Sutton's Drug Store

Sutton's Drug Store opened on Franklin Street in 1923 and quickly became a vital part of student life. It is now one of the few remaining links to the past in the rapidly changing downtown. In its early days, when the store was known as Sutton and Alderman's, students went to the drugstore to buy a wide variety of goods and services beyond the traditional medicines and soda fountain drinks: clothing, concert tickets, record players —students could even get their yearbook photos taken there. Pharmacist John Woodward purchased the store in 1977 and began a new tradition a few years later when he began photographing customers. These photos now lining the wall show generations of students and community members eating at Sutton's, with a large number of Tar Heel athletes represented. Facing increased competition from national chain drugstores in the 2010s, Sutton's shut down its prescription service in 2014. The store was sold at that time to longtime grill manager Don Pinney, who ensured that the lunch counter remained, continuing to draw crowds for the store's well-known grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, and milkshakes.