403 W. FRANKLIN ST.

403 W. FRANKLIN ST.

403
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
1952
/ Modified in
2018
Construction type: 
Local Historic District: 
Type: 

Ye olde University Massage.

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Last updated

  • Mon, 11/02/2020 - 10:25am by SteveR

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403
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
1952
/ Modified in
2018
Construction type: 
Local Historic District: 
Type: 

 

This commercial structure was built circa 1952. Its first tenant was Cole-Dawson Real Estate.
 
1957 ad
 
By 1957 it was the Carolina Fabric Shop.
 
May 25, 1963 (photo by Roland Giduz, via UNC)
 
 
Then it was Triangle Finance, then Investor's Loan and Weaver's (a tailor/clothing repair shop) by 1968.
 
IN 1973 or 1974 it was The Community Bookstore and the first home of The Sun magazine . The bookstore stocked natural foods and alternative books; it was downstairs and owned by Mike Mathers; The Sun was upstairs and run by Sy Safransky. Eventually a yarn business was added in the back, run by Louanne Watley.
 
Circa 1977, it became the locally infamous University Massage and the Inquiry adult bookstore, owned by Larry Moore; however, an anti-porn statute was put into effect in January 1978 so the bookstore likely was closed down not long afterwards. In 1979 the property was sold to Shiu Lan Huang (for many decades he was one of the slumlords of the Chapel Hill area; he resold the property in 2013). There were rumors of it being operated (or at least "protected") by the Hell's Angels; this was at one time true, as a July 1984 raid (and later court case) described the owner of the business as William "Wild Willie" Johnson, of Durham, as one time president of the Durham chapter of the Hell's Angels.
 
1978 (from the Daily Tar Heel)
 
 
After some "legal issues" in the 2000s, it changed its name to All Girl Staff and then to Tom Cats II
 
2008 (by William J. via Yelp)
 
At night, 2010 (by Ruby Sinreich via Instagram)
 
In 2019 it was remodeled and modernized in appearance (and probably had a good sanitizing). It is now a coffee shop. One might call this a true "Happy Ending" for this building.

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