After closing its doors nearly five years ago, a Chapel Hill landmark might finally get its second wind.
The Ramshead Rathskeller, a restaurant famed among UNC alumni and Chapel Hill residents for more than 60 years, will have its new location finalized this week.
Diane Fountain, a future owner of “The Rat,” said she expects to announce the new location any day now — and the restaurant could open before the end of football season.
“The lease has been approved by the landlord,” she said, adding that her attorney is now working to finalize it.
Fountain said the new space will have access from both Franklin and Rosemary streets.
The original Rathskeller was widely known for its cellar location, but she said the new site will have 30-foot ceilings and large windows.
The Rat was first opened in 1948 by the Danzigers, a family of Austrian immigrants. In 2008, under new owners, the business closed its doors, seemingly for good.
Fountain first tried to reopen the restaurant in its original location below Franklin Street and across from Bandido’s Mexican Cafe in 2010. She tried again in August 2011 and in early 2012 — but each time, she hit roadblocks.
Structural damages to the roof of the site and differences between Fountain and landlord Mary Stockwell caused the lease to be terminated March 9.