New Hamlet restaurant thrives

Melonie McLaurin | Daily Journal Yvette Jones says business is booming at Jones on Main – The Country Kitchen in downtown Hamlet. While she’s only been open about three months, she says customers are making repeat visits and her clientele has grown.

Melonie McLaurin | Daily Journal Robert Covington and Marcus Douglas enjoy a special greeting from the lady of the house, Yvette Jones, as the lunchtime rush hour winds down.

HAMLET — Only three months after opening its doors, Jones on Main: The Country Kitchen in downtown Hamlet is a success, said owner Yvette Jones.

The restaurant was originally slated to open in mid-February, but due to the snowy weather on what would have been opening day, the event was pushed back to March. Jones did not let the temporary setback get her down.

“We are now gaining customers who have become faithful to us,” Jones said. “Any business, it takes time to build things up. We’re still building it up, but everything is going great.”

Jones said the steaming hot weather that has plagued the Sandhills in recent weeks has had a small impact on business.

“Things have slacked out a little because of this hot weather,” Jones said. “But it’s all part of the business. I’ve talked to other business owners who have been around for 30 and 40 years and they faced the same challenges.”

For the older, more settled-in restaurants such as Seaboard Station, it has been staying-power that’s kept them going through good times and bad, Jones said.

“With any business, it takes time,” Jones said. “People who’ve had more time, some more than 30 years, have all told me, ‘Whatever you do, don’t quit. Sometimes it will look like things are slow but just hang in there, ‘cause it’s going to get better in the long run. Just hang in there ‘cause it’s going to get better.’ That’s just the business side of everything.”

Jones said people continue to rave about the food and that the restaurant’s Facebook page is active with positive comments.

Diners Marcus Douglas and Robert Covington sat down for the lunch buffet last week and agreed that the food at Jones on Main is top-notch.

“It’s great,” Douglas said.

Cario McKinnon, who has visited the restaurant 10 times, smiled when asked what his favorite items from the buffet are.

“Candied yams and macaroni and cheese,” McKinnon said.

Jones’ homemade macaroni and cheese earned its place as a fan favorite early on, following from her days operating The Country Kitchen on Broad Avenue in Rockingham.

“It’s homemade,” Jones said. “It’s not boxed macaroni and cheese. It’s not frozen macaroni and cheese. It’s homemade macaroni and cheese.”

Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin.