Pattan’s Downtown Grille coming to Rockingham

Pee Dee River Swamp Sauce creator to open up across from Discovery Place KIDS 

By Kevin Spradlin

Previous coverage:
* April 28: Making way
* May 20: No restaurant yet inked to deal
* June 24: The Villager expanding to Rockingham
* July 9: Sounds of progress
* Oct. 30: The Villager out, new tenant deal imminent

Details and photos coming soon

ROCKINGHAM — Tim Pattan’s award-winning Pee Dee River Swamp Sauce is coming to downtown Rockingham.

The 46-year-old gathered with Rockingham Mayor Steve Morris and City Manager Monty Crump Wednesday afternoon at City Hall to make the announcement. The deal is a 10-year term with a monthly rent of $2,500. Pattan also is responsible for all utilities.

Kevin Spradlin | Rockingham Mayor Steve Morris, center, talks with Tim Pattan, owner of Pattan's Downtown Grille, right, and City Manager Monty Crump outside Hitchcock Place.

Kevin Spradlin |
Rockingham Mayor Steve Morris, center, talks with Tim Pattan, owner of Pattan’s Downtown Grille, right, and City Manager Monty Crump outside Hitchcock Place.

The restaurant will be called Pattan’s Downtown Grille. The building will be called Hitchcock Place, instantly tying the building and its potential with the Hitchcock Creek Blue Trail and Greenway. The goal is to open between Jan. 15 and Feb. 1, Pattan said. Hours are expected to be Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday lunch, though an exact time range has yet to be determined.

Pattan said he’s been planning a restaurant for nearly 10 years.

“To see it finally come to fruition is a dream come true,” Pattan said. “This is a great opportunity for myself. I’m real excited.”

Work is being completed now in the building across the street from Discovery Place KIDs on East Washington Street to upfit the kitchen for Rockingham’s newest barbecue. It will be owned by Pattan, of Swampsauce Smokers. The multipurpose building also will be used as a lunch room, or assembly hall, for students visitPeeDeeRiverSwampSauceing the nonprofit children’s museum. Students will be bringing bagged lunches and enjoying their meal indoors, completely separate from Pattan’s Downtown Grille.

The restaurant side will seat 44 people plus another 20 diners on an outdoor patio. Up to 93 people can eat on the assembly hall side. The assembly can be reserved through Pattan at no cost, officials said, with the only restriction being no outside food allowed.

“I plan on filling it up a good bit,” Pattan said.

To accommodate the expected crowds, Pattan said he intends to hire between eight and 10 full-time staff members and another eight to 10 part-time workers.

The menu will include, of course, Pattan’s legendary barbecue and sauce but also a variety of other options, including healthy lean-chicken meals and salads.

Kevin Spradlin | Rockingham City Manager Monty Crump reviews the earth tone colors intended for use in the assembly hall and Pattan's Downtown Grille.

Kevin Spradlin |
Rockingham City Manager Monty Crump reviews the earth tone colors intended for use in the assembly hall and Pattan’s Downtown Grille.

Workers with Carpenter Construciton, of Oakboro, are making headway on the kitchen side. The location was originally set to be leased to Koley Keel, a Moore County businessman who owns the popular The Villager deli and restaurant in Pinehurst.

City officials announced on Oct. 30 that the tentative deal between Keel and the city was a no-go. Keel said it wasn’t his decision to not expand to Rockingham. Then the city approached Pattan.

“He has convinced me he is 100 percent ready,” Crump said of Pattan’s work with the Richmond County Health Department and other preparations to keep construction moving forward.

The $806,831 project coordinated by the city of Rockingham and funded primarily by two major grants — $475,000 from the Cole Foundation and $281,331 from the Richmond Community Foundation — and is on a 240-day timeline. Work is expected to be completed in late 2014. That’s on top of the $2 million from the Leon Levine Foundation donated for Discovery Place KIDS.

Crump and Morris noted that within the last six-plus years, the city has added Hinson Lake, Hitchcock Creek Blue Trail and Greenway and Discovery Place KIDs. Pattan’s Downtown Grille is another piece of the puzzle to make Rockingham and Richmond County a destination, they said.

Kevin Spradlin |

Kevin Spradlin |

“I think the community has an obligation to continue to work … to leverage these investments,” Crump said. “That’s what I like about Tim. Being local, he understands that.”

“I”m not only selling my product, I’m selling the city, selling the county,” Pattan said.

Walking into either the assembly hall or the casual-style dining room of Pattan’s Downtown Grille, Crump said images of local treasures — outdoor recreation, museums and more — will be  portrayed by framed high-resolution photographs by Jimmy McDonald.

Crump and Morris both acknowledged this isn’t the first public-private partnership intended to spark downtown Rockingham. Pattan confirmed that without the city’s investment, and that of the Cole Foundation, his restaurant would likely be located somewhere else.

The city’s portion of the cost of the project, mostly for the design and equipping of the kitchen, is being paid for up front by the city’s Revolving Loan Fund. That fund, Crump said, is “there to make loans the bank won’t make.”

He said the fund is there for solid business concepts whether for a restaurant or “for somebody to build a manufacturing facility.”

Patton’s restaurant isn’t the first dining establishment to receive city assistance. The former Alonzo’s on Rockingham Road didn’t work, but the city did its best to help. Crump also said Henry’s Uptown Cafe received a low-interest city loan and renovations to Hudson Bros. Deli received city assistance.

