Farewell, Cooper’s Building

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Cooper’s Barbecue on Davie Street in downtown Raleigh is 75 years old. This piece of Raleigh history will soon be torn down to make way for a new building. While the restaurant is moving around the corner to a storefront on Wilmington Street, the textured, historical two-story building that Clyde Cooper bought at an auction in 1938 will be no more.

Those who appreciate the old brick building have three more months to soak up the ambiance.

Clyde Cooper’s Barbecue has served meals to everyone from NASCAR drivers to our local university athletes to members of the Caroline Hurricanes hockey team and The Rolling Stones. Many years ago Jerry Lewis even had a plate of barbecue served to him inside.

Debbie Holt, the present owner, has plans to recreate the 75-year-old feel at the new Wilmington Street location. She is planning to make the front windows booth dividers and all the pig sculptures, memorabilia and old photos will be moved. Holt also hopes to take the current awning on the front of Coopers and use it over the bar area in the new Cooper’s Barbecue.

Of course they will be using the same recipe for making barbecue with a special barbecue cooker built in the new building.

Clyde Cooper opened Jan. 1, 1938 and Holt would like to open the new place the same day in 2014 but with the expected usual building delays, she is planning for a grand opening sometime in February or March.

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