A Community Staple Closes Permanently

The Lighthouse Restaurant, a place I had many a breakfast, a meeting, a conversation, even where one of my business partners and I had our first meeting, announced that they are closing for good. I don’t know what could be said that Michael Hastings didn’t already say. Know that this is his article in the Winston-Salem Journal and I’m only reprinting/reposting it. Thank you, Michael.


©Unks/WSJournal

The Lighthouse, one of the oldest operating Greek-owned restaurants in Winston-Salem, is closing for good after lunch service today.

“It’s just the pandemic. The revenue is not there,” said co-owner Steve Doumas, whose family has owned the business for most of its 66 years.

The Lighthouse, which first opened in 1954, also is considered the second-oldest restaurant downtown, behind Murphy’s Lunch (which opened in 1950 and currently is temporarily closed).

George Pappas opened the Lighthouse in the West End in 1954 at the intersection of Burke Street and Brookstown Avenue, across the street from its current location at 905 Burke St.

Within a few years, Alex Fragakis took it over. In 1962, he hired a young Nick Doumas, who turned out to be a natural in the kitchen and dining room. Doumas soon became the face and warm personality of the Lighthouse and would remain so for the next 50 years. Nick Doumas’ brother Louis joined the restaurant in 1966 and the two Doumas brothers became sole partners in the restaurant when Fragakis retired in the 1970s.
The Lighthouse became one of Winston-Salem’s most popular diners, a place to meet a friend for breakfast anytime or for such staples as spaghetti, fried flounder or pork chops.

In 1982, the Doumas brothers moved across the street to the current location. Nick Doumas died in 2016 at age 78 after an accident with an all-terrain vehicle, but the family continued to operate the business.

The current owners are Louis Doumas and Nick Doumas’ children: Steve Doumas, Joe Doumas, Vera Doumas Tucker and Gena Doumas Cook. Louis Doumas has not been actively involved in the restaurant since the pandemic began, but his son Harold Doumas has continued to manage the restaurant.

“It’s been a tough decision,” said Steve Doumas, who separately owns Camel City BBQ downtown.

The Lighthouse closed from mid-March, when the pandemic began, until July 10.

“We never did takeout. For diners, it’s tough now. This is the kind of restaurant where people come to eat in,” he said. Many customers came to the Lighthouse for the people as much as the food. Many of them were older — in the high-risk group for COVID-19 — and much of the menu just didn’t travel well, making it unsuitable for takeout.

City council member John Larson was one of many regulars at the Lighthouse. “I had breakfast and lunch there today. Sometimes I ate there three times a day. I practically raised my daughter there,” Larson said Thursday. “It was a real meeting ground. You’d see the mayor or city council members there. Bankers, lawyers would come in. Everybody came to that restaurant.”

Mary Haglund — the founder of Mary’s Gourmet Diner, which also decided to close during the pandemic — said that her first job in Winston-Salem was at the Lighthouse. “It was just one of those places where everyone really knew each other. The waitresses would always be cutting up and telling jokes,” she said. “And Nick and Louis, as long as you did your job, if you needed anything, you just had to ask and they would help you if they could. It was a fascinating place to work.”

The family owns the property at 905 Burke. Steve Doumas said that family members have not decided what to do about it. He left open the possibility that the Lighthouse could return.

“We don’t know what the future holds. As the five owners, we haven’t sat down and decided where we are headed next,” he said. “We might possibly look at reopening and reinventing the Lighthouse in the future.”

Firebirds Woodfired Grill Confirms Reopening

I had heard rumors of a reopening of Firebirds Woodfired Grill, but it wasn’t evident by their Facebook, nor website that our local store had actually allowed for dine-in. So, I reached out and Scott Bowman, general manager of the Winston-Salem store wrote an email to me. Here’s what he said:

Good morning! I would love to catch you up on everything we are doing here at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill. We appreciate you thinking about us.

We are open in our dining rooms. Currently half capacity.

We are open for take-out and delivery. Our delivery providers are door dash, uber eats and post mates. Door dash being the more popular choice. We offer curbside service as well. Parking is on the side of the building.

We have family meals for take-out only that have a choice of baby back ribs, wood grilled chicken, or our meatloaf. Ribs come with fries and the meatloaf and chicken come with mashed potatoes. Family meals also include a salad choice and sweet treat.

We do still have the “butcher cut” meats available. These come with steak seasoning to be cooked at home.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks again for thinking about Firebirds!

Regards, Scott Bowman, General Manager, Winston-Salem

WSNC Restaurants That Plan to Close for July 4th

Updated on July 2, 2020. New additions notated with “*”

Traditionally, the July 4th holiday is a time for many WSNC restaurants to take their collective vacations, mostly for the week of. A time to reset. Time to make up for being open – in some cases – 7 days a week. We all need our time off. We all need a respite. We all know, now, that self-care is very important. This year, however, things are anything but “traditional.”

