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Nov 15, 2010 11:12 AM

Th' Rat- Chapel Hill

I heard a rumor that Th' Rat may be re-opening. Can anyone confirm/deny this? I would love to see this longtime landmark back up and running. I could really use a Double Gambler right about now.

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  1. According to this article, plans are to open the new Rat in early 2011:

    The Daily Tar Heel originally reported about this developer and her plans back in August.

    5 Replies
    1. re: romansperson

      I hope the new owners do a better job than the folks who owned it when it closed.

      1. re: LBD

        I would hope so too - they're investing *a million bucks* to do this.

        1. re: romansperson

          Lasagna.....Double Gambler......cold pitchers......ahhh, memories....

      2. Unfortunate the original closed just before I could get to it.. (no not literally) but just a few weeks after moving to the area. I did hear about the lasagne though I can't imagine what made it so great. Hope it has more going for it than just that and will have to check it out in due time.

        12 Replies
        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

          BF, even in instances of self-admitted inexperience, your critical commentary is unparalleled! Unchained from the burdens of first hand experience!

          1. re: ToothTooth

            I'm just saying that this is what I had heard.. please if I'm wrong correct me. On a separate note, is the much graffitied wall going to be there?

            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

              The article I linked to says yes, the graffiti will still be there.

              The Rat's version of lasagna = hot cheese in a bowl, lol.

              1. re: romansperson

                Hot cheese in a bowl sounds kind of like my idea of heaven (but not my doctor's!).

                1. re: LulusMom

                  I'm sure it's much better after about 6 beers too!

                    1. re: romansperson

                      Oh yeah. Or, as you suggested earlier - the next morning.

            2. re: burgeoningfoodie

              BF, the original Rat served what I'd classify as hangover food ;). Nothing great about it at all. What people miss about it, I think, has a lot more to do with its location, ambiance, memories with friends, etc. From what I've heard about it so far, the new owner is going to bring back some of the old stuff people are nostalgic for but also improve the quality of its menu offerings. Maybe now when my boss suggests going to the Rat for lunch the rest of us won't roll our eyes at him, lol.

              1. re: romansperson

                I think this sums it up pretty well. Having grown up in Chapel Hill and eating there pretty regularly from an early age it was a part of life. I never liked the pizza but the spaghetti was always solid and how can a skirt steak (The Gambler) and a basket of fries ever be that bad? I remember when the new (old) owners took over they changed few things that were not for the better like grilled chicken for the chicken parm. and using cheap crinkle cut fries instead of the usual steak fries that had been served for as long as I can remember. There are definitely things that should be updated but some things should be the way they always were.

              2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                Confused - is it that you don't like lasagna?

                1. re: LulusMom

                  Thought this thread was about Butch Davis or Dickie Baddour, as you were -

                  1. re: Raised on Q

                    It's kind of scary that I can see the UNC campus while I'm typing this, and yet had no idea who you were talking about. Had to google. D'oh!

              3. Anyone got any new info on this? I see one of the old posts said they were planning to open in early 2011. I walked by there they other day and I see no signs of any work going on. I could kinda see through one of the windows and it didn't look like anything had been moved in years. Has this deal fallen through or just been set back?

                I never experienced the old Rat having been in the Triangle area for only 2 years now. I was looking forward to trying it out but now I'm not so sure it'll ever happen.

                2 Replies
                1. re: d.v

                  Looks like the re-opening has been delayed until August:


                  Apparently there were some hassles with the lease, which has delayed demolition on the space.

                  1. re: romansperson

                    August still sounds overly optimistic to me. That's 5 months to get the legal stuff squared away, demo 6 rooms (what, maybe 2500 square feet?), then remodel and pass all the inspection. Who know what surprises they'll find tearing out all the old stuff? I'd say this time next year sounds more reasonable.