A burger shack, a new real estate office and all about the vinyl

BY ZACHARY HORNER, News + Record Staff
Posted 1/17/20

Who likes burgers? Maybe the better question is, who doesn’t like burgers?

Vegetarians, I guess.

Anyway, this week’s business column features a good smattering of Chatham County-related …

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A burger shack, a new real estate office and all about the vinyl

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Posted

Who likes burgers? Maybe the better question is, who doesn’t like burgers?

Vegetarians, I guess.

Anyway, this week’s business column features a good smattering of Chatham County-related business news — as it very well should — as we get deeper into the year that is 2020.

As always, if there’s anything going on with your business or something you think I should know for the Corner Store, please let me know! My email and Twitter handle are at the end of this column.

Let’s get into it.

Popular local burger chain files for bankruptcy

Al’s Burger Shack, based out of Chapel Hill, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a couple weeks ago for its three locations — on Franklin Street and in Southern Village and Governors Village. A report in the January 7 News & Observer said the restaurants have fewer than $50,000 in assets each but much higher liabilities. The restaurant told the newspaper that it “overextended during expansion,” but it plans to stay open and keep “slinging burgers.”

The restaurant gained notoriety in 2018 when Trip Advisor called Al’s Bobo Chili Cheese burger the best burger in America. The Governors Village location is in northeast Chatham — that’s why it’s in this column. I went to the Southern Village location last week while on my Wednesday paper delivery route. That Bobo Chili Cheese burger — one patty stacked with chili, slaw, chopped onions, cheese and mustard — ain’t half bad. I’m not a big slaw fan, so keep that in mind.

Also of note: restaurant owner Al Bowers has been accused publicly by several people, including the leaders of the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, of sexual harrassment and intimidation and have cut ties with the restaurant. Something else to watch.

Vinyl records projected to outsell CDs for first time in decades

Billboard reported at the turn of the year that vinyl records are projected to outsell physical CDs over a 12-month span. Vinyls generated more than $224 million in sales in 2019, spurred on by newer records like Harry Styles’ “Fine Line,” older favorites like The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” and surprise hits like “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Volume 1,” the soundtrack to the 2014 film “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

I personally haven’t gotten into the vinyl craze, but I’ve known people that have and they love the sound and the feel of it. They also serve as collector’s items. Chain stores like Barnes & Noble have begun selling vinyl records in recent years, and you can get some yourself in Chatham County by visiting Circle City Books in downtown Pittsboro.

Realty World Carolina expanding in Siler City

A ribbon-cutting for a Siler City location for Realty World Carolina Properties is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. next Tuesday. The Chatham Chamber of Commerce announced the event last week. The office, located at 1609 E. 11th Street or U.S. Hwy. 64, is the third location for Realty World Carolina in Chatham County — with the other offices located. in downtown Pittsboro and Chapel Ridge — and Sherry Allen and Michelle Jordan will be the brokers in charge. The business has been in operation since 1999.

Reporter Zachary Horner can be reached at zhorner@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @ZachHornerCNR.

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