401 W. FRANKLIN ST.

401 W. FRANKLIN ST.

401
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
circa 1956
/ Modified in
2019
Local Historic District: 
Type: 
Use: 
,
,

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Last updated

  • Thu, 12/24/2020 - 2:44pm by SteveR

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401
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
circa 1956
/ Modified in
2019
Local Historic District: 
Type: 
Use: 
,
,

 

This commercial structure was built on the site of a previous residential structure circa 1956 (although the OC GIS states this structure was built in 1942).

Sold by L. J. and Vivian Phipps to Addie Mae Creel in January 1949. Purchased by Clarence and Sallie Gray in January 1956.

Was the West Franklin Street Luncheonette in the 1950s, owned/operated by Clarence Gray.

1957 ad

 

It was renamed Clarence's Bar & Grill by 1962, and still owned/operated by Clarence Gray.

May 25, 1963 (photo by Roland Giduz, via UNC)

As with most of the other Chapel Hill businesses, Clarence's was segregated and thus the site of several Civil Rights protests in 1963 and 1964. In opposition to the protestors, Clarence Gray hung numerous "rebel flags" throughout his restaurant and hosed protestors down with water, and he and bar patrons were known to throw urine and feces out the door at protestors. In June 1964, after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by Congress, local African-American students attempted to eat at Clarence's but were (illegally, now) refused service.

Circa 1974, the business (but not the building) was sold and became the Cockney Pride Tavern. By 1988 it was Roman Wings Tavern. The building was sold by the Gray family in 1993 and became the New Orleans Cookery. A few years later it was the Italian restaurant Trilussa la Trattoria.

1982 ad (via the DTH)

2008 (by William J. via Yelp)

2016 (Google streetview)

2019 (Google streetview)

The building is now home to Perennial, a restaurant. The facade has been "modernized" by the removal of its original Colonial Revival elements.

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