Introduction and introduction at

– One of Raleigh’s oldest restaurants has been closed since the start of the pandemic. On Wednesday, doors will be open for seven hours for customers who missed out.

Owner of Mecca will serve breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., although reservations are not allowed. All tips received from customers during the day will be donated to the US Salvation Army.

Wednesday’s menu was not posted, but The Mecca has posted on Facebook that its staples will be back, among them lemon herb chicken.

Like other restaurants, The Mecca closed for safety reasons when the pandemic started. It’s been closed for so long largely due to a lack of workers, only opening its doors for a one-day event last summer.

The owners hope to finally reopen next year but say finding staff is a challenge.

Mecca Restaurant: That's the moment.

The Dombalis family opened Mecca Lucheonette on May 1, 1930, at the corner of Fayetteville and Hargett streets. Seven years later, the restaurant moved to its current home at 13 E. Martin St. It is known for its late-night eats and simple dishes including homemade soups, burgers and sandwiches.

In 2018, after nearly 90 years of family ownership, Mecca has been acquired by Empire Eats, the local restaurant group behind The Pit, Sitti, Gravy, Raleigh Times and Morning Times. Until the pandemic forced the restaurant to temporarily close, the owners hadn’t changed what people loved about the popular eatery.

Mecca in downtown Raleigh

WRAL lifestyle editor Kathy Hanrahan contributed to this report.



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