Built in 1923 by/for the Tankersley family on property they had owned for decades.
Its first occupants were Tankersley's dry goods store (left side downstairs) and Carolina Cafeteria (right side downstairs).
In 1924, the occupants were Crabtree's Soda Fountain (left side downstairs) and the Welcome Inn Cafeteria (right side downstairs).
1925 Sanborn map excerpt (#166 and #168)
In 1931, Milton A. Abernathy
moves his bookstore (from his UNC dorm room!) into the upstairs right side (he moved out of the building in 1933).
In 1932, the occupants were University Shoe Shop (left side downstairs) and the Carolina Cafeteria (right side downstairs). Cummings & Hunter was located upstairs.
In 1938, the occupants were University Shoe Shop (left side downstairs) and University Restaurant (right side downstairs). The Tavern was located upstairs.
In 1943, the occupants were Vernon Lacock's College Shu Fixery (left side downstairs) and University Restaurant (right side downstairs).
In 1958, the occupants were The College Shu-Fixery (left side downstairs) and University Restaurant (right side downstairs), which may have also been known as the Chuckwagon Restaurant. The Yarn Shop and the University Beauty Shop were located upstairs.
Tankersley Building at right, 1960 (via Chapel Hill Historical Society)
1958, note signs to right (via Chapel Hill Historical Society)
By the early 1960s the occupants were The College Shu-Fixery (left side downstairs) and Harry's Grill (right side downstairs).
Harry's, 1969, view north east (photo from the book Classic Restaurants of Chapel Hill and Orange County, by Chris Holaday and Patrick Cullom)
In 1973, Vernon Lacock merged his business with his father's and brother's business (to the west on Franklin Street), and Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe
, started by Jimmy Chris, moved into the left side (#173). The Pro Shop
replaced Harry's Grill
in the downstairs right side (#175).
In 1978, the occupants were Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe (left side downstairs/#173) and Rendezvous Restaurant (right side downstairs/#175). The Athletic Attic and Stereo Sound were located upstairs.
Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe, 1977 (via Chapel Hill Historical Society)
In 1979, the sports bar/restaurant Four Corners replaced the Rendezvous Restaurant (right side downstairs/#175). Four Corners was named after a basketball strategy used by UNC Basketball Coach Dean Smith.
Tankersley Building, circa 1980 (via Chapel Hill Historical Society)
Four Corners, 1983 (via Chapel Hill Historical Society)
In the late 1990s/early 2000s, the popular (i.e. cheap drinks) bar 23 Steps was located upstairs.
As of 2020, Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe still survives, while Four Corners is now the Four Corners Grille.
The description of the building as per the 2015 Chapel Hill Historic District Boundary Increase and Additional Documentation:
"The Tankersley Building is two-story, brick commercial building with three bays divided by fullheight brick pilasters and with brick corbelling and concrete coping at the parapet. The left (west) storefront has been partially infilled with brick and has an aluminum-framed glass door and single window above a brick knee wall, both sheltered by a fabric awning. A replacement door with one-light transom, centered on the façade, accesses the upper floors. The right (east) storefront features a recessed, metal-framed glass door and grouped windows with vertical divisions that span the width of the storefront, a sign band that bisects the windows vertically, and a full-width fabric awning. At the secondfloor level, grouped fixed windows are located in the original wide window openings with soldier-course lintels and sills. A stone plaque, centered on the parapet reads “Tankersley Building 1923.” The right elevation is visible and has a storefront window at the front (south) of the first floor with high, paired windows beyond it and a single entrance with brick stoop at the rear of the first floor. Second-floor windows are paired, fixed windows, though the south pair has been bricked in, and integrated brick planters extend along the foundation on this elevation."