New restaurant coming to Hamlet

Owner says opportunity is ‘a blessing out of nowhere’

By Kevin Spradlin

HAMLET — Yvette Jones thought she was taking a routine trip to a big box retailer.

As she entered Walmart, Jones happened to run into a former customer of hers from a time she was owner of The Country Kitchen, a soul food joint in Rockingham. The customer noted that Cafe on Main, located on Main Street in Hamlet, was vacant. The timing, Jones said Tuesday, couldn’t have been better.

Kevin Spradlin | Yvette Jones plans to open Jones on Main / The Country Kitchen on Feb. 19 at 38 W. Main St., the home of the former Cafe on Main.

Kevin Spradlin |
Yvette Jones plans to open Jones on Main / The Country Kitchen on Feb. 19 at 38 W. Main St., the home of the former Cafe on Main.

“I knew 2015 was gonna be our year,” Jones said of the resurrection of The Country Kitchen. The established will officially be known as Jones on Main / The Country Kitchen. Jones is planning a Feb. 19 opening. Former customers, she said, have already indicated that’s too long.

“All my customers … they want it open tomorrow,” Jones said. “Feb. 19 is too long (to wait). I knew I was gonna do something in 2015. I just didn’t know where.”

Jones plans to open for breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. She’ll open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday. For now, Sundays are off limits.

“I don’t want to take nothin’ away from God,” said Jones, who doubles as the pastor of Resurrection Temple Ministries on Hamlet Avenue.

Jones said she’s bringing everything from the original Country Kitchen back — including the cooks. Her menu will include a lot of “soul food,” with homemade macaroni and cheese, barbecue ribs, fried chicken, candy yams and fatback — a customer favorite, Jones said of the fat that comes from the underneath the skin from the back of a pig.

“When I moved here, they started talking about fatback,” Jones said of her family’s relocation in 1989 from College Park, Md. “I didn’t even know what fatback was. We never heard of fatback in the city.”

Locally, though, “everybody was eatin’ it.”

Jones said The Country Kitchen also will offer a salad bar.

If customers liked the offerings then, they still will. Jones said she operated The Country Kitchen near the Leggs Outlet along Highway Business 74 from 2010 to 2012 and shut down only due to building maintenance issues.

There’s nothing wrong with the building at 38 W. Main St. Building owner and former operator of Cafe on Main, Amy Guinn, told The Pee Dee Post on Jan. 1 that she was closing, effective immediately. With a partner, Guinn purchased the building in October 2011 from Ron Mayo, who ran a restaurant at that location for nearly eight years. Guinn said the partner was out of the business within six months.

“I mention that because a large part of the reason I feel the cafe didn’t work out for me is that it’s too much to manage the day-to-day operations for me alone,” Guinn said in an interview by email.

Guinn also cited a lack of experience in business and restaurant management as “instrumental in the outcome of the business.”

Jones, though, will be relying on her experience and knowledgable staff. And the facility, she said, is ready to go.

“Everything was completely already in there,” Jones said. “All I had to do was do a truck order and just go in and start cookin’. It’s a blessing from God. He gave me that vision. I never had a desire to open up a restaurant.”

But in 2010, she was “riding down 74 and He just spoke to my heart. He said, ‘that’s it. That’s your restaurant.’ And I did it. It was successful.”

Jones said she’s been particularly impressed with area business owners and dignitaries stopping by to say hello and wish her well as she prepares to open.


Filed in: Business, Featured News, Hamlet, Latest Headlines, News

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  • Patricia McKinnon

    So glad it is going to reopen

  • Stingbone

    I’m ready for some of that country cooking….

  • Laron Jones

    Can’t wait to come back to the lower 48 to join my family in the kitchen!

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