The Ram's Head Rathskeller, opened in Amber Alley off of Franklin Street in 1948, was beloved by generations of Carolina students. It was run by the Danziger family, owner of several successful restaurants in Chapel Hill. It was a combination of a formal restaurant and beer hall but turned into a college town classic, with dishes that remained on the menu for decades and carved initials from students over many years in the walls. "The Rat" was the first restaurant to serve imported beer in Chapel Hill. Some of the best-known menu items were the lasagna, known informally as the "bowl of cheese," and a sizzling steak called The Gambler. The "Rat" was also notable for its beloved and long-serving staff, with some waiters staying at the restaurants for decades, providing a sense of continuity for generations of Carolina students. The Rathskeller closed in 2007, though a few of the classic menu items have been revived at S&T's Soda Shoppe, a Pittsboro restaurant owned by longtime fans of the Rathskellar.
Date Established: 1948
Date Range: 1948 – 2007