Declining sales and rising costs have led Panzanella to not renew its lease with Carr Mill Mall. The restaurant will be closing its doors at the end of the year.
Weaver Street Market started Panzanella 14 years ago to feature local food, but now many more restaurants offer this option, said Ruffin Slater, the co-op’s general manager.
“It’s not feasible to continue to operate the restaurant,” he said. “In the past, we split the Panzanella rent costs with our bakery and offices, but we no longer use the space for these functions.”
Some Panzanella staff members will move to another job within Weaver Street while others will receive severance pay and job search assistance. The co-op, which has stories in Carrboro, Chapel Hill’s Southern Village and Hillsborough, will also assist staff in maintaining continuous health coverage.
“Panzanella is one of the few restaurants to offer health insurance to employees, and we want to make sure staff can continue that coverage through the transition,” Slater said.