Months thereafter, Morris Commercial, the real estate company representing Munch Family Properties, began renovation work on the Rathskeller's old building. Presently, it intends to lease its space to as many as three tenants, though no lessees have, heretofore, expressed any interest in the property.
Ratskeller Menu Prices in 1954
Inside the Rathskeller in 1989
One thing is for sure: The Rathskeller will never again occupy its previous location. Not long after the termination of Diane Fountain's lease, she attempted to procure a location in NCNB plaza in the old "Ram Triple Theatre" location. That fell through as well. The reason apparently was lack of funding. Diane had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultants fees, copyright procurements, demolition work and the like, and virtually all of this activity has availed nothing substantive.
The final nail in the coffin came on May 23 of this year when the NC Secretary of State's Corporations Division administratively dissolved Rathskeller Partners, LLC (Diane Fountain's company). Apparently, she had failed to file an annual report for 2012. Assuming no other entity assumes that corporate name, Diane can file for reinstatement in accordance with NC law.
Free Beer or Wine was a great incentive for many Chapel Hillians to dine at The Rathskeller
Finally, in a matter unrelated to the foregoing, Ed "Squeaky" Morgan, waiter from 1960 to 1993 and then again from 2002 to 2007, died at UNC Hospitals on October 13, aged 72. A cause of death was not revealed.
On a happier note, Ed Carr shared a beautiful story about downtown Chapel Hill that includes a happy ending at The Rathskeller:
It was the fall of 1967. My date and I enjoyed a meal of lasagna, bread and salad at the Rat, and we had some extra time, so we walked down to the Record Bar. Frankly, I loved that place, and took any excuse to hang out there. My date watched, on the brink of impatience, while I dug through the 45's for the hundredth time, and I noticed a young couple coming through the door.
Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell played at UNC in the Fall of 1968.
She was attractive and wearing a pretty black and soft red dress. He was handsome and wearing jeans, a blue oxford shirt and a camel corduroy jacket. I recognized his face and hurried toward the door with my hand extended, grabbed his hand, and said to my date, "Let me introduce you to Glen Campbell." He replied, "Let me introduce you to Bobbie Gentry."
Glen Campbell arriving at the airport in 1968. A few years before he had played in Greensboro with The Beach Boys as a replacement for Brian Wilson.
Nobody else in the store seemed to notice, so we had them all to ourselves. Bobbie explained they were in town for a concert that evening, and we proudly showed off our tickets. She said they stopped by the Record Bar to see if their records were on the shelves. I ushered them to the proper shelf and pointed out their records. They seemed pleased.
Bobbie Gentry performing at UNC in 1968
When the evening was over I had enjoyed dining at the Rat, engaged in a memorable conversation with two up-and-coming music stars, got autographs on two 45 records - Ode to Billy Joe, and Gentle on My Mind, attended a fine concert, and impressed my date. ...A typical evening in Chapel Hill.
Charly Mann enjoying a pizza at The Rathskeller in 2003
All photos and ads in this article provided by Charly Mann
What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls. or the crisp October nights. No, our love for this place is based upon the fact that it is as it was meant to be, The University of the People.