City: Flip’s Bar-B-Que sign must go

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Submitted: Thu, 09/27/2012 - 8:57pm
Updated: Thu, 09/27/2012 - 8:59pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Although it’s been a staple in town for 50 years, the City of Wilmington says the sign outside Flip’s Bar-B-Que on Oleander Drive must come down.

After a few deadline extensions, the city has given owner Bob Church until Monday to take the 65 square foot sign down.

Hundreds of people have signed a petition to block the move. Still, Church will face a $200 fine for every day it stays up after Monday.

“It’s so sad, because the community is behind it, and they’re saying it should be grandfathered in,” Church said. “It’s a landmark, and so they don’t understand why it has to come down. And the other thing is once you see it out there, there’s trees on the other side of it on the street. It’s not blocking anything.”

The city says the sign impedes five feet into a right of way bought by the city, and it is 15 feet larger than the 50 square feet allowed for business signs.

Church has plans for it to be removed tomorrow afternoon.


  • Guestarticulatore says:

    Out of control government acting beyond its legitimate authority begins right here, at the local level. A shame indeed. At least we are rid of involuntary annexation and soon to be rid of this experiment of a taxpayer funded bush league stadium…. All we need do now is get rid of the turkeys in city hall.

  • Great. Just Great. says:

    Hi, I’m from the gubbermint and I here to help yew. Nice job, Wilmington.

  • B M says:

    Guess Saffo and company are more interested in a taxpayer funded ballpark, than trying to help a small business survive.

  • Erlkoenig says:

    I’d like the “pro-choice” people to weigh in on this.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Another stupid move by the Wilmington Idiot Council. This sign should be grandfathered in. I bet if it was downtown, he’d be able to keep it.

  • Watchutalkin'bout says:

    Teresa – The folks on the Wilmington City council are mostly natives of North Carolina and Wilmington. The South can breed ‘em stupid too. Some of them may even be your kin! Maybe your definition of Yankee Ville and “up north” is Burgaw?

  • Guest765 says:

    Clear case of the city picking on an individual business owner. I guess somewhere along the line, he didn’t properly “grease” the hands of someone of power in the city. A virtual “ride” down Oleander in google maps shows many signs larger than this one. “impedes….. right of way bought by the city”? What possible purpose did they have other than to stomp on this guy? There’s a telephone pole and tree between the sign and the road, so they can’t claim it’s a safety issue. I’ve never been to the place, and have no clue who the owner is, so I have no dog in the fight.

    This reminds me of the stomping that the city did on the Chinese Buffet on Market St. They had neon trim around the building. Not words, not flashing… just straight lines. The city decided that the whole building was a sign. Selective enforcement. How is what they had any different to the LED trim on the building that the Hibachi Buffet near Lowes has now? Must be that they are keeping the right people happy.

    How about the billboard sized signs at two car dealers? Oh? They ARE billboards? They have only had the names of the respective car dealers on them for as long as I can remember.

  • Justin America says:

    Cut 5 feet off the sign and leave it as a real Wilmington landmark. Conform, comply, you will be assimilated… etc.

  • Sal Dominguez says:

    If the lower section of the sign is part of the 65 square feet, then remove that portion. Problem solved.

  • NCcoast53 says:

    The city demanding that this sign be taken down is out right disgusting to me. That sign has been there for as long as I can remember, and I am no spring chicken. I wish that the owner would hire a good lawyer and fight the city to high heaven over this absurdity. I do not understand why this signage have not been grandfathered in. Hell! It was probably there before that section of Oleander was even annexed. This is just wrong on so many levels, in my opinion…

  • Teresa Hyatt says:

    Don’t think so sweetie. No the City council is not mostly natives of WILMINGTON!!!!!!!!! Everyone I know from this town and that’s alot of people grew up eating at the REAL Flip’s and no Yankeeville is from Burgaw all the way up to THE TOP.

  • tadchem says:

    Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.
    The difference between empire-building megalomaniacs and community petty tyrants lies only in the range of their Ambition.

  • Teresa Hyatt says:

    I tell you what I grew up with Flips. (The real FLIP) What is wrong with the people who now run this city. I know They need to go back to Yankee Ville. Leave Wilmington along. We like it the way is was, not the way you want it to be. It’s getting so bad here that people are trying to leave because it’s not a friendly town/city anymore. I know change comes but not like this. I’m sick of these people coming in and trying to change things that don’t really matter. Wrong more about the crime not signs. My God stop messing with Wilmington’s History. Go back to where you came from and let Wilmington be the great City it was before you came to it.

  • ob1 says:

    This draconian action should remind many how lucky they are for successfully fighting the monkey junction annexation

  • Guest211 says:


  • Raleigh .N.C says:

    You help put the people HERE in office who have turn this town into a joke ,,, SO SHUT UP AN PUT YOUR HEADS BACK INTO THE SAND

  • Guestroad says:

    Uhhh, the reporter got it the facts wrong.

    Oleander is a STATE ROAD, not a City Street. If you don’t know the difference get some education.

    Did the reporter try to get the facts from more than one side of the owner of Flips? Probably not.

    So, it’s possible that DOT comes to the owner, and asks to buy some more of the right of way. This is happened to me, by the way (, although not along Oleander.) I take the offer and get paid. I decide I want to move my sign off the land I just sold. Now the cities rules about sign size have been there for a while, the other signs in the area are are oversize, but the city didn’t say they had to come down – the grandfather clause – but let the sign be moved, and it must match the laws.

    It almost sounds to me like the owner of Flips WANTS special treatment – literally wants his cake and to get to eat it too.

    And addtionally, sounds like the reporting is sloppy around here.

  • Guest666 says:

    Since when do the so-called “leaders” of Wilmington give a Flip (pardon the pun) about what the voters who elected them want? Jeez………what’s wrong with the sign? Is it hurting anything or anybody? What’s the problem? Just a bunch of heavy-handed Nazis doing what they do best……harassing people because they can. By the way, the Dairy Queen (or whatever it is) sign across the street looks bigger than Flip’s. Is it slated to come down, as well?

  • Guestdog says:

    I guess those who are in charge now just cannot see the history of Wilmington as nothing more than a wider street someday. To make them remove the sign entirely is just like sinking the Battleship where it sits. History is to be preserved not destroyed. So much of the older historical landmarks are going away today and now one more is being made to be gone. Let him move it back on his property and KEEP it.
    Wake up City fathers!!!!!!

  • Guestpuppydog! says:

    Dang! You folks here don’t make it easy for us to comment by phone or computer. What happened to the grandfather clause? If you want a great biz who has proved the test of time to stay in biz, WHY would you do this? Must be a bigger biz who wants to move down the street stuffin ur pockets.PEOPLE???? Why do we keep voting 4 these scumscukers?

  • Rlh says:

    Remove the word house and move the sign back a few feet!

  • Jason says:

    I guess Mayor Snafu and his council is trying to buy some more property up. How can you get someone to remove a sign that has been there before they were born? Guess the sign will end up stuck in a corner at the Cape Fear Museum just like the Dairy Queen Sign.

  • guesty says:

    The city bought land under the sign that has been there for 50 years and now they demand it come down?

    Yea, that sounds about right for the city.

  • taxpayer says:

    Bill Saffo, Kevin O’Grady, and the rest of City Council. Fortunately, we’ll “buy an easement” in November and “ease” them out office as each runs for re-election. Billy’s interview this morning on Chad Adams’ show was full of “economic development” and “laborious”…but short on substance.

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