Carolina Beach will be getting its own franchise of a 24-hour restaurant chain, but with a unique twist.
According to a news release, a local businesswoman will be opening the first location of Atlanta-based diner chain Huddle House in the country to offer rooftop dining on a piece of property on Lake Park Boulevard.
“This is an exciting opportunity to offer delicious food and breathtaking scenery for an incredible dining experience,” new franchisee Lisa Tang said in the release. “Being new to the restaurant business, we elected to invest in a franchise because of the support we knew we would receive. After looking at several options, it was clear that Huddle House was the full-service family dining restaurant that we wanted to pursue.”
The restaurant will be built on what is currently a 4,350 sq. ft. vacant lot at 201 and 203 S. Lake Park Blvd., located between the boardwalk area and Carolina Beach Lake and down the street from the Hamlet Avenue public beach access.
The town’s senior planner, Jeremy Hardison, said the franchisee, who is also the owner of the property, contacted him about a month ago about the idea. After going over the town’s requirements, Hardison was shown a preliminary rendering and site plan for the restaurant. No permits have been filed.
“They haven’t officially applied for anything yet,” said Hardison, noting the last plan he saw lacked adequate parking that needed to be addressed.
Due to the size of the lot, Hardison said the project would not have to be presented to the planning and zoning committee or city council for it to move forward.
“Typically restaurants of this size we can approve on a staff level,” Hardison said.
Not having to go through the committee approvals or public hearings that are required of larger projects will be good for the owner’s timeline. According to the release, the restaurant is hoping to open in June.
Huddle House locations, which serve Southern, home-style all-day breakfast, lunch and dinner, are typically open 24 hours. It is unclear what the hours of the Carolina Beach location will be. Kate’s Pancake House, a local favorite for breakfast and lunch, is located one block north of the proposed Huddle House site but has limited hours.
Executives with the chain hope that the unique feature this location will offer, which will aim to take advantage of the island’s scenery, will draw both locals and out-of-towners alike.
“Carolina Beach is an area with a strong sense of community as well as a beautiful beach that attracts a vibrant tourist business – both core customer bases for our restaurants,” said Christina Chambers, vice president of franchise development for Huddle House, in the release. “The rooftop dining is a perfect complement to the experience of visiting Carolina Beach and will make dining at Huddle House even more special for local residents as well as visitors to the area.”