The business held a grand opening ceremony at its Broad Street Square location on Business 74 with the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce recently, and owner China Lett explained what her first restaurant has to offer.
“We have home-cooked meals with a friendly atmosphere,” she said. “This is a good staff with great cooks, and we’ve got a wonderful waitress.”
Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner is served Monday through Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Broad Street.
The business opened in February, and it is Lett’s first turn at being an entrepreneur.
Thus far it’s been a successful foray, she explained.
“So far, so good,” she said. “We have regular people that come in for lunch and dinner, and we all laugh and cut up. This is the kind of place where everybody knows everybody.”
Waitress Amanda Lovin said everybody sees the same thing when they step through the diner’s doors.
“A smiling face,” she giggled. “Just come on in and sit down.”
The daily specials are popular, Lovin explained.
“For our daily specials, we have plates like stew beef and rice, homemade lasagna, chicken and dumplings and a variety of things,” Lett said.
The specials are usually under $7.
The kitchen staff that prepares the specials is composed of head cook Linda White and cook Ben Benson. Benson said he’s picked up a lot of helpful hints from White.
“I learned to cook at home,” White said. “I’ve been doing it all my life. My mother taught me how.”
White specializes in the home-cooked style of the Pee Dee River basin, ranging from hamburger steak and gravy to pasta dishes. Overall, her repertoire resembles the covered dishes one might savor at a family reunion or church pot luck.
Despite the current success of the diner, Lett explained there were discouraging factors as she struck out on her own.
She was already a full-time employee at W & W Auto Sales in Rockingham, where she still works, and raising a family as a single mother. All this, on top of the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008, may have stopped someone less intrepid from taking on the extra workload.
“With the economy the way it is, a lot of people couldn’t believe I was going to do it,” she said. “But this is something I always wanted to do, and so I stuck with it.”
The Broad Street Diner is open for lunch and dinner six days a week.