Pharaoh's @ the Museum brings a taste of the Tar Heel State to the N.C. Museum of History. Museum-goers and downtown workers alike will discover a plum of an eatery at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. Located at the Jones Street entrance across from the Legislative Building, Pharaoh’s @ the Museum opened Saturday, Sept. 24, and serves a menu of fast-food favorites with a southern flair.
The accent at Pharaoh’s is firmly on fresh and homemade. Whether it’s a hot dog topped with hearty made-from-scratch chili, an “eastern North Carolina” hamburger covered with a slab of melted cheese, or a sandwich stuffed with Pharaoh’s famous chicken salad, every item is carefully made to order.
Pharaoh’s owner George McNeill, a Whiteville native, grew up on soul-satisfying Tar Heel cuisine. His mother, Margaret, was an accomplished cook who kept secret the recipe for her delicious chicken salad — the same recipe used by Pharaoh’s. As a teenager, McNeill worked at the soda fountain in his father’s drugstore making fresh-squeezed orangeades, the same refreshing type you’ll find at Pharaoh’s. Other highlights from the lunch menu include salads and a soup of the day, such as southern-comforting chicken and rice. Milk shakes, floats, and sundaes are some of the tempting dairy treats.
McNeill, who has enjoyed a long career in the field of antiques and interior design, was as meticulous about designing the restaurant’s decor as he was the menu. His goal, he says, is to provide “fun, smiles, and a wonderful time.” With its pressed tin ceiling, sparkly red “pleather” booths, track lighting, and stainless steel counter area, this vivacious soda shop guarantees all those things.
Pharaoh’s is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Both “grab and go” service and indoor seating are available. Nice day? Enjoy a meal al fresco on Bicentennial Plaza. Cash, credit cards, and debit cards are accepted. Custom box lunches are available for school and tour groups, business meetings, and other functions. Please order 24 hours in advance.
A percentage of Pharaoh’s revenue will be donated to the museum, says McNeill, who is “honored” to be entrusted with the restaurant space, eager to “give back,” and excited about offering the public a taste of Carolina that is “really something fine.”.