Local News

Bargain Hunters Buy One Last Taste of Balentines

Posted July 12, 1999

— Bargain hunters packed Balentines Cafeteria Tuesday hoping to get one final taste of history. The owners auctioned off everything inside the 60-year Raleigh landmark.

Many people were sad to see Balentines Cafeteriaclose its doorstwo weeks ago. The restaurant had been in the same spot in Cameron Village for the past 39 years. Tuesday, the owners opened the doors one last time, for customers hungry for nostalgia.

The auction began at 9 a.m., and shoppers immediately gobbled up everything from chandeliers to old menus to kitchen equipment.

Clyde Corson was able to buy an old apple peeler for $85. "It's an old commercial one," Corson said. "It's probably the first one I've seen. They have a lot of smaller ones, but that one is very unique in its characteristics."

Many people crowded around the piles of merchandise, snatching up items almost as quickly as the auctioneer could speak.

Some were restaurant owners hoping to get a good deal. Others, like Doris Upchurch, came for personal reasons.

"I did come because I have a brother that's eaten here for years, and I guess there's a lot of sentimental value," Upchurch said.

The auction lasted most of the day. Almost 550 items were sold, the entire contents of the cafeteria. Most people say they walked away with a good deal.

Fans of the longtime Raleigh restaurant took home a piece of the past. The owners have said they may reopen at a new location at some point in the future.

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