Franklin Street is the street that borders the northern part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s campus; due to its proximity to campus, the street is well-known for its numerous, and ephemeral, food spots for current students. As an example of regional foodways, Franklin Street exemplifies the transient college food scene in modern-day Chapel Hill.
Franklin Street provides important insights into consumer desires through its various restaurants in the past, present, and most likely into the future. For instance, a change from earlier times is the new restaurant Hibachi & Company. This restaurant is under a year old, and it reflects the students’ wants for more Asian food in the area. Another interesting look into consumer desires is the amount of pizza restaurants on Franklin Street. Within the last two years, three pizza restaurants have opened on the street: Lotsa, MidiCi, and Pizza Press. Considering pizza can feed a large number of people in a short amount of time, the numerous pizza restaurants near the college campus reflects the area’s fast-food college culture. Thus, the turnover rate of Franklin Street’s restaurants highlights consumer desires over time.
Franklin Street’s ever-changing restaurant scene is important for understanding Chapel Hill, especially within the context of UNC-CH. Along with consumer desires, an area that deserves further analysis is Franklin Street’s rental rates and how prices might impact the temporary status of restaurants on the street. While different restaurants have changed over time, and will continue to do in the future, the street itself remains as a staple for students all across the Chapel Hill area. Therefore, Franklin Street is an important marker not only for UNC-CH students, but for the larger Chapel Hill identity as a reflection of local consumer desires.
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