Development Beat: Teardown Tuesday

Brought to you by Rufty-Peedin Design Build

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Two months after awarding the demolition contract for the Capital Inn, the City of Raleigh has granted the necessary demolition permits to Janezic Building Corp for the teardown of this 70-year-old motel. Not surprisingly, the Capital Inn did not begin its life in 1946 as a low-end residential motel suffering from severe bedbug problems.

In fact, what was most recently known as The Capital Inn appears to have started off as two separate lodging facilities: the Popajohn Tourist Court & Johnny’s Motor Lodge. We don’t have a ton of information on the Popajohn place, except to say it has no relation to the popular pizza chain & was actually accompanied by a restaurant known as “Pop’s Chicken.” We think the Tourist Court came before the Motor Lodge, but we can’t say for certain when the motor lodge was built. Wake County’s Property Records have three separate buildings listed on this parcel: the 1946 motel, described as “Capital Inn,” a motel described as “Johnny’s Motor Lodge” built in 1965 and a restaurant described as “Blues Cafe” built in 1946. Goodnight Raleigh has an excellent article on the history of the whole complex under the ownership of John “Johnny” Griffin: it once contained Johnny’s Drive-In Grill, Johnny’s Supper Club & the aforementioned Motor Lodge.