulevard intersection, it sold earlier this month to three partners, Rudd said. It will remain a Rudino’s until June 1, he said, and then it will become a sports bar called Rookie's Sports Park. Rudd said the partners are licensees of the Rudino’s concept.
Bar Lusconi to open Wednesday: A wine and beer bar called Bar Lusconi is planned to open Wednesday, April 24 downtown at 117-B E. Main St.
The owners of the new bar also own Peccadillo on Brewer Lane in Carrboro. The hours of both locations will be from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m. They both also serve food.
In the initial nights of its operation, Bar Lusconi will be open Wednesday through Saturday. There are plans to expand operations to seven nights per week, according to an email from the bar owner.
The bar is located in a renovated building, according to the email. The interior has tin ceilings and some of the original wood flooring was used in the table tops and bar.
There are plans to open a back patio and garden as well as expand the business’ food menu.
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