The Margaret Cantina in Chapel Hill will close in 30 years



After more than 30 years, a restaurant opens in Chapel Hill in late February.

Margaret’s Cantina will close, its owner Young Fentan said in a telephone interview after two years of business losses linked to the pandemic and the end of the restaurant’s current lease. Fentan said the restaurant will come out with a fuss and possibly appear in a smaller space in the future.

“I have to make that difficult decision,” Fentan said. “The main thing is the pandemic, it started two years ago not only here in North Carolina, but everywhere. We have to close the door. “

To her namesake Continent, the late Margaret Landy opened Chick it Out, a restaurant with fried chicken in 1989. A few years later Landy was shocked by everything and discovered a new concept, Margaret’s Cantina. The restaurant has focused on fresh performances of Southwestern dishes, becoming a pioneer in the current local food movement.

Built on Weaver Dairy Road, Cantina has for decades been an adaptation of the North Chapel Hill community. His devotion to the local went beyond food, as the walls of the restaurant were regularly covered with works by local artists.

Margarita and guacamole

In 2014, health problems forced Lundi to retire. She sold Margaret’s Cantina to Fentan, who previously owned the now-closed Merlion restaurant in the southern village of Chapel Hill.

Fentan continued Cantina’s recipes and traditions by mixing margarita with freshly squeezed juice and making one of Chapel Hill’s most popular guacamoles.

“We were honored to have customers who still come from 1990, especially in those times,” Fentan said.

In early 2020, a pandemic forced Margaret’s Cantina and all restaurants to change dramatically, Fentan said. For Cantina, this meant reducing the hours to just lunch and building an outdoor patio-style garden.

Fentan said for years Margaret’s Cantina has sought to be a restaurant next door, offering something more casual from the hustle and bustle of downtown. She said her visitors came back for years, grew up in a restaurant and then brought their children.

“It’s different from Franklin Street,” Fentan said. “Our customers are calmer, it’s a different group.”

Farewell party

Since the restaurant’s lease expires in late March, Fentan said she has decided to close the restaurant.

The last regular service will take place on February 25, followed by a farewell on February 26. After that, Fentan said she plans to donate the rest of the food at the restaurant.

“We just want to thank all our customers and staff for supporting Margaret’s for 31 years,” Fentan said.

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Drew Jackson writes about restaurants and eateries for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, covering the culinary scene in Triangle and North Carolina.

The Margaret Cantina in Chapel Hill will close in 30 years

Source link The Margaret Cantina in Chapel Hill will close in 30 years