Buzz: TROSA buys former Walmart site

Jun. 17, 2014 @ 01:55 PM

TROSA eyes former Walmart for second thrift store: A commercial arm of the nonprofit residential substance abuse recovery program TROSA has bought the former Walmart site on North Roxboro Road.

The Walmart, in the Oxford Commons shopping center, closed in 2009.

In May, TROSA Commercial Inc. bought the building for $1.5 million from Wal-Mart Realty Co., according to property records. The building will need a lot of work, said Jeff Stern, director of special projects for TROSA. He said the timeline of the renovation and opening will be announced at a later date.

“We are looking to open up a thrift store at the site,” Stern said. “We don’t have a definite timeline yet because obviously the purchase just happened.”

TROSA has a Thrift & Frame Store at 1703 E. Geer St. TROSA moved the store last year from downtown Durham to Geer and expanded its offerings to include electronics, clothing and house wares as well as furniture. The location on Geer had once housed Hartman’s Steak House.

That move has been a success, Stern said, so now the nonprofit is looking to build on that. In addition to the store, the nonprofit also has moving and lawn care businesses. The businesses support TROSA and offer its residents job skills training opportunities.

“We’re always looking at both whether a business is going to earn money and whether it’s going to provide a high-quality vocational training experience,” Stern said, and he said the thrift store will offer additional good work opportunities.

While the moving and lawn care companies require a certain number of program residents to have driver’s licenses, he said they wouldn’t have those requirements in the thrift store.

Stern said TROSA gets a lot of donations for furniture and similar items from its moving business, but he said they’re more concerned about making sure they have enough incoming clothing donations for the second store.

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At Home store now open: Texas-based Garden Ridge has opened a new home décor superstore called At Home on University Drive in Durham in the old Kmart space.

The 85,000-square-foot store has more than 50,000 items for sale including patio furniture, home furniture, wall décor and decorative accents, rugs and house wares.

The store is owned and operated by Garden Ridge, which also has an At Home in Raleigh. Garden Ridge and At Home currently own and operate 71 stores in 21 states across the U.S.

First founded in 1979 as Garden Ridge Pottery, the company sells art and decorations, furniture, home textiles, house wares, patio and garden goods, rugs and seasonal items.

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Wayback Burgers to hold Free Shake Day: The hamburger chain Wayback Burgers is giving away free junior Black & White milkshakes all day on June 24 for its annual Free Shake Day, the company announced.

The Black & White milkshake is a signature staple to the Wayback menu, which has more than 12 hand-dipped milkshake flavors.

“Giving away free milkshakes on the first day of summer has been a tradition with our brand for many years,” said John Eucalitto, president, Jake’s Franchising, LLC, in a prepared statement.

The chain has two locations in Durham: in Northgate Mall and at 4104 Surles Court.

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Piedmont to mark anniversary: To mark a year since a new chef and manager took the helm at the downtown Southern eatery Piedmont, the restaurant is launching a quarterly dinner series.

Chef Ben Adams started at Piedmont in May of last year to help reinvent the restaurant, producing “modern comfort food” elevated using cutting-edge cooking techniques, according to a news release. The dishes have a Southern-food focus and are prepared with produce and other ingredients from local farms and artisans.

In addition, the owners also brought on a new general manager, Crawford Leavoy, in June. Kelly said he’s worked to grow the restaurant’s wine and whiskey offerings.

The restaurant is owned by Richard Holcomb and Jamie DeMent, who own Coon Rock Farm. The farm is one of the restaurant’s suppliers along with other artisans and farms.

The quarterly dinner series will highlight North Carolina’s changing seasons and agriculture and will also introduce the local farmers behind the ingredients to the customers.

The Summer Farm Dinner will be held at 6:30pm. Thursday, June 26. The dinner will include offer a four-course vegetarian menu for $35 and wine pairings for $15.

Guests will be seated at tables with the featured farmers. The menu will be posted online at  www.piedmontrestaurant.com.

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