Gardine Wilson, who has run the Coffee Cup restaurant since 2003, says he lacks the capital to grow and sustain the business. Therefore, he will not reopen the historic eatery, he tells the Charlotte Observer’s April Bethea.

The Coffee Cup was once a culinary institution with some Charlotte diners. Opened in 1946, it was among the first restaurants in the city to integrate, a place where business deals were cut, where couples met and where people came together from all walks of life to enjoy plates heaping with pork chops, collard greens, mac-n-cheese, etc.

But the restaurant had fallen on hard times in recent years. (The nation’s fitness craze certainly couldn’t have helped.)

In 2005, Atlanta-based Beazer Homes bought the restaurant’s landmark building near Bank of America Stadium. The owners soon opened two new locations — one in uptown Charlotte and a second in University City.

The uptown location quickly closed, and in November Wilson stopped serving at his University City location on J.W. Clay Boulevard. He said at the time that he hoped to revamp and reopen.

Now comes word that the historic Coffee Cup is dead and gone — at least according to Wilson, who told the Observer that diners today expect gourmet coffee and wireless Internet connections. (That’s never quite been the Coffee Cup’s fare.)

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