History of The General Store Cafe and 39 West Street, Pittsboro, North Carolina
December 2, 2012 – The Pittsboro Roadhouse & General Store Christmas Float participated in the Siler City and Pittsboro Christmas Parades, and won 1st Place in the Siler City Parade.
August 17, 2012 – The General Store Café space was opened as the Pittsboro Roadhouse & General Store with new owner Executive Chef Greg Lewis a Pittsboro resident since 2006.
June 2012 – Executive Chef Greg Lewis in negotiations about opening the 39 West Street space.
January 27, 2012 - The General Store Café closes its doors due to financial difficulties based on a promising expansion undertaken in 2006 before the economic crash in 2008.
2008 – The renovations were completed and The Blackbird Cafe opened the rear area of the General Store Cafe more than doubling capacity, and providing a bar, lounge and stage area for musical performances.
April 2002 – The McGough’s sold the cafe.
1999 - Mimi Pearson retired and sold the store to Richard and Becket McGough who wound down the health food store and focused on the cafe.
1994 – Mimi Pearson relocated the General Store Cafe to its present location in a former Chevrolet dealership called Justice Motors.
May 12, 1979 - Elizabeth Anderson and Mimi Pearson, the store opened as a natural foods grocery
This from The Chatham Record: “General Store Café has Become Destination!”
In the unlikeliest of places lies one of the most happening hot spots in the Triangle area. Its popularity is growing. Visitors show up from different states often to see what all the fuss is about. Take a stroll through downtown Pittsboro on a weekend evening and you may hear the music, see the lights and smell the wonderful aromas emanating from the General Store Café. With articles in the Bon Appétit and Southern Living Magazine as well as numerous newspapers throughout the Triangle area, the café has become a favorite community gathering place as well as a destination for a lot of new folks.
Originally owned by two prominent women in the Pittsboro/Chatham community, Elizabeth Anderson and Mimi Pearson, the store opened as a natural foods grocery on May 12, 1979, in the Hall-London House on the corner of Thompson and Hillsborough, a few blocks north of its present location. A year and a half later it relocated to a space in the Blair Hotel Building on the traffic circle, where it resided until 1994, and for several years operated as a combination natural foods store and consignment shop.
In 1994 Mimi, now the sole owner, moved the store to its present location, previously a Chevrolet dealership. Within its high ceilings and massive glass facades, she created an expansive but inviting atmosphere; and by adding a kitchen and dining room for the cafe she prepared the store to serve lunch for the first time. In 1999, Mimi retired and sold the store to Richard and Becket McGough. Richard and Becket slowly phased out the natural foods grocery element of the store, focusing on the café. In April of 2002, they sold the café.
Now owned by a small group of dedicated individuals, the café continues to grow. Two of the owners, Vance and Joyce Remick, manage and keep the café alive as a community center by supporting local artists, musicians, and non profits. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night home town musicians take the stage, often to a standing room only crowd. The café’s newest project, the Burrito Bash, is held the first Monday of each month to help raise money for different local non profit organizations.
Joyce and Vance have worked hard to give Pittsboro a warm and welcoming place where people can enjoy good food, art, and music. The café is at the center of Chatham cultural activities, displaying its art, and featuring its musicians. It is open 6 days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and serves Sunday brunch; rest assured you will not be disappointed with the adventure!