Chapel Hill’s Eastgate to get new Italian grill
Shops at Eastgate: Carmine’s Ristorante & Pizzeria has closed in the Eastgate shopping center in Chapel Hill, and a new restaurant, Vinny’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria, is planned to open in its place in three to four weeks.
Sarah North, marketing manager for the real estate ownership, operations and development company Federal Realty Investment Trust, said Carmine’s closed Jan. 24.
A partner in the new restaurant, Josephine Finazzo, is the daughter of the former owner of a Sal’s location in Chapel Hill at one time when it was located in Eastgate. She said the family moved from New York to launch Sal’s.
The family is involved in other restaurants in the Triangle. Finazzo said family members are partners in Pomodoro Italian Kitchen in Durham and in Mebane, as well as in the Italian Grill in Hillsborough, and in Il Bacio Italian Grill in Wake Forest. She said her father Leonardo Tornetta now runs the Mebane restaurant.
Vinny’s is an Italian restaurant chain with locations in Virginia and in North Carolina. Some of them are company-owned, and some owned by franchisees. Finazzo said the restaurant was started by her cousin Vinny.
“He opened a bunch of locations in Virginia that are franchised out, and then we opened the first one in North Carolina,” she said. “We joined with him to start that one, and this is our second store.”
According to the website vinnysitaliangrille.net, the Vinny’s restaurant menu includes appetizers such as mozzarella sticks, Italian chicken wings, fried calamari, as well as tomato and fresh mozzarella.
In addition to pizza, they also have soups and salads, calzones and Stromboli, pasta, subs, gluten-free items, and specialty items such as baked spaghetti, and spinach stuffed shells. Finazzo said the restaurant is expected to be open in three to four weeks.
Pittsboro restaurant news: In Pittsboro, Bella Donna Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria has closed temporarily in order to facilitate a move into a new location at 440 East St.
The owner purchased and is renovating a building that previously housed a Pizza Hut, according to the website http://belladonnaitalianrestaurant.com/.
Also in the town, the eatery Modern Life Deli & Drinks has opened at 46 Sanford Road in the town beside CrossFit True North.
Billsborough in Hillsborough: A live music venue and bar, Billsborough, has opened at 106 S. Churton St. in Hillsborough in the space that once housed the Blue Bayou Club as well as Katy’s Music Bar.
Whole Foods to hold benefit: The Whole Foods on South Elliott Road in Chapel Hill will donate 5 percent of sales on Feb. 5 to benefit the nonprofit Volunteers for Youth.
Carolina Brewery birthday: Carolina Brewery is celebrating the 18th anniversary of the opening of its Chapel Hill location at 460 W. Franklin St. with a series of events Wednesday through Saturday.
There will be an invite-only tasting event for Brew Crew members on Wednesday. On Thursday, the brewery will release its limited edition Anniversary Ale. On Friday, the brewery will give away commemorative logo pint glasses to the first 500 beer customers.
There will be a ticketed Mardis Gras-themed party with live music by the electric blues band The Bright Minds on Saturday at West End Public at 462 W. Franklin St. Event tickets are $10, and can be purchased at the brewery locations in Chapel Hill and Pittsboro. Tickets cover admission and one beer.
The Chapel Hill location will have a “celebration menu” Thursday through Feb. 17. All of the events are in Chapel Hill only. The brewery’s Pittsboro location will celebrate its sixth birthday in August.
Barbecue on Henderson: Bart’s Old North State switched its hours, and is open for dinner and late night serving barbecue and other items at 108 Henderson St. in Chapel Hill.
The co-owner of the barbecue business Bart Ramsey said he leases the kitchen at the bar the Rec Room. Bart’s hours are from 5 p.m. and until 2 a.m. Monday through Friday, and then 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Ramsey said the company is a “traditional North Carolina barbecue company.” He said they offer pulled pork sandwiches and platters, beef brisket sandwiches or platters, smoked chicken platters, as well as hamburgers, and sides such as baked beans, potato salad, fried pickles, or fried okra.
“If it’s N.C. barbecue, the main rules that apply (are that) it has to be hickory smoked,” he said.
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