Rowan County’s food scene gained new favorites, lost longtime staples in 2021 – Salisbury Post

Rowan County’s food scene gained new favorites, lost longtime staples in 2021 – Salisbury Post

SALISBURY – The past two years have been difficult for the restaurant industry.

The start of the pandemic in 2020 forced many restaurants to close or modify their business practices.

“All of the restaurant businesses in particular really had to fight quickly,” said Elaine Spalding, president of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce. “Many had to close their doors with very little notice from our friends in government. They had to fully adapt to the takeout orders and provide their employees with as many resources as they could to hopefully retain them. “

Rowan County said goodbye to several staple restaurants in 2020, including Wink’s Barbecue on Faith Road and Copacabana Brazilian Cuisine on Jake Alexander Boulevard. Stag & Doe, a beloved China Grove restaurant, closed its doors in March 2020 and remained closed for 2021. The restaurant posted on Facebook in August that it plans to reopen, but no other details about the reopening were mentioned.

Another loss in 2020 was the closure of the K&W Cafeteria in West End Plaza. The buffet chain closed several locations after filing for bankruptcy. The building, which is owned by Rowan County, was leased to Perkins Management Services, and the company had plans to open Perkins Cafeteria, a concept similar to that of K&W. But the restaurant has yet to open after a boiler room robbery in August caused damage and required repairs.

Conditions weren’t easy for restaurants that suffered from the pandemic in 2021. Along with supply chain delays and food and labor shortages, restaurants examined changing rules and regulations that leaked from state and local governments. federal.

“The biggest challenge, honestly, was trying to understand all the different government regulations,” Spalding said. “There were a lot of communications from both the federal and state governments. We, as a camera, spend hours in webinars learning about what all these things mean and trying to condense it and direct it to companies that need to stay on top of the changes. “

Throughout the pandemic, many restaurants have also been fueled by local support.

“In speaking to chamber representatives across the state, I have been pleasantly surprised that we have not had more businesses closed and, in particular, restaurant businesses,” Spalding said. “This community really supported locally owned restaurants during COVID and that made a huge difference.”

During a year in which the pandemic continued to take its toll, here are some Rowan County restaurants that closed or moved in 2021:

Troyer’s Country Market

The news that Troyer’s Country Market was closing was met with a torrent of pain online. Commenters wished the owners good luck in their future projects, but complained about the looming void that the store’s closure would leave.

A deli / market hybrid, Troyer’s offered sandwiches for breakfast and lunch and had a wide selection of pantry and refrigerator staples such as cheese, milk, butter, soup mixes, traditional treats, flour, and more. Troyer’s sold handmade ice cream and served hot donuts on Friday mornings.

On the last day donuts and sandwiches were served in August, a line stretched outside the establishment’s doors as customers clamored for a final bite.

The store’s owners, JR and Rebekah Troyer, left the food industry. JR now works in construction, specialized in stables, posts, garages, garages and metal roofs. Rebekah launched her own cleaning business, called A Gal & A Pail.

Hoff Grill

The restaurant known for its pork chop sandwich closed the doors of its West Innes Street restaurant for good in late September, but fans of its cuisine will still be able to find their favorites soon.

Owners David Houchins and his wife Jolene plan to open a Hoff trailer in 2022 to bring their food to festivals and events throughout Rowan County. The pork chop sandwich will continue to be a menu staple. Houchins said Hoff’s will also continue to operate its booth at the Rowan County Fairgrounds and will again offer food at Faith Fourth and the Autumn Jubilee next year.

The Smoke Pit – From Downtown to Faith Road

After four years at its location on East Innes Street, near the heart of the city, the owners of The Smoke Pit announced in March that the beloved barbecue restaurant would be moving.

The Smoke Pit moved into the old Wink’s Barbecue home, 509 Faith Road, giving the building new life and an extensive makeover. The Faith Road location opened in August, inviting diners to enjoy the same barbecue as before, but in a remodeled space.

The restaurant’s co-owners, Devin Barbee, Joey Graham and Jeremy Beaver, believe that the larger kitchen at the new location and the additional smokers will allow The Smoke Pit to meet the demand for its catering services.

These restaurants are among the new openings in 2021:

Texas Roadhouse

Rowan Countians no longer have to venture to Concord to try Texas Roadhouse steaks or popular buttered rolls. The state-themed chain Lone Star opened a location at the Rowan Summit Shopping Center on Julian Road in early December. David Simon is managing partner of the new restaurant, which is just under 8,000 square feet and can accommodate 300 guests.

Umami Center

With an eclectic menu of Asian fusion dishes, Umami Downtown opened at 127 N. Main St. in October. Umami revitalized the building that was once the home of the Main Street Legal Cafe, but it was closed for several years.

The restaurant is a family effort led by friends Jasmine Mohamed and Shawna Broughton, who have put together a menu featuring sushi, poke, and pho. Umami also makes Boba tea and serves specialty coffees.


With the help of her mother Tonya Rankin and chef Terry Wood, former Salisbury High basketball star Shi-heria Shipp opened Vibez in downtown Salisbury. The establishment serves food during the day but becomes a place for nightlife on the weekends. Vibez opened in a renovated building at 127 S. Main St., where Palermo’s Italian cuisine once stood.

Shug’s in Brooklyn South Square

Food, drinks, music and art are always on the menu at Shug’s Brooklyn South Square. The restaurant, bar, and venue opened in August in a renovated Victorian log cabin at 209 S. Lee St. Co-owner, Tiffany Day, brings in live music whenever she can, and Shug’s maintains a diverse menu of entrees, appetizers, and sides to go with it. a bar. assorted with craft beer and spirits for cocktails.

This is not an exhaustive list. Email if we have missed any notable restaurant.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.