Crook’s Corner, a Landmark North Carolina Restaurant, Has Closed - The New York Times
Jun 09, 2021 1 min, 1 sec
It led the modern revival of Southern cuisine nearly 40 years ago, and remained a seedbed for talented chefs and new ideas.

Crook’s Corner, the restaurant in Chapel Hill, N.C., that helped spark a renaissance in Southern cuisine starting in the 1980s, has permanently closed, Shannon Healy, an owner, said Wednesday.

He envisioned Crook’s as a new kind of Southern restaurant: a place where the region’s food would be treated with reverence.

This was unusual in the early 1980s, said Bill Smith, a longtime chef at the restaurant.

“Crook’s treated Southern cuisine like it was delicious cuisine instead of the food of the Beverly Hillbillies,” he said.

“Then Crook’s becomes this incubator of new Southern cuisine, because so many young people come through there.”.

Neal at La Résidence, took over the kitchen at Crook’s, and continued to introduce signature Southern dishes, like fried oysters with garlic mayonnaise and Atlantic Beach pie, a lemon pie with a saltine cracker crust.

He said he was drawn to the restaurant in part by its lack of pretension.

“Instead of making simple things sound fancy, they did the opposite,” he said, like using the words “garlic mayonnaise” on the menu instead of aioli


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