Franklin Street diner Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe, once a beacon for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students, professors, and visitors, announced this week that it will not reopen. Owners Linda Chris and Melissa Peng took to Facebook to explain that the COVID pandemic has made it difficult to sustain business as usual:
After much consideration, we have decided to close Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe. It is hard to imagine waking up in the morning and not heading over to Ye Olde to prepare breakfast for the town of Chapel Hill, as it has been our norm for over 48 years. However, from a public health perspective and due to the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, it is the right choice for us. We will miss seeing our dedicated staff, loyal customers, and cherished community members. Much love to all who have supported us over the years as we will hold dear the memories made together.
Locally know as simply Ye Olde, the restaurant served inexpensive, yet hearty breakfast options — mostly waffles. If you went to UNC, you probably ate there.
Many Franklin Street restaurants echo the hardships of Ye Olde, as the reduction in the student population due to online learning took a big hit on their businesses.