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The Pittsboro General Store Cafe could be a landmark that would bring visitors into town

By Lynn Hayes
Posted Monday, October 10, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - Rich and I were devoted patrons of the Pittsboro General Store Cafe for a lot of years. Beginning back in the days when it actually was a general store, and Doug Lorie made the best burritos in the state, there wasn't a nicer place to eat.

We have tried to maintain that loyalty but it has become impossible. As a realtor, I always used to plan a stop at the GSC with out of town clients, but now I take them elsewhere. The last few times I've brought clients there the food has been mediocre and the experience less than positive.

Like others, I have spent over twenty minutes waiting for service. One day a friend and I waited to be seated for about ten minutes, and then decided it would be quicker to get something from the deli section. The woman working there was on the phone and couldn't be bothered to get off the phone to help us. We went to the Chatham Marketplace instead.

It seems to me the downfall of the Pittsboro General Store Cafe hurts more than just the cafe - it has an effect on the shops in Pittsboro as well. When you have a really great restaurant in a town you will make a special trip to eat there and then shop there as well. Hillsborough has a new restaurant called Antonias, and even though Hillsborough is a half hour from my office all of my friends want to eat there. While we're there we stroll the streets of Hillsborough and go into all the stores. This could be Pittsboro.

Look what happened in Saxapahaw - probably largely because Jeff Barney's culinary skills which brings people from all over the area to eat. I've seen friends there who come from Durham, and a few from Raleigh as well - just for the food. While they're there, they also enjoy the pub, and the new art gallery, and the other exciting things that Saxapahaw has to offer. This could be Pittsboro.

I'm not saying there aren't other good restaurants in town, but the Pittsboro General Store Cafe could be a landmark that would bring shoppers in from all over the Triangle. I don't understand why Vance doesn't pay attention to the criticism that's been hitting not only the chatlist and the boards but also the major review sites like Urban Spoon for a long time now.

Many in the community have an ownership stake in the GSC, having invested at various stages of its expansion, but even those of us who don't have an ownership stake still have an investment in the community and seeing it survive. The General Store has a significant part to play in that vision.

 
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