Bridge threatens Finch’s future

Finch’s restaurant at 401 W. Peace St., promises a down-home breakfast served with old-fashioned friendliness.



By Jack Krueger

Missing simple food, a good southern breakfast, and a place where waitresses still call you sweetheart and honey?

You can find all that and more at Finch’s. A breakfast staple for over 70 years, it is a place of many memories for those that call Raleigh home. Finch’s serves lunch but specializes in simple southern breakfast food, including their famous “Big Man’s Breakfast” (two hot cakes, two eggs, grits or home fries, and sausage or bacon).

Peggy Jin, the current owner, moved from New York to Raleigh in 1991 and promptly bought Finch’s. She had learned a little about American food while working at Wendy’s in New York City and appreciated the food it for its simplicity. She found breakfast food in particular was easy to make. She didn’t have many options due to the challenges of learning a new language but saw an opportunity and ran with it.

Twenty-four years later, Jin and her family call Finch’s home. Her mother, Xiu Liu quickly took over as the main cook and her daughter, Jane Liu, despite being in college at Meredith, manages to find time to work as a hostess and waitress.

The transition in 1991 was made easier by a supportive and pre-existent Finch’s community that accepted and welcomed her.

“The people are very nice here, especially compared to New York. They eat here forever, the same people every week. The people make up my favorite memories and experiences,” Peggy Jin said .

Lots of Raleigh folks will be sad to see the place go. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has ruled the Capital Boulevard bridge over Peace Street as structurally unsound and has been working on plans to tear it down and re-do it. All the current plans would require tearing down Finch’s, a key piece of Raleigh’s culture.

Jin has her own theory on why Finch’s has been so successful over the years.

“When they find us, they stay. We keep things the way they are, old fashioned, and I think people like that. The food too, it’s real, simple, food,” Jin said.

She doesn’t know the plan yet for the future. She’s heard that the DOT might have their own plans on moving the restaurant, so she’s just going to wait and see.

Get to Finch’s while you can and try to take advantage of this classic Raleigh restaurant before it’s too late.