|by William Holloman|
An empty business site in downtown Mount Olive is finally being filled and the announcement is creating an air of excitement.
A new restaurant is coming to the downtown district and will operate in the now vacant old Lewis Drug Store building at 128 North Center Street.
It has been vacant since the first of the year when a drug store there closed down.
Linda Hofmann of the Grantham Community has leased the facility and told the Tribune she hopes to open on April 28, the Saturday of the 32nd annual North Carolina Pickle Festival.
The new restaurant will be called Valin’s Café. It will be a full service or takeout restaurant serving breakfast and lunch. The restaurant will be open on Monday thru Saturday from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Ms. Hofmann has lived in the Mount Olive area for the past 16 years. “I have had the wonderful experience of having a mobile kitchen (Valin’s Kitchen) for more than four years,” she said. “We will bring to Mount Olive more than 18 years of food service and management. We look forward to serving our community friends and the people, of Mount Olive and surrounding area.”
She concluded in saying, “It will be a wonderful way to start your day with fresh hot coffee, and a family prepared home style breakfast.”
Mayor Joe Scott summed up the announcement as something that has caused “big excitement.”
He said he has discussed the new restaurant opening with Ms. Hofmann who also “is very excited.” She is already getting good, positive response from a supportive community.
“We are really excited about it and for her and want to support her and urge others to do the same,” Mayor Scott said.
Town manager Charles Brown said he too is excited about the restaurant coming to the downtown area. “This is just one of the many good things that will be happening in the downtown area over the next few months. We are delighted to have another business downtown, particularly another restaurant.”
The town manager also said, “Stay tuned: this is not the last good thing you will see.”