163 E. FRANKLIN ST.

163 E. FRANKLIN ST.

163
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
1930
/ Modified in
1938, 1952
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Local Historic District: 
National Register: 
Type: 

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Last updated

  • Sat, 12/05/2020 - 2:36pm by SteveR

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163
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
1930
/ Modified in
1938, 1952
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Local Historic District: 
National Register: 
Type: 

 

The building was built in late 1929 or early 1930 on the location of an earlier commercial structure that was destroyed in a fire. The Cobb family owned this building for many decades (maybe still do?).
 
The building was first occupied by University Cafeteria, soon renamed the Friendly Cafeteria, then within a few years (by 1933) it was renamed the Crescent Cafeteria and then the N.C. Cafeteria.
 
Interior of Friendly Cafeteria, 1930s (via Chapel Hill Historical Society)
 
 
Interior of Friendly Cafeteria, 1930s (via Chapel Hill Historical Society)
 
At right, circa 1947 (photo by Bayard Wootten, via UNC)
 
Beginning in July 1938 the building was leased by the Hospital Savings Association (which decades later became part of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina) and the structure was remodeled. The HSA moved out of the structure in 1948 after its lease expired.
Hospital Savings Association, 1948 (screenshot from the film "This is Chapel Hill")
 
In late 1951/early 1952, after a brief tenancy of 219 E. Franklin Street, Milton's Clothing Cupboard moved into the building.
 
1952 ad
1977 (photo via Chapel Hill Historical Society)
Interior, 1970s (photo via the Julian family)
Circa 1980
 
Milton's closed in 1992. Franklin Street Pizza & Pasta moved into the location by 1994 and closed in 2012. It was replaced later that year by Tomato Jake’s Pizzeria.
 
2003 (photo via Chapel Hill Historical Society)
 
July 2008 (photo by Yelp reviewer William J.)
 
It was most recently the Mongolian restaurant S. Mong.
June 2019 (via Google Streetview)
 
An interesting, in my nerdy opinion, remnant of the original facade of the structure is the black tile to the right of the doorway; it once continued on the other side of the doorway beneath the (then smaller) windows but was removed when Milton's renovated the facade of the building in 1952.

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