When Southern Season opened in 1975 in a tiny 800 square foot space in Eastgate Shopping Center, a restaurant within the store was only the most remote of fantasies.
Within a year, the store had begun gathering a devoted clientele, and efforts to provide additional food items requested by patrons began to create quite a crowded little space.
In late 1978, Southern Season moved “across the parking lot” to the Eastgate location. The shop had no signage, so we marked the entrance with a couple of tables and a few chairs out on the front deck.
As interior selling space gradually increased during the next few years, new product lines were added. By late 1980, a small take-out kitchen and deli with an appealing menu had been created under the talented guidance of Chapel Hill’s beloved Caroll Kyser.
Customer requests for “somewhere to sit and eat” were becoming more prevalent. The tables outside the front door were continually filled.
By late 1981, another expansion permitted creation of a small self-serve “café.” It was not until 1984 that the store’s popular little dining area offered wait service during normal store hours.
Yet another renovation was completed in 1992, permitting the establishment of the full service restaurant and beautiful garden patio.
In 2003, we picked up everything and moved to University Mall, just a mile down the road, allowing Weathervane’s famous outdoor patio to remain open year-round and adding more spaces and garden settings for receptions, parties, and meetings. Additionally, a very cool coffee and wine bar, and a cozy mezzanine level if you want to head upstairs to sit, sip and gaze out on the scene below.
Weathervane’s devoted staff and special setting within the convivial atmosphere of Southern Season have helped propel the restaurant to its acclaimed status. It is an integral partner in what has become a one-of-a-kind marketplace that remains unique to Chapel Hill.
We all smile when folks notice that Southern Season’s weathervane has all its arrows pointing south. It’s symbolic of traditions where service and hospitality hold honor and respect, and we hope that those traditions are shared each time you choose to visit the store and the restaurant.