We asked which closed Chapel Hill restaurants should return. Here are your votes.

·3 min read

A couple weeks ago, we asked readers to take a culinary stroll down memory lane and tell us which closed Chapel Hill restaurants they’d most like to bring back.

We provided 20 options — a ballot compiled after consulting with UNC-Chapel Hill alumni on staff — and voter turnout was strong.

The top five vote-getters were all restaurants from the recent past, with Pepper’s Pizza claiming the most love from hungry readers.

Pepper’s, opened by David Pepper Harvey in a former Schoolkids Records store, closed in 2013 after more than 25 years on Franklin Street. Many of you are still thinking about those slices. Pepper’s claimed 43% of the votes.

Rounding out the Top 10 were:

  • Ram’s Head Rathskeller (38%)

  • Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe (29%)

  • Pyewacket (25%)

  • Hector’s (22%)

  • Spanky’s (19%)

  • Papagayo (14%)

  • Margaret’s Cantina (11%)

  • Porthole (11%)

  • 35 Chinese (9%)

Note: We had a technical glitch in the middle of voting which made our poll disappear from the story for a day or two, so we kept voting open a little longer than we planned. Thank you for your patience.

Pepper’s Pizza, a Chapel Hill institution, closed in 2013. Mel Nathanson
Pepper’s Pizza, a Chapel Hill institution, closed in 2013. Mel Nathanson

Closed Chapel Hill restaurants: The write-in votes

We also asked you to let us know your favorites that were not included in the original ballot. Here’s what we learned.

Some of you were not impressed with our explanations about why we were not including Allen & Son Bar-B-Q (because there’s still one in Pittsboro) and Crook’s Corner (because it’s slated to reopen soon).

Jason Zengerle wrote in to make this very good point about Allen & Son:

“Even though you left it off the list, I’m voting for Allen & Son. The one in Pittsboro is a completely different restaurant, run by different members of the Allen family. The biggest difference is that the Pittsboro Allen & Son makes its bbq w/ gas. Keith Allen was the pit master at the Allen & Son in Chapel Hill and used wood.”

We also suspect Zengerle was the person leaving multiple comments in our online form as the Allen & Son submissions progressed from “Pittsboro cooks with gas” to “Just giving you a hard time” to “Take the heat!”

For the record, LOVE the passion here. We stand corrected.

Some of you thought we should have included Carrboro restaurants, because we got a whole bunch of votes for Elmo’s Diner and The Flying Burrito.

A lot of you used the form to write in support of restaurants that were already on our ballot, like Rathskeller, Pyewacket, Porthole and Hector’s. We hope you were also voting on the clicky list!

At least one person voted for Breadmen’s, which, as far as we can tell, is still open. Also, some votes for Elaine’s on Franklin, which closed its dining room, but says on its website that it still serves meals for pickup.

Other restaurants getting mentions: Skylight Exchange; Lizard & Snake Cafe; Burrito Bunker; SANDWICH; Zoom Zoom; The Ranch House; Sal’s at Eastgate and many others.