There was this restaurant….

Over the last several months I have had the opportunity to eat dinner one night at a restaurant in Shiloh call the Topside Restaurant. It is located in an old school there and had some really good food.  Then just this weekend, I went to a locally owned business up in Boone called the Local Lion.  They are a coffee and homemade doughnut shop.  The coffee and the doughnuts were to die for!  These recent visits got me thinking about locally owned businesses… particularly the ones that I frequented in my youth.  Here are a few of my favorites.  It wasn’t necessarily the food so much as it was the atmosphere that each of these places had that made the special to me but then again… there was some great food too!


What a great burger.  I never really went in and sat down to eat.   Mostly that was because it was like there was assigned seating in the place.  I use to walk around there to get lunch some days when I was working at Bradshaw’s Jewelery store for lunch and I swear the same old men were sitting in the exact same place they were the day before… heck the may have even been wearing the same clothes.  I always loved that place though…

The Virginia Dare Confectionery

This was a little coffee shop kinda place that sold sandwiches.  I loved to go there and order chicken salad on toast or a club sandwich.  I love to sit there and enjoy the sunlight coming down through the glass roof on the Virginia Dare Hotel atrium.


Nothing better than an Ox-a-burger.  I use to love to go there and sit at the counter and visit with Kathy or better yet go sit in one of the booths with the little remote jukebox selection device and turn the wheel to see what records were available.

The Sundry Shop

This was my Aunt Becky’s place.  Located down on Road St. where the CVS is located now.  She made the best sandwiches in the world.  One in particular was my favorite… a combination chicken salad, ham salad and pimento cheese all on one sandwich.  All freshly made ingredients… and of course, no visit was complete without a slice of her home made chocolate pie!  Simply the best!


A little hole in the wall across the street from the Carolina Movie Theatre.. where you sat on a stool and Jerry would line up 5 hot dogs for a dollar!

City Cut Rate Drugs

Not a place to eat but I always struggled when it came to the best orangeade in Elizabeth City… was it Comstocks or City Cut Rate?  Didn’t really matter…. Have never had one that came close to either one of them since.

While the food was always good, the atmosphere was even better.  Each of those places hold a special place in my heart.  I loved looking at the magazines and paperback books at the Oxena, the old gift items available at Comstocks and the Sundry Shop, and all of the people that made those places such a big part of a small town….

Be sure and support your locally owned businesses… they are what makes growing older in a small town the best!



Filed under Stories

3 responses to “There was this restaurant….

  1. Connie Jackson Umphlett

    You hit the nail on the head with these places. The orangeades….City Cut Rate’s were a little better. My family would go to the Sundry Shop every Saturday night for one of those sandwiches….and the choc. pie was to die for, but my favorite was her chocolate nut sundae, Mr. Halstead would always buy me one after I ate. The memories you have stirred up today…..
    Loving it.

  2. Eddie Meekins


    When we were in Jr. High….Hill’s was another one that a lot of my friends would meet there every morning before school. I would have a grilled cheese sandwich and a cherry sprite every morning for breakfast.

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