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  • Hall Rick

    Well I guess Mr Crumps taste lays in BBQ as well as mexcian food. As long as he gets the things he wants all is well in controlville .

    • Joey DeBerry

      Well he works for us and its time to get him and Morris and the rest of them sitting at home and get a Investigation started against them Because They have done enough and a few more still Living as well.

  • Lisa Davis

    I love the fact that Downtown Rockingham is filling up with such great businesses. We need a place to dine that is a tad better than fast food and not duplicates of so many other dining choices we currently are flooded with. Mr. Pattan is a tremendous cook and his bbq sauce is amazing. I wish the Pattan family great success!!!

    • Joey DeBerry

      From the Start of this Idea for this Restaurant it was more for the use of Visitors and the Children of Discovery Place and we see that The Cole Foundation Donated Money for this Project and I thought the Coles intended these Donations for the Benefit of Children in this County , but we must of been wrongly informed by the Coles Intentions to be opening this For the Benefit of the City and will Alcohol be served there as well for the Politicians as it is at Hudson Bros around the Corner. Im not Putting down this Swamp Sauce idea and Grill coming here ,but Just like all these Elected officials and their Partners in Crime are at it again Know from the start it would change as it always has here when they ask for support to do something .

      • Jeffrey Lee Stewart

        Good grief what a bunch of rambling.

        • Joey DeBerry

          Rambling you have not seen any until you want to start with me ,you want to Be a Butt head Boy I can be one Right Back At you if thats what you are trying to do cause i Will be Intimidated with Childest ways so bring it on ?

    • Joey DeBerry

      I agree him opening up a Restaurant here is Great Idea and I believe it will make it here but to put it across from Discovery Place as it was intended for a place for the Children’s Benefit for Discovery Place and Family’s and we were told it was a deal to open a Deli that would have benefited everyone and with Healthier foods for us all and the Kids ,and Now these Back Stepping Politicians have done to benefit their needs and the Kids they even put it in the Paper and Morris said the Kids will bring a bagged lunch, and I am waiting for them to say they will be Alcohol Served there and it should not be allowed with Kids there. Now they can have the Food they want proves this was another DISAPPOINTMENT From what it was intended for as they do at everything Promised here. We have better Locations For Mr Pattan’s Restaurant that would be better for his Business and more Customers and better Parking for us instead of Parking in the Street or using Discovery Place’s Parking which will cause the Parents to Park down the Street and walk the Kids to Discovery Place .These Politicians here do not Have Common Sense to Use their Brains for nothing but Waste Full Spending and by not sticking to the Original Plans as always done here is WHAT COST THEM A HUGE VOTE AGAINST THE Tax INCREASE AND THE MONEY THEY SPENT ON THE SPORTS COMPLEX Swamp Property They Tried to Fool everyone into Voting For and it was a Huge 70 Percent Loss in the Early Votes They Lost it Before the Election Nov 4th even began.This Restaurant Deal was a Scam From The Start and it will Catch Up to The Mayor and the Rest of the Politicians Here in time as they Thought they would Fool the People to Vote Yes for Growth as they did with all the Restaurants coming here if you Would Vote for the Liquor by the Drink that passed and no Olive Garden or Fine Restaurants Came as Promised Either and all the Past Politicians here have Done as well ,but those days are over too many against them Now and Realize they can not be Intimidated to Vote the way they were told to do is OVER and it is Showing at the Polls .

  • Joey DeBerry

    Joey DeBerry • a minute ago
    Well lets try another one since the first I replied on this Restaurant being built for the Children at Discovery Place was removed for some reason so I will try again. First We go to Discovery Place often and I can not Remember when our child or any had to set out side to eat in the cold and Know This Mayor says the Children will bring bag Lunches to the Restaurant so basically Morris and Crump are more Concerned for the Customers that they want to use this than the Children as we knew when They pushed for this Restaurant then the Deli that was going to open up that was a better idea for this Location and The Cole Foundation Donated Funds for it as well and I Thought the Coles ment for these Donations were to be used for Children and not to Raise Revenue for the City’s Profit ,so if Im Wrong I will Check with them . These two Crump and Morris are not for the City it seems they are for their Selves and not Children or the Citizens it appears .The Swamp Sauce Grill would be a great idea but not at this Location there is better locations for this and with better Parking so the way these 2 are Playing Games with any Funds they get their hands on must be benefitting them . When you go to Discovery with your Children and have no parking because it will be filled with The Restaurant Customers from the City Council that it seems to be being built for as Hudson Bros has no Parking as well but the Street and is Alcohol being served there for these Children to be around to teach them Drinking is okay. And while we are on this do these 2 think they own this City and That is NO and its time to get them out before they continue to Do Wasted Ideas as the Sports Complex and and the Run Down Parks That could be Renovated or left for Ruins as Everything else they have Let go down here and if it was to be used for our Children in this County Why is Browder Park Chained and Locked to Keep the Public out and the one in East Rockingham could be Redone to accommodate a Smaller Scale as Morris Said they would do now since it Failed over 70 Percent from the Voters and if it is Built out there it is a Project to Pad somebody’s Pocket and NO TAX DOLLARS CAN BE USED or Lawsuits Might hold this up until Crump and Morris and all the Rest of their Cronies Involved are Sent Home in 2016 . No Common Sense Leadership here too trust at all so lets get them Out

  • Camilla Hudson

    I will give it 2 years at the most…

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