Denise’s Diner, located on 4393 Main St., in Ellerbe opened Monday to great enthusiasm from Richmond County residents. “Everything we’ve gotten has been good,” said Burt Fuller, of Rockingham.
Open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., the diner has come a long way in the three month span it took owners Denise Raines and Jackie Raines to purchase the building and open it to the public.
Raines’ journey to become part owner of Denise’s Diner began when she was a little girl. Growing up with five brothers and two sisters, everyone chipped in to make meals. “Mom used to cook all the time. I started cooking with her,” Raines said. Before buying the building that would become Denise’s Diner, Raines worked at Ellerbe Springs Inn and Restaurant for 17 years where she was a cook and a kitchen manager.
Raines and her husband decided to lease the empty building three months ago and have so far seen nothing but success. “Ellerbe has really helped me with this business as well as my church family, Ellerbe Fellowship Baptist Church,” Raines said.
Serving the food she learned to cook when she was younger, Denise’s Diner offers a Southern style cafeteria buffet and a menu that allows customers to order plates of southern style food. “I eventually hope to have seafood plates and steak plates on Friday and Saturday nights.” She also serves homemade desserts that she cooks with the help of a baker, Virgil Clark.
“Everything is cooked to order so it’s fresh. We roll out our hamburgers ourselves, they aren’t frozen or prepackaged,” Raines said. “You can tell when food is frozen and prepackaged.”
Steve Hayden, of Seagrove, said the food was good and the service was fast. Jimmy Ray, of Asheboro, said the food is delicious.
Raines said the easiest part about owning a restaurant is the cooking, and the hardest part is the paperwork. “I didn’t know how busy I was going to be, how much help I would need or how much food to order.” The difficulties haven’t stopped her from welcoming people into what has become her passion. “I love to meet people. I want them to feel at home and welcome here,” she said.
So far, they have nine employees although they are looking to hire more people. To apply for a job at Denise’s Diner, just go fill out an application.
Raines also likes to hear the opinions of her customers. “I like feedback — that way if there is a problem I can change it.”
With continued enthusiasm from the residents and fresh homemade food, Denise’s Diner promises to be a staple on Main Street.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.