Chapel Hill has one of South's best bars

Feb. 01, 2014 @ 12:28 PM

The Crunkleton celebrates: To celebrate making Southern Living’s list of “Best Bars in the South,” Chapel Hill’s The Crunkleton will be participating in a “South-Wide Happy Hour” from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday.

Located at 320 W. Franklin St. in Chapel Hill, The Crunkleton bills itself as a private club that serves classic cocktails “with modern twists.”

It has an authentic, turn-of-the-20th-century atmosphere, said the bar’s owner and namesake Gary Crunkleton, that’s created through the use of leather and dark-stained oak furniture as well as through a list of authentic cocktails.

“We create drinks the way they were done in the, sort of, golden age of cocktails from the 1870s to the 1920s, with the proper tools, proper glassware, proper spirits, and proper technique,” Crunkleton said.

For the upcoming “South-Wide Happy Hour,” the bar will be selling one of its cocktails, The Roycroft, for $7 all day on Friday, Crunkleton said.

While Crunkleton said it’s illegal in North Carolina to hold limited-time happy hour specials, the bar can offer specials from open to close.

“That’s one of my favorites,” he said of The Roycroft, which is made with ingredients including rye whiskey, Cherry Herring liqueur, and Chartreuse liqueur.

Crunkleton said he created the copper-colored cocktail as a tribute to the Roycroft artisan community of New York who believed that if you “put your heart and hands into what you created, then happiness would result.”

Also on Southern Living’s list of the best bars in the South were Durham’s Mateo Tapas and Raleigh’s Poole’s Downtown Diner.

Mateo is a tapas bar, said Matt Kelly, that also has all of the amenities of a restaurant. Their full menu is served until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, Kelly said, adding that they also have a large wine list, a variety of different types of sherry, beer, and a large liquor bar.

Kelly said the bar tries to keep an offering of beverages that “you can’t get everywhere,” such as Basque beer on tap.


New store at Carr Mill Mall: A home furniture and decorations shop called La Boutique Lane opened in December next to Elmo's Diner in Carrboro’s Carr Mill Mall. The shop went into space previously occupied by Katie’s Pretzels.


Billsborough on the move: The live music venue, Billsborough Live Music Hall, has closed its South Churton Street location in Hillsborough.

However, the venue is rumored to be relocating. Attempts to reach the owner by deadline Thursday were unsuccessful.

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