The owners of Clyde Coopers, Randy and Debbie Holt, could have marketed the delicious pork and hush puppies and Brunswick stew all these years as health food. After all, original owner Clyde Cooper lived to the grand age of 98 and loved his barbecue.
But the main concern these days of the devoted customers of Coopers is the Raleigh restaurants own longevity. The Holts say not to worry.
Although this is the last week Coopers will be at its original location on Davie Street, it is moving around the corner to a spot on Wilmington Street. The same booths will go, and the Holts arent allowing them to be dressed up. The green awning is going over, too. And the mounted hogs head with the mardi gras beads? Itll be in the new home.
The move is making way for the Edison, a mixed-use development. Progress might have prompted another facelift in downtown Raleigh, but this isnt major surgery.
Indeed, there are some pretty good things about the move. The cooks wont have to carry pork shoulders up a narrow staircase to upstairs cookers and then down again with cooked pork.
The Holts are thankfully devoted to the traditions that matter. When the couple bought the restaurant six years ago, Debbie Holt found some original recipes and made sure the stew and hush puppies returned to Clyde Coopers exact specifications.
The Holts have developed a loyal customer base of downtown workers, business executives and even former downtown workers who come back once a week for some cue. And theyre loyal. Manys the steady customer who demanded, when a daughter married, that the reception feature Coopers. Standards must be maintained in the best families, after all.