The silverware is still rolled in the napkins. A half-used bag of onions sits in a window. The phone still works. At night, the neon sign is brightly lit. But Pop’s Trattoria, once a mainstay of the Durham dining scene, has closed.
The rumors started shortly after Thanksgiving, when each night the restaurant at 605 W. Main St. was dark. But there was no official notice, no posting, which led Pop’s fans to hope it was only on hiatus.
We haven’t been able to track down the Pop’s ownership, but according to West Village—which does not manage the Pop’s space but most of the square footage around it—the eatery closed. Another group that had planned a holiday party at Pop’s reported the restaurant had contacted a member to say it had shut its doors for good. Rue Cler and Pop’s Backdoor, which used to be under the Pop’s umbrella, both confirmed that their former mothership had closed.
Open Table, the online restaurant reservation service, has noted the restaurant is “offline.”
Before Pop’s moved to West Village, it was in Brightleaf Square, near Morgan Imports. Some nights you could not get a table, and there was even a wait for a seat at the bar.
Unfortunately Pop’s could not hang on tenants (and potential customers) started filling the 156 nearly-finished apartments in West Village III.