Ye Olde: 45 YEARS AND COUNTING

After Jimmy’s passing in 2012, the Chris family has continued to operate the shop with his words in mind: “Early in my restaurant career, I learned never to cut corners - just do it right the first time.” He attributed Ye Olde’s success to two things: “first, the blessing the shop received as the result of using the Greek Church’s building bones and second, the competent staff.” Speaking of the staff, we recognize our dedicated grill cooks (two of whom have been with us for a total of 28 years), a dishwasher who has been with us for 10, and a lead server who has been with us for 5. Ye Olde is and will always be a family run establishment that takes care of its customers and staff.

As Ye Olde approaches its 45th anniversary in December 2016, the business is now mother-daughter operated as Linda is joined by her daughter, Melissa. They add, “Every lift of the fork will reward you. We hope it meets your expectations.”

Since Ye Olde is considered an institution, the owners thought you might enjoy a colorful side of its history. Originally from Winston-Salem, Jimmy and Linda Chris arrived in Chapel Hill in 1972 ready to oversee the renovation of the Tankersley Building (built in 1923 by W.L. Tankersley). Beckoned back to their home state of North Carolina after living in Atlanta, they arrived on the Hill with a one month old daughter, Nicole.

The first undertaking was to reduce the Tankersley to a shell and work with an architect to design two restaurants on the ground level. With a recession looming and new building materials unaffordable, Jimmy searched for salvaged brick and timber for construction, calling a scrap yard in Winston-Salem. The salvage man delivered the materials in two weeks and revealed that the source was the old Greek Orthodox church recently torn down. Jimmy’s heart skipped a beat - this was the same church where he was baptized and grew up attending services. Best of all, it was also where he had married his wife, Linda. Glance in Ye Olde’s back dining room and see the cross-timbered beams and exposed brick from the church - history literally built into the walls. 

Long on simplicity, charm, and old-fashioned hospitality, Ye Olde has survived over four decades in the breakfast trade because its food is consistently delicious and its service always reliable. Never trendy, always authentic, the restaurant draws a diverse crowd. With its low-rise counter facing the open grill and ringside style of cooking and serving, Ye Olde has always strived to be transparent, revealing something about itself. We serve delicious breakfast classics made-to-order that remind you of home. It’s hard to say what it is about Ye Olde that keeps customers coming back. But we’re glad that you do!

After Jimmy’s passing in 2012, the Chris family has continued to operate the shop with his words in mind: “Early in my restaurant career, I learned never to cut corners - just do it right the first time.” He attributed Ye Olde’s success to two things: “first, the blessing the shop received as the result of using the Greek Church’s building bones and second, the competent staff.” Speaking of the staff, we recognize our dedicated grill cooks (two of whom have been with us for a total of 28 years), a dishwasher who has been with us for 10, and a lead server who has been with us for 5. Ye Olde is and will always be a family run establishment that takes care of its customers and staff.

As Ye Olde approaches its 45th anniversary in December 2016, the business is now mother-daughter operated as Linda is joined by her daughter, Melissa. They add, “Every lift of the fork will reward you. We hope it meets your expectations.”