SALISBURY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – It’s a literal slice of life. Hap’s Grill is a small hotdog and hamburger shop wedged between the buildings in downtown Salisbury.

Glass is the only thing that separates the kitchen from the counter. When the grill is going, the small room is filled up, and the line goes on and on. It makes for a busy kitchen but leaves plenty of time for those waiting to connect.

“I remember getting hotdogs, and they were like no other,” said Glenn Grayson, who was visiting Salisbury with his family.

It’s not just Glenn making a special occasion of it.

“Two days ago, it was my son’s birthday,” said Charlene Fero.

The hotdogs and hamburgers are a messy but delicious point of pride in the town. For everyone has a Hap’s story.

“My grandson now loves it, my son,” said Glenn. “So we’re three-generational Hap’s people.”

It’s a bittersweet birthday lunch for Charlene.

“We decided we better get down here; we kept putting it off, putting it off,” said Charlene.

Hap’s is where her son, Keith, loved to eat. He had a kidney transplant and, in 2021, was hospitalized with COVID.

“He never came out; he passed away at the hospital,” said Charlene.

Though there isn’t much room left in the crowded shop, Charlene can sense one extra person.

“Standing here right now, I can feel his presence, and I have cold chills,” said Charlene.

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The food is good enough to keep people coming back. When you add in the memories, that’s what makes everything sweeter.