Last-modified: 2017/9/16

   This file lists restaurants in vicinity of Raleigh, North Carolina, USA,
   that are "trapped in time."  The WWW version of this file can be found at
   http:// Suggestions and/or 
   corrections are always welcome.
   Copyright 2000-2017 by Richard Butner. You may redistribute this file in
   any way as long as the content is not changed and this notice stays on
    1. The Concept
    2. The Places
    3. Credits
The Concept:

   This file is about restaurants that have been around for several decades, at
   least since the early 70's, and that have preserved at least some if not all
   of their original decor or ambience. These places do not necessarily serve
   good food; do not take this listing as a recommendation for fine dining.
   This is merely an appreciation of places that value history and tradition
   over trendiness. Note: most of these places only serve lunch.

   This file is *not* meant to be a comprehensive listing of every restaurant
   that has ever existed in Raleigh. The purpose of this file is to document
   current restaurants and other businesses that are trapped in time. The
   "Lost Sites" have all closed since we initially posted this file
   in 2000.

The Places:

   Angus Barn, 9401 Glenwood Ave. A benchmark steakhouse in the area.
   The yuppies have moved on, but old school fatcats still dine here 
   regularly. The prices are high, but you can still get a drink in
   the Wild Turkey Lounge and take in the collection of Wild Turkey
   decanters and vintage revolvers.

   Ashworth Drugs, 105 W Chatham St, Cary. Yet another drugstore with
   a food counter.

   Char-Grill, 618 Hillsborough St. The definitive hamburger joint.
   Feed your order through the slot into the glass-enclosed kitchen
   populated by a wide variety of characters, all wearing paper hats.

   Jerry's Grill, 813 E Whitaker Mill Rd. Next door to The Bison (which used
   to be Northside Billiards). Try the steam table lunches before you delve 
   into the burgers and dogs.

   Mecca, 13 E Martin St. Sit in a booth or on a stool at the bar—this
   place appears not to have changed much since it opened in the 40s.
   Plus, you see lots of legislative bigwigs in here for lunch.

   Mitch's Tavern, 2426 Hillsborough St. As with many places near North
   Carolina State University, renovation and redecoration are not a top
   priority here (that's a good thing). Beer and sandwiches.

   Players Retreat, 105 Oberlin Rd. Old school bar/restaurant for, um, sports
   enthusiasts. The walls are lined with a massive beer can collection. The
   jukebox waxes and wanes depending on the cool factor of the current kitchen

   Roast Grill, 7 S West St. Hotdogs, beer, and baklava, the triumvirate of
   Greek cuisine.

   Sutton's Drug Store, 159 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill. Another old-timey 
   soda fountain and grill inside a pharmacy.

   Toot-N-Tell, 903 W Garner Rd, Garner. Longtime meat-and-three restaurant
   in the burgeoning metropolis of Garner.

   Watkins Grill, 1625 Wake Forest Rd. A greasy spoon that saw its heyday in
   the 1980s. The cooks moved back to Greece and it hasn't been the same since.
   But hey, it's old!

   Farmers Market Restaurant, 1240 Farmers Market Dr. New, and chock full of
   rustic junk. The "trapped in time" vibe goes all the way back to the 
   Civil War, thanks to the disturbing pictures of Happy Slaves in the foyer. 
   The Farmers Market itself, also built recently, is worth a stroll. (Update:
   there's been a management change. The Civil War memorabilia is gone from the
   foyer, which is good. But the quality of the food has declined.)
   42nd Street, 508 W Jones St. The structure has nothing to do with the
   original Oyster Bar on this spot, but they did save a booth from the old
   place. You have to sit at the bar to get the steamed oysters, though.

   Waffle House, several locations. Always get your hash browns scattered,
   smothered, covered, chunked, topped, and diced. Also, play all the Waffle
   House tunes on the jukebox. The staff will love you.

   Bali Hai, 2414 Wake Forest Rd. Mongolian Barbecue. The arcane ritual of
   packing the bowl qualified this place. And then it burned to the ground.

   Bourbon Street, 1303 Hillsborough St. "Fast Eddie" Felson shot pool here 
   once. The place then became the Jackpot bar, a fine place to hang out. And then
   it got demolished by, you guessed it, greedhead developers.

   Brothers, 2508-1/2 Hillsborough St. One of two long-time Italian places
   near State, now gone.

   Burger Hut, 829 W Morgan St. The burgers and shakes are gone now, after 
   the Burger Hut got kicked out by the landlord. We must semi-begrudgingly admit that 
   the current occupants, Trophy Brewing, make fantastic beer.
   Colonial Inn Restaurant, 153 West King St, Hillsborough. Currently closed
   and rotting away, sadly. The legend is that this Inn dates to 1759, but it's
   more likely that it was built in the mid-19th century.

   Cooper's BBQ, 109 E Davie St. It was a solid downtown barbecue joint in
   a land full of barbecue joints. Then it got moved to a brand new building, thanks
   to downtown greedhead development. Worth it for lunch, but no longer trapped in

   Crowley's, 3071 Medlin Dr. A hangout for theater types and other drinkers
   since before the yuppie boom. The interior was completely renovated
   from the original design, but the place was still full of doubly retro
   posters: 1980s prints of old Hollywood stars. And then it shut down.

   Elliott's Pharmacy, 202 S Main St, Fuquay-Varina. Old school drug
   store with a soda fountain. A (sadly) dying breed. Now gone.

   Finch's, 401 W Peace St. It hasn't been a drive-in in ages, but
   you'll still find good diner food once you step inside. Demolished to make
   way for a big bridge reconstruction project.

