Jolly Roger: Open year round, even for the holidays

Published 10:35 pm Tuesday, December 24, 2019

In 1983, the Outer Banks looked a lot different than it does today. The houses were smaller, the restaurants were fewer and the number of things to do was far less. However, tourists still came 365 days a year.

In the summertime, there has always been an endless supply of things to do here. In the winter, though, the activities dwindle, especially around Christmas.

Carol Ann Angelos, owner of the Jolly Roger in Kill Devil Hills, opened her restaurant right after moving here in 1983. After spending a few winters in the Outer Banks, she saw how little there was to do.

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“I went out Christmas day to get something to eat one year and there was nothing open,” Angelos said. “Back then, they didn’t have these big houses; it was all mom and pop hotels and there were no kitchens.”

Angelos was aware of how many people still came to the Outer Banks to vacation around the holidays. She decided to open her restaurant every day of the year, even Christmas day, to accommodate.

“After that first year we stayed open for Christmas, I’ve been doing it ever since,” Angelos said. She knows that times have changed; there are a slew of larger homes with kitchens all around the Outer Banks. “It was different then,” she said, “but the tradition started and I just never stopped.”

Angelos describes Jolly Roger as a family restaurant. With its eccentric style and unconventional design, the restaurant plays to many different likes and themes.

“It was an Italian restaurant when I took it over,” Angelos said. The previous owner had only opened his doors for dinner and it kept it to in-season only dining. Conversely, Angelos is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner every day, with some late-night dining as well.

For Christmas, Angelos hosts a “pajama party” in the morning, from 6:30 to 11:30 a.m. Guests receive free eggnog and breakfast of their choice. Once lunchtime rolls around, the menu will be switched over to pork roulade, ham and turkey specials. Jolly Roger will stay open all day on Christmas for anyone wishing to come in and grab a bite to eat.

Over the course of 36 years, Angelos has seen many families come back to her restaurant. “My oldest family is five generations,” she said. “Most of the stuff on the walls is stuff people have given us over the years.”

The Christmas tradition will continue this year; for more information on specials, menus and Angelos herself, visit



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