A dining tradition has come to a close in Dunn with the doors now locked on Norris Frozen Custard after decades of serving the community.
Ownership of Norris Frozen Custard confirmed the business is now closed after being one of the favorite places to eat for local citizens for many years.
The business, which many knew simply as Norris’, is perhaps best known for Bright Leaf Hot Dogs served at bargain prices. (The hot dogs were once four for $1 and then three for $1 for many years.) There were also daily lunch specials, hamburgers, chicken salad and dip ice cream among the offerings.
The business operated on Lucknow Square in Dunn for nearly 60 years. It first started with John A. Norris moving into the building with his frozen custard machine. Though frozen custard was eventually removed from the menu, the business kept the name and quickly grew into a restaurant. Customers often filled every seat in the building during the lunch hour.
According to former employee Glenda Altman-Evans, the ownership team of Doris Colville and W.C. Strickland ran the business for many years.
Significant changes were made and the business became even better known in the area. According to Ms. Altman-Evans, the facility was a popular gathering spot for people of all ages.
“A lot of Green Waves went there after football games,” Ms. Altman-Evans said. “There is so much history there, everyone loved going to Norris’. I can’t believe it is closing.”
Some posted memories on a Facebook page titled “I Grew Up in Dunn, North Carolina.” The memories reference what was called the “best juke box in town” at the time. Others talked about slaw dogs that satisfied the hunger of thousands of people over the years.
Another popular item was ice cream.
“The ice cream was to die for,” Ms. Altman-Evans said.
The history of the popular restaurant took a change in 1989 when the restaurant was sold to the current owner, Linda Hayes, who operated the spot along with her late husband, Stacy. Though still having the desire to run the business, Mrs. Hayes told The Daily Record several months ago she was unable to keep up the regimen of long hours necessary to maintain a restaurant at a successful level and the business was put up for sale.
Mrs. Hayes did not wish to comment on the closing.
Ms. Altman-Evans said the closing is much more personal for her and her family. Her mother, Velma Beasley Altman, was one of the bestknown employees of the business, working there for nearly 28 years.
“She worked there and she used to work circles around the other employees,” Ms. Altman-Evans said.
Dunn Mayor Oscar Harris said the business will be missed.
“I think the thing I will miss the most are the hot dogs. They were perfect and they would melt in your mouth,” Mr. Harris said.
“Small businesses like Norris’ are the bedrock of our community,” he said. “They have provided a lot of jobs and served good food for a long time.” Courtesy The Daily Record