The Editors' Blog

Coach Cutcliffe, Grey Friday and the mystery of the missing drive-through

Random thoughts at the end of a week:

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“I have checklists of all the mistakes I’ve made. Which the books, books plural, are all about this thick.”

Cutcliffe is an interesting fellow. He didn’t play football at Alabama. He was a student assistant to Bear Bryant, where he soaked it all in. When he coached at Ole Miss, his bosses wanted him to fire some assistants after a losing season. He refused, and so he was fired. Which takes a certain amount of confidence in yourself. The entire Manning family - Archie, Peyton and Eli and no doubt Olivia - thinks he is the best coach ever.

So this is quite something in our midst, Cutcliffe is.

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What has changed is that shoppers, especially young people, figured out that while the department stores might be closed on Turkey Day, the Internet was open. Online sales began to cut into the bricks-and-mortar Black Friday revenues. So the chains started opening up Thanksgiving evening. First a trickle, and now a gusher. Some chains are doing it not because they think it increases sales, but because the competition is doing it, and, there’s that Amazon.com.



Why is it that the McDonald's on Franklin Street doesn't have a drive-through window, like just about every other McDonald's in this country? There's plenty of room for one.

-- Curious

Dear Curious,

Because the Town of Chapel Hill wouldn't allow it. Drive-through windows, which are oriented toward the automobile, are seen as running counter to a longstanding principle of the town to promote a pedestrian-friendly downtown.

Drive-through windows are considered special uses in Chapel Hill's zoning regulations, and as such can be built only with the Town Council's approval of a special use permit. One of the findings the council must make in order to approve a special use permit is that the proposed development would conform with the Comprehensive Plan.

Hokey Smoke, Curious! as Rocky the Flying Squirrel might have said. A drive-through-less McDonald’s would go broke in car-friendly Clayton. In a week.

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