One of Raleigh’s most iconic restaurants, Irregardless Cafe, is under new ownership. 

Arthur Gordon, who opened the business with his wife Anya in 1975, sold the restaurant to Trophy Brewing co-owner David Meeker and Lee Robinson, who was a manager at Player’s Retreat.

“We both love the place and want to keep it Irregardless,” Meeker told the INDY. 

The duo paid more than $1 million for the restaurant, Meeker says. Meeker, who is the son of former Mayor Charles Meeker and nephew of INDY owner Richard Meeker, has loved the cafe since he was a kid and fondly recalls grabbing Sunday brunch with his parents. 

Gordon, who is 70, was ready to retire, Meeker says, and “wanted to sell it to somebody who he knew and knew wouldn’t change too much of it.”

And that’s the plan. Other than a few cosmetic facelifts, the biggest change to the menu will be the introduction of Trophy beers, Meeker says. 

“The goal is to have the customer notice no changes,” Meeker says.

The sale was made official at midnight on January 1. The beloved restaurant, located at 901 West Morgan Street, was the city’s first vegetarian restaurant before it started serving meat in the 1980s. They also championed farm-to-table before it was cool and was one of the first in the state to ban smoking in 1985. 

Meeker has also sold his share of Runologie, a running store formerly on Hillsborough Street, to co-owner Alex Warren. The shop will re-open on Automotive Way Monday. 

Closed the year at the restaurant of my dear friend Arthur Gordon, who sold his wonderful concept Irregardless Cafe after 45 years’ continuous operation as a Raleigh, NC icon. G-d bless you and your wife Anya on the next phase of your journey. pic.twitter.com/kHwg8Ysgtz

— BarryShuster (@BarryShuster) January 1, 2020


Contact Raleigh news editor Leigh Tauss at ltauss@indyweek.com.

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