157 East Rosemary St, Chapel Hill, NC | Directions 2751435.915192 -79.053954
AVOID unless you carry around Goo-Gone: No Parking stickers placed on customer cars in parking lot – I went into Blend today to enjoy a nice coffee and a chicken sandwich, which I was moderately satisfied with. The coffee was a little bitter and the sandwich a little dry, so not too much to complain about on that front. Though I do normally think of a chicken sandwich as a no-brainer food, so I was disappointed that this was not to my expectation when compared to the chicken sandwiches offered at Miltown or Tyler's, both just down the road in Carrboro. If they can't get a chicken sandwich right, I just don't have that much confidence in them to succeed on the more complicated dishes like the Baba Ganoush or Chicken Parmesan.
But despite this lack luster chicken sandwich, I was feeling reasonable good about my choice until I walked out into the parking lot to my car, and found THREE (not one, or two but THREE) stickers informing me that "Parking for 157 E. Rosemary [Blend] Customers only". Apparently spending $11 for lunch wasn't enough to make me a Blend customer. Worse, was that once I attempted to remove the stickers that declared my not fit to park in Blend's parking lot they broke into tiny strips making them IMPOSSIBLE t o remove-- clearly the intent, some sort of punishment for non-customers (or for customers a like). I spent a total of 30 minutes attempting to remove the stickers only to find that I had barely made a dent in the THREE STICKERS: one directly in front of the drivers seat, obstructing my view, one on the drivers window, and one on the back window .
I guess I now know why my chicken sandwich was so lackluster, the employees and owner of Blend where too busy creating and placing these stickers on my car and NOT focusing on making good food
STAY AWAY! Unless, of course, you religiously carry around goo-gone or like the tedious chore of using your finger nails to remove large stickers. As for me, I don't like working that hard for a lack-luster chicken sandwich and bitter coffee.
Great food and a chill atmosphere – Blend has a full liquor and espresso bar, and they do both quite well, (try both at the same time with their big selection of coffee cocktails) but I've been pleasantly surprised lately by their latest foray into food service. Blend has begun offering lunch and dinner throughout the week, and generous brunch menus on weekends. The menu is mostly Mediterranean twists on bar staples, many homecooked by the Israeli owners. I lived in the Middle East for years and I can honestly say it's some of the best baba ghanouj and felafel in Chapel Hill.
The atmosphere is perhaps the classiest this space has seen in years (it's changed hands multiple times since I've been a student), and they're well set up for live music and DJ's. True to the name, the owners seem to be going for a "blend" of scenes, with karaoke nights, acoustic bands, hip-hop and house DJs, gay nights and open mics. This can give Blend an inconsistent feel; some nights it's hopping, some nights it's relaxed and downright quiet. One gets the impression the owners are still finding their niche.
Still, even on quiet nights, the food is good, the bartenders are friendly and smart, and there's a laid-back, communal atmosphere that's a refreshing change from Franklin street's sports bars and Greek spots. Given a regular crowd of students or locals, this place could really take off.
Blend for lunch... Not so much... – Since it is close to work and convenient, I tried ordering lunch take-out. Choosing Blend was my first mistake.... I ordered the Blend Quesadilla with NO onions. What I got was a burnt (and I mean black and smelly) Quesidilla WITH onions and without the tomatoes, peppers and salsa that was listed on the menu. I did return it. It is the first meal I have returned in about 6 years (and - due to travel - I eat out alot).
Lunch is new for for this establishment. They were unprepared (no regular drink cups or phone polish), which was sort of charming at first, but not once I saw what they considered as passing for food.
Stay away unless you are into ordering lunch, returning it and then having to go elsewhere.
Editorial Review – Chill gathering spot attracts locals with banging music and a full-service bar featuring espresso drinks.
Blend on a Wednesday night. – Just passing through on the way to the Martini Bar we heard the music and decided to stop and see what the deal was. The girl at the desk was VERY nice- told us about the happenings. Couldn't see in due to the black curtain, but since it was free to get in we went ahead.
The music was nice. The place was dead at 10:30PM on a Wednesday. Maybe 4 people at the bar - but it WAS a Wednesday. But we grabbed 2 drinks and went and hung out in the corner.
But word to anybody going for the first time...just make sure you don't accidentally sit in the V.I.P. section. That's the section in the back by the t.v. with the little comfy couches and the Paparazzi rope. A few other people started to trickle in. And then...someone came to tell us we were sitting in the V.I.P. section like we had no right to be there. (I guess we missed the sign - that didn't exist- that said you had to be somebody important to sit there even in the place is empty!) We apologized for the infiltration, went ahead and finished our drinks and decided that was enough to leave since we really already had another destination planned. What irked me was that even after we got up OUT of the V.I.P. section - - - nobody else went to it.
However - this is not really an issue with the club - the club patrons maybe.
Anyway - to humor ourselves, a few hours and martinis later we returned to find it packed with about 75 or so people. Afterparty of some sort. Danced a few songs then headed out. (Come to think of it - there was still nobody in the V.I.P. section. HA HA!)
The D.J. - I will say - was jumping. Hip Hop was the theme of the few songs we stayed for. The bartender (female) was super nice and friendly as was the girl at the door. The crowd was a true "blend" of different folks, too. So I might return on a Friday or Saturday to check this place out on a real party night. But I was impressed that there was some partying going on at 1:00AM on a Wednesday night though.
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