University Square retailers finding new locations
New tenants for University Mall: William Travis Jewelry and Glee Kids are opening up at University Mall in Chapel Hill, the mall announced Wednesday.
William Travis Jewelry has signed a lease for a 3,000-square-foot space in the mall, according to a news release.
The space is a portion of a 15,000-square-foot space that previously housed Kerr Drug, which closed at the mall in January of 2010 and opened at East 54, said Jeanette Gulledge, director of marketing for University Mall.
The former drug store space is being redesigned to house four smaller, outward facing stores, including William Travis Jewelry.
Claire Stanhope, who said she does marketing for the jewelry store, said the move is driven by the planned redevelopment of University Square on West Franklin Street, which is where William Travis Jewelry is now located.
Gulledge said in an email that the mall doesn’t have an opening date yet for the jewelry store, but it’s believed to be happening in the early summer.
“We’re really excited about it; it’s going to be a great opportunity to expand our inventory, and expand our client base,” Stanhope said of the new University Mall location. “It will still be very convenient for everyone to drive up and come right in.”
The children’s boutique Glee Kids, which planned to have a grand opening Saturday at their new University Mall space, was also a tenant of University Square.
Owner Noelle Garstka bought the children’s clothing store and gift shop last year, according to the mall’s news release. The store was in its University Square location for five years. The shop now has a 1,241-square-foot interior space at the mall.
The boutique will continue to carry the children’s clothing brands Tea, Wonderboy, Appaman, Winter Water Factory, Pink Chicken, City Threads, Toobydoo, and Nui Organics at its location at University Mall. They also have children’s shoe lines such as Tsukihoshi, Birkis, Superga, Morgan and Milo.
“So many of our customers are already at the mall,” Garstka said in the release.
Other University Square news: In addition to Glee Kids and William Travis Jewelry, another University Square tenant, Franklin Street Yoga Center, is moving because of the planned University Square redevelopment.
The owner of the yoga studio signed a lease for a space in The Courtyard, and is expected to open there in April, said Bruce Knott, chief operating officer of The Dilweg Companies, which owns The Courtyard through a limited liability company.
The Courtyard, located on West Franklin Street, is being renovated to include residential units in an existing building. They’ve also demolished two buildings in order to build a four-story building that will have retail and residential space.
Vinny’s follow-up: In my last Biz Buzz column in The Chapel Hill Herald, it appears that I created some confusion about the historical ownership connection between the new Vinny’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria that’s coming to The Shops at Eastgate, and the Sal’s restaurant on Homestead Road in Chapel Hill.
So I’ll try to add some details to explain, and correct inaccuracies. The scoop is this: Carmine’s has closed at The Shops at Eastgate, and a new restaurant called Vinny’s is opening up there.
Josephine Finazzo is a partner in the new Vinny’s. She is the daughter of Leonardo Tornetta, who at one time owned Sal’s in Chapel Hill with his brother. It appears that the Sal’s was located in several spots in Eastgate, but the last time it was at the former Carmine’s spot.
While it was still in that spot, Tornetta sold the Sal’s business to his brother. Stevie Roe, an employee of Sal’s on Homestead Road in Chapel Hill, said Tornetta’s brother continued ownership, and built up a faithful clientele.
Later, the Sal’s moved to 2811 Homestead Road. Finazzo said she’s not now affiliated with the ownership of Sal’s – except that it was her uncle who bought the business from her father.
“They were partners, owned it together, and we moved from New York – I grew up in that location,” she said. “When I got married, we went in for our own business,” she also said.
Have an item for The Buzz? Contact Laura Oleniacz at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 919-419-6636.