This is a post by N&O restaurant critic Greg Cox:
Chapel Hill lost a landmark last night when Pepper's Pizza closed after 26 years. Owner Pepper Harvey cited competition from expanded on-campus meal options for declining business.
Pepper's closing isn't the first time a longtime Franklin Street favorite gave up the ghost (The Rathskeller, which flourished for more than half a century, comes to mind). No doubt it won't be the last.
But it was the only pizzeria I know of where the staff (mostly college kids with attitude) were as much a part of the fun as choosing from the extensive and offbeat list of toppings you could get on a slice or a pie.
I'll never forget walking by the shop early on a Halloween night a few years ago (they were at their previous location a few doors down), and cracking up when I saw the guys making pizzas behind the storefront window. They were all in drag. And I'm not talking half-hearted, I-did-it-on-a-dare drag. These guys obviously had expert help. And just as obviously, they were having fun.
So here's a final toast to Peppers. I think this one calls for a PBR.
Send restaurant news to Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to tune in to Greg's radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF.