Hardee’s as a business began in September 1960, with the first location opened by Wilber Hardee in Greenville, North Carolina. This Chapel Hill location opened in 1964.
August 26, 1964, view southwest (photo by Roland Giduz, via UNC)
1960s, view southwest (photo via Boddie-Noell)
The structure was renovated or rebuilt, likely in the 1980s, and remained a Hardees in the mid-late 1990s. The individual Hardees locations as business entities merged to become Boddie-Noell Enterprises, Inc. in 1974. Boddie Noell Enterprises, Inc. became BNE Realty Partners in 1987 and this property was transferred between them; later that year it was transferred from BNE Realty Partners to Boddie-Noell Restaurant Properties. Then, it was immediately leased to Boddie-Noell Enterprises, Inc. (TADA...!) They then seem to have put it into a trust for debt to their bank (First Union National) in April 1996. Boddie-Noell Restaurant Properties became BNP Realty and "sold" the property to itself (?!). It seems as if the property may have been lost (temporarily perhaps?) to debt as it had been used as collateral, but it is hard to tell from the convoluted property records.
It was empty for a few years beginning circa 1999, until Panera bought or began renting the property and remodeled it in the early 2000s.
View east, from Mallette Street, 2019 (via Google Streetview)