When it was announced last summer that the Mediterranean Deli, Bakery and Catering planned to open a location in Elon I started monitoring progress at its future home — the Park Place site on West Haggard Avenue in the downtown area of town. That’s how much I’m looking forward to its arrival to the area. I’m not alone. There’s a ton of buzz about this Chapel Hill business opening at Elon.
For a long time there wasn’t much to report. For weeks it looked like a big empty first floor shell in the space that includes student apartments on the upper floors. An open concrete floor was what I saw walking by every other week. September passed then October — when the first projected opening date came and went. Then owner Jamil Kadoura told the Burlington Times-News in October that construction and inspection delays slowed progress at the 6,300 square foot site. At that time he said he hoped to open by late December, in time for students returning from Christmas break.
Didn’t happen and didn’t appear very close to happening.
In the meantime I did see some small changes. Plumbing and other infrastructure was put in. Electricians were on the site. Little stuff.
This week, though I saw major signs of progress. The opening of the second Mediterranean Deli location in North Carolina may be close at hand — maybe within two or three weeks.
I walked by the site on Thursday and noticed a restaurant supply truck in the parking lot, bay door up and equipment being unloaded. The front door of the Mediterranean Deli was open and display counters clearly visible to someone passing by. A man walked outside and struck up a conversation. He appeared to be with the restaurant supply company. I told him anticipation was high for this new restaurant in Elon. He nodded in agreement.
“Have you been to the one in Chapel Hill?” he asked.
“I have, we like it a lot,” I said. It’s one of our favorite places on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, where it has operated for 27 years — pretty much landmark status these days.
“It’s always crowded,” he added. “I think this one will be, too.”
I have no doubt.
As he walked toward the truck he turned and said, “they have a lot of stuff in there now and a lot more is still going in, but it will open soon, very soon. It won’t be long now.”
Hardly official I know, but encouraging.
Lunch plans TBA. I’m ordering falafel — once the crowd thins out. Maybe I’ll order ahead.