New pizza joint, Korean fried chicken coming to Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street

Two new national chain restaurants are making their way to Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street.
Two new national chain restaurants are making their way to Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street. The Herald-Sun

Two long vacant spaces on Franklin Street have found new tenants, adding two new restaurants to the crowded food scene in downtown Chapel Hill.

Nearly two years after the Ackland Art Museum gift shop traded spaces on Franklin Street, the prominent location below the Top of the Hill restaurant will be turned into the Neapolitan pizza shop Midici, a chain based in Los Angeles.

Neapolitan pizza has a fluffy crust and lots of tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

The chain’s coming Chapel Hill location is part of a large expansion to the East Coast. Midici, which is known for a Nutella dessert calzone, has stores in nine states.

It will be the second pizza joint to open at the intersection of Franklin and Columbia streets in recent time, after Lotsa Stone Fired Pizza opened earlier this year. There are currently nine pizza restaurants on Franklin Street near UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus.

The Pizza Press, another California-based chain pizza restaurant, is also opening soon on Franklin Street in the large Carolina Square development. Carolina Square is set to open a host of new retail tenants in the coming months.

Earlier this year, Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom closed its doors at 140 West Franklin, another large mixed-use development.

Down the street from Midici, the Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon will open in the former McAlister’s Deli space. McAlister’s had been located at 205 E. Franklin St. since the 1990s before closing last year.

The New York-based Bonchon has two locations already in North Carolina, in Charlotte and Pineville, but is mainly clustered in New York and California.

Bonchon’s menu offers meals such as Korean tacos, bulgogi, pork buns and bibimbap.

Zachery Eanes: 919-419-6684, @zeanes