452 ½ W. FRANKLIN ST. / RADIO SERVICE SHACK / THE CAVE / THE CAVERN / PEGASUS

452 ½ W. FRANKLIN ST. / RADIO SERVICE SHACK / THE CAVE / THE CAVERN / PEGASUS

452 ½
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Construction type: 
Type: 
Use: 

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  • Wed, 01/24/2024 - 2:43pm by SteveR

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452 ½
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Construction type: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

The address is located in the basement of one the buildings (originally West Franklin Grocery) built on West Franklin Street in the mid-late 1940s.

Circa 1952 it became a radio/TV/record player repair shop named the Radio Service Shack. In 1964 it may have been a billiards hall. The Cave opened in the space in 1968 as a beer joint. In 1972, it became the Pegasus, Chapel Hill’s first “official” gay bar (one room was the bar, one room was for dancing). By 1976 it was once again The Cave (a straight “cocktail bar”). It was then listed for awhile in the city directories as The Cavern.[1]

Beginning in the 1980s, The Cave has hosted numerous local musicians playing their first show and more famous bands as well. Bands such as The Avett Brothers, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Arcade Fire, R.E.M. the Two Dollar Pistols, Lyle Lovett, and Superchunk have played The Cave.

Meg Sorrell owned/operated the bar from circa 1982 to 2000. In 2000, Mouse Mock became part owner, buying out his business partner Dave Sorrell in 2005. He put it up for sale in 2010.

The Cave closed April 30, 2018. The owner of the building [Julie Jennings] has no intentions of considering offers to lease the space to any person or entity intending to continue as The Cave.” However, it reopened June 29, 2018 and is still open.[2]

From The Independent Weekly, September 2018

December 1952 ad (via the Lincoln Echo)

"Billiards Annex" at left, 1964 (photo by Jim Wallace, via UNC)

October 1970 ad (via the DTH)

December 1975 ad (via the DTH)

 

REFERENCES:
[1] See various Chapel Hill city directories, 1967-1980; also A Generation of Bars Remembered – Tempo, Pegasus, Blueberry, et. al. Lambda, Vol. 4, No. 2, November 1978.
[2] Victor Lewis "Requiem for The Cave, April 27, 2018" Chapelboro.com

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