I had a charge account there

Back in the early 1990’s

Sutton’s Drug Store

159 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Since 1923

Back when I was in school at UNC, Sutton’s was still a full on old school small town drug store

Dr. Woodard, the pharmacist, dispensed prescriptions in the back and Don and crew ran what was a lunch counter serving burgers, fries, and various ades. My favorite was and still is the cherry limeade

Diabetes in styrofoam

A friend and I had weekly lunches there on Wednesdays

Jesse, our lovely waitress and doyenne of the greasy spoon, knew to look out for our table

One Wednesday, she actually made a couple get up from our regular table chastising them for intruding on our space

She literally asked the couple if they knew they were sitting in our booth

I can hear her now, “GET UP!” she admonished them

On another Wednesday, we watched wide-eyed as Jesse screamed across the store, “I’m gonna kill you!” as she picked up a pair of scissors and chased a shoplifter out of the store and down Franklin Street

“I’m gonna kill you!” remains one of my favorite moments in four years of lunches

My wife and children love the place

LOVE the place

Any time we are in Chapel Hill, we go to Sutton’s

It’s now a full fledged diner owed by the same Don who worked there when I was in school

It was with full fledged horror that we read this week they are really struggling to keep the lights on and the griddle greasy because of Covid, because of the University’s decision to send everyone packing, because of North Carolina’s phased re-openings

A couple of weeks ago, Don told us they never closed during the quarantine

Now things are catching up with them

So, what’s a Tar Heel with a former charge account to do?

Well, he gives to a Go Fund me or two

Link provided

In less than two days, fellow Tar Heels have given almost $30,000.00

Even this newly minted Tar Heel seen eating at Suttons a month ago

One day her pic might be on the wall

If Covid and draconian shut downs take out Sutton’s, well, let’s just say I’m going to grab a pair of scissors and run down some fools and scream, “I’m gonna kill you” due to my own frustration

I know that my thirty or so followers may want to contribute even though they’ve never sat in the yellow booths, never seen the myriad students’ pictures on the walls, never read The Daily Tar Heel, never charged anything to their parents

If you’re so inclined, please give

If you’re not, well, I’ll still raise my styrofoam of cherrylimeade to you

3 thoughts on “Sutton’s

  1. Not a Tar Heel although I did live in Charlotte for seven wonderful years. I grew up in a small town with a similar drug store. High ceilings, mahogany paneled cabinets, marble counters, mosaic tile floors. No wonder its dismantled twin sister is in the Smithsonian. By the time I came along the Rx dispensing was long gone but it served great chili dogs and fries along with cherry Cokes. There was a glass candy counter that I swear held at least 50 different types of candies. While no booths it did have glass topped round tables with display areas beneath the glass (jewelry, cosmetics, etc. on display). It is where I first encountered Seventeen magazine. I didn’t have a charge account but my mother did which was even better. I am so happy to report it is still open and doing great. In fact, it is a tourist attraction. Because I was so lucky to have this wonderful experience (and can still go home again), I will donate to Suttons. We cannot allow these special small businesses to leave us! Instagram: @emb612

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ours here in Birmingham is canned Gilchrists!! Still going strong!! I bet u 5$ their limeades beat or at least tie with Sutton’s ( not to mention their hot beef on a bun, BLTs with pimento… I digress)


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