Clyde Cooper's is moving, not closing

March 26, 2014 

The owners of Clyde Cooper’s, 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 Cooper’s is the Raleigh restaurant’s own longevity. The Holts say not to worry.

Although this is the last week Cooper’s 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 aren’t allowing them to be dressed up. The green awning is going over, too. And the mounted hog’s head with the mardi gras beads? It’ll 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 isn’t major surgery.

Indeed, there are some pretty good things about the move. The cooks won’t 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 Cooper’s 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 they’re loyal. Many’s the steady customer who demanded, when a daughter married, that the reception feature Cooper’s. Standards must be maintained in the best families, after all.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service