About Us

A Chapel Hill Rite of Passage on the Travel Channel

Time-Out Restaurant was opened in May of 1978 on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill by founder and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumnus Eddie Williams.

Williams, a third-generation graduate of UNC, was inspired by his wife, Val Williams, to name the new family business Time-Out. The inspiration was in large part because of Eddie's lifelong connection to the sports family at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Eddie is the son of Jack Williams, who was the Sports Information Director of UNC-Chapel Hill from 1966 to 1975. "Williams and his staff created the Carolina Blue Book, a template for the modern-day media guide" and "handled publicity work as Dean Smith turned the basketball program into a national powerhouse." Jack was "remembered as an innovator in college sports information field."

Williams remembered as innovator in college sports information field

Williams remembered as innovator in college sports information field on the Roanoke Times

What he did at North Carolina was so innovative at the time," ACC associate commissioner Mike Finn said. "Everybody takes big recruiting football guides for granted, but Jack was the one who started all of that. He was the first one to put full-color pictures into media guides and create scenes and situations on campus that could be used for recruiting. …

Having spent much of his childhood in the press box with his father Jack, Eddie brings his deep love of UNC sports to the walls of Time-Out. "We have folks come by not just for the food, but to spend time looking at all of the photos. I love that we are a destination for visiting families, future UNC students and athletes, and sports fans."

After opening Time-out, Eddie soon changed the service hours to 24-hours a day because he believed Chapel Hill to be the town that never sleeps.

"I was driving around Chapel Hill late one night, after visiting the UNC Medical Center, and I noticed how few late night food options there were for those visiting the hospital. I immediately thought about all of the medical staff and first responders serving our community, the growing families and their late-night cravings, and the students up late studying for finals. As a small business owner, I knew that being open 24 hours a day was a big commitment. With the support of my wife and family, Time-Out became the first 24-hour restaurant in Chapel Hill. Thankfully there is still a need for a good home-cooked meal, served 24 hours a day, even after all of these years."

Legend in his own Time Out … Billy Ray Penny dished BBQ, biscuits and barbs
Billy Ray Penny talked greasy as a chicken-and-cheese biscuit. He was the third-shift king of Time Out Restaurant, a Franklin Street institution synonymous with long lines, late nights and drunken appetites. For more than 10 years starting in the mid-1980s, Penny held down Time Out with an attitude. Customers not only expected Penny's custom insults. They loved them.

Legend in his own Time Out article

"We're a lot of things to people. Some come to us for our all-day breakfast items, others for our pulled BBQ, and even more still for our southern style fried chicken and home-cooked vegetables."

"I want our customers to know that nothing makes me feel better than when they come back, even after 10-20 years, and tell me that visiting Time-Out is like coming home. It makes my day to hear them say that our food is still the best and reminds them of home cooked meals their mother or grandmother would make."

"Situated at the doorstep of UNC-Chapel Hill, at 201 East Franklin Street, Time-Out continues to be part of the Chapel Hill college experience."

"You never know who you’ll run in to here at Time-Out. We’ve fed generations of UNC students and athletes and will always strive to offer them a safe place that they can get a good home cooked meal regardless of what time it is."

Over the years Time-Out Restaurant has been featured by Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, Refinery 29, TODAY, QVCtv, Buzzfeed, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Spoon University, CNBC, Serious Eats, and Our State Magazine.

Read more about Time-Out Restaurant in the press.

Known not only for our 24-hour breakfast or famous Man vs. Food featured Chicken 'n Cheddar biscuit, Time-Out is also legendary for our southern cooking staples like fried chicken, BIG square once rolled biscuits, and sides like fried okra, collard greens, green beans, sweet potatoes, and mashed potatoes.

Owner Eddie Williams shares that we've "been catering to Chapel Hill since 1978 and are proud that our customers want to celebrate with us." Offering catering for parties of 10 to 180 people, Time-Out is known for our Signature Box Meals, BBQ, southern vegetables by the pound, Mini-Biscuits, cinnamon rolls, whole southern pecan or sweet potato pies, and deep fried or roasted whole turkeys.

Contact Eddie today and have Time-Out cater your next event. Want to come and taste what Time-Out is all about? Take a look at our menu and drop by any time, we're always open and serving your favorite southern-style comfort food 24/7.