   Glenwood Village Pharmacy, Oberlin Rd & Glenwood Ave. Once an
   old school soda fountain in a pharmacy, now completely disappeared.
   Hartman's Steak House, 1703 E Geer St, Durham. Opened in the 40s, this
   place was recently sold to a yuppie who destroyed some of the ambience
   (he took down the decades old collection of business cards tacked up in the
   foyer). In May 2001 they closed down completely.

   Hayes Barton Cafe, 2000 Fairview Rd. This place used to look like the kind
   of pharmacy counter where Philip Marlowe would grab a bite to eat (except
   pharmacies in North Carolina can't serve whiskey). Now it's a spruced-up
   "dessertery" with faux 40s decor replacing much of the original charms.

   IHOP, 1313 Hillsborough St. They redecorated a few years back, but the
   peaked blue roof is still a late night beacon for those in search of the
   Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity. Now gone, thanks to the hideous re-development of
   Hillsborough Street.

   Knightdale Seafood and Barbecue, 7201 E US 64 Hwy, Knightdale. The
   business moved to a brand new (ugly) location after they abandoned the cool 
   old joint due to highway-widening. Then they shut down completely.

   McDonald's Drug Store, 732 9th St, Durham. Opened in 1914, gone now.

   Morrisville Cafe, 10123 Chapel Hill Rd, Morrisville. A cinderblock
   bunker next to the railroad tracks, happy to fry up a lunch for you
   and sell you a tall-boy Budweiser too. There were also videogames and
   pool tables to take your mind off of your Research Triangle job.

   Murray's Bar-B-Q, 4700 Old Poole Rd. The walls were covered in 60s and 70s 
   NASCAR photos, the sanitation rating was on average a B, and the barbecue was
   tasty. Probably the last log-burning barbecue joint in Wake County. RIP.

   Oak City Diner, 2305 Wake Forest Rd. Once the Ham 'N' Egger, this used
   to be one of the few non-chain 24 hour diners in the area. First they
   dropped round-the-clock service, then they went under completely.
   Occoneechee Farm Steak House, 378 S Churton St, Hillsborough. The
   waitresses didn't dress up like Indians, but the place was a huge (and dark)
   log cabin, and the bathrooms were labeled "Squaws" and "Braves."

   Old Fashioned Hotdogs, 2706 Hillsborough St. Old. Hotdogs. The Man-Mur
   Barber Shop next door is still there, still trapped in time, but Old
   Fashioned Hotdogs is gone, its space taken over by the Man-Mur Shoe Shop.

   The Pub, 2913 Brentwood Rd. We never went, but according to some it had
   the best pizza in Raleigh.

   Rathskeller, 2412 Hillsborough St. The Rat was trapped in the 70s, 
   especially if you sat in the back where you can't see the street. Now it's
   just plain gone.
   Sadlack's Heroes, 2116 Hillsborough St. Subs during the day, beer at night.
   Rednecks, punks, hippies, and drunks all the time. Gone now, but if you go
   downtown to the Berkeley Cafe, you can recapture the vibe.

   Starlite Drive In, 2523 E Club Blvd, Durham. The only drive-in movie 
   theater left in the area, now closed and gone. The blockhouse in the 
   middle sold snacks and guns.

   Tippy's Mexican Restaurant, 808 W Hodges St. Open since the 70s, it
   featured a 70s idea of what Mexican food is supposed to be. The food was
   terrible, but they did have cold beer and  woven pictures featuring
   scenes from ol' Mexico. Now the place is just a memory.

   Top of the Tower, 320 Hillsborough St. In the top of the round Holiday
   Inn, this place is still worth a trip for the view (be prepared to pay a lot
   for drinks), although a recent remodel has managed to make the place both
   hideous and cramped. The Oh-Mighty-Isis diaphanous green costumes once worn 
   by the cocktail waitresses are sorely missed.

   Two Guys, 2504 Hillsborough St. NCSU professors and students ate there every
   day. Really.

   Upstairs, 135 S Wilmington St. No longer will the elderly matrons of the
   Upstairs Restaurant serenade you with their description of the "Bishop's
   Pie."  This downtown Raleigh institution closed in May 2000 because the
   ladies couldn't find good help anymore.

   Western Lanes, 2512 Hillsborough St. We miss the days when Teresa would slide
   your beer to you down the length of the bar. And now it's just plain gone, and
   instead of that beautiful bowling alley there will be a Target store.

   Your House, vanished from several locations. The prime downtown location is 
   long gone, sadly, and now the last locations on Glenwood Avenue and Capital
   Boulevard are gone too.

   The Barn, 2407 Garner Rd, Garner. A bar that looks like a barn. (Update:
   the bar is still there, but the old barn is now gone.)
   The Cave, 452 1/2 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill's oldest tavern,
   it actually looks like a cave on the inside. If you are tall, wear
   protective headgear.

   Hartsfield & Son Auto Repair, 234 S Boylan Ave. Supposedly, this repair
   shop sells beer. (This place is either gone or moved.)

   Jeffries Bait & Tackle, 4232 New Bern Ave. An ancient bait shop and hangout
   joint. Horseshoe pits out back. Go there now; developers will probably buy
   it soon. (In fact, it might be gone now.)

   Met-Tech, 105 S Wilmington St. Not good for much unless you're in the
   market for billiards equipment, but chock full of oldness nonetheless.

   Pipes By George, 1209 Hillsborough St. A tobacco shop that's been open for
   quite some time. Pipes, cigars, darts, and friendly conversation.


People who have suggested places and made corrections:
    Ben Barwick
    Jennifer Childs
    Stacey Hammond Hill
    Diane Sexton Jones
    Chris Shumake