While many of these same restaurants have just reopened, others have been working overtime to stay relevant during the weird, hard, and unpredictable C-19 pandemic. Despite what they have been doing, it is my opinion that they need a rest. Some of the restaurants are doing just that. Here is the (potentially growing) list of WSNC restaurants that will be closed for July 4th or even beyond. All of this info is cultivated by their Facebook pages and if your favorite location isn’t on this list, I would highly recommend that you still call before you visit any location to make sure they are open (you can find their number on the F&B List). It is assumed, however, that if they are not posting closure on their Facebook, they are open. Here’s the list:

1703 Restaurant closed July 4 & 5.
Athena Greek Taverna closed from Monday, June 29 until Sunday, July 5.
*Baked Just SO closed July 4-7.
Bib’s Downtown closed Sunday, July 5.
Bobby Boy Bakeshop from Saturday, June 27 through Monday, July 6.
Carmine’s Italian closed from Monday, June 29 through Thursday, July 9.
*Diamondback Grill Closed July 4.
Kermit’s Hot Dogs will be closed July 1 through July 15 for their annual maintenance (and maybe some vacation).
*La Casa Lopez Closed July 2-5.
Meridian Restaurant closed for Holiday from Saturday, July 4 through Sunday, July 12.
Mission Pizza closed for Holiday- Until July 9.
Mrs. Pumpkins closed Thursday, July 2 through Saturday, July 4.
Pulliam’s closed Friday, July 3 & Saturday, July 4.
*Real Q closed July 4-8.
The Carriage House closed Wednesday, July 1 through Monday, July 6.
Vincenzo’s closed Saturday, July 4 through Tuesday, July 7.
Walkertown Seafood Shack closed Monday, June 29 through Monday, July 6.
Wine Merchants closed Saturday, July 4 through Tuesday, July 7.

As always, Lea and I have done our best to curate this list as accurately as possible. If you have a food/beverage establishment and you don’t see your place of business on this list and you will be closed for the holiday (or dates surrounding it), please, feel free to contact me to get added. Also, if there are any errors, please inform me of that, as well. Enjoy your holiday week!

Restaurant Re-emergence June 25th Edition

From Black Mountain Chocolate’s Facebook:

Black Mountain Chocolate is re-opening on Friday – and celebrating with èclairs! Our customer-favorite will be back in stock along with cookies, brownies, a selection of truffles, and more! Can’t wait to see you, it’s been too long… 🧡🍫🧡

We will be open Carryout and Curbside service on Fridays from 2 PM to 6 PM; Saturdays Noon to 8 PM; and Sundays Noon to 4 PM.

We will be opening with our full menu of bakery treats (including TARTS), eclairs, weekend specials plus a selection of customer’s favorite truffles. Come and get a sweet treat- you’ve earned it!

We will also be debuting an online ordering portal as well as an official BMC app to help you get your order more quickly and help us be contact free! Watch social media for updates.


From Hops Burger Bar’s Facebook:

Beginning Thursday 6-25-20, at 11 am, We will be Open for Dine-In and Curbside Pick-Up. 336-842-5771.

From Tim: No other mention of hours or days of operation. They did post a great pic of a burger and a beer, though.

Carmine’s Italian Restaurant To Reopen for Dine-In

From Carmine’s Italian Restaurant’s Facebook:

LONG POST ALERT! IMPORTANT COVID-19 DINE-IN SERVICE INFO‼️

A LONG-AWAITED
RE-OPENING IS IN THE WORKS.
We are happy to announce that we will be
re-opening our dining room for reservations only starting June 19th. Reservations will be accepted Tuesdays through Sundays. You must call during business hours to make reservations. Reservations are only available at 4:30pm, 6:00pm, and 7:30pm. We are only accepting a limited number of reservations per seating.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
This means that from the moment you finish reading this email – we are accepting reservations. So call us because we have missed you so much!

WHAT PRECAUTIONS ARE WE TAKING?

We will be operating at a MAXIMUM of 20-30% capacity. We will not be operating at 50% capacity at this time out of an abundance of caution for our guests and for our employees.

We will be practicing social distancing to the best of our abilities in a manner that still allows us to operate our dining room.

We will be following the NC State Health Department Guidelines for COVID-19 restaurant service

WHAT WE NEED YOU TO DO:

We are not requiring our guests to wear facemasks at this time. However, it is recommended while in common areas of the restaurant such as the restroom and the front lobby. Dining tables will be separated by a minimum of 6 feet.

We ask that you please respect other people’s space and practice social distancing while you are inside the restaurant. We want to make sure that all of our guests and employees stay healthy.

We sincerely look forward to seeing you all again as this has been a very hard road to overcome. We look forward to having our dining room filled with guests enjoying our food, wine, and the overall Carmine’s experience. It has truly not been the same without you.

With love,

Carmine’s Italian Restaurant

Camino Bakery Opens Fourth Street Location

It’s been nearly 3 months and we can’t wait to get back into the place we call our first home 😭 Please read below some information regarding the opening of 4th St:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
🚀 4th St will have the same hours as Brookstown, 8am – 1pm, every day
🚀 Take-out will be the ONLY option for ordering (no curbside or online ordering for this location)
🚀 Masks are required when entering
🚀 No seating available (yet! possibly some outdoor patio seating available next week, tbd)
🚀 We will have a limited menu here as we do at Brookstown
🚀 There is an “in” and “out” flow to entering the shop; please look at your feet for directional arrows on the ground
🚀 Please keep your distance and stand on a yellow “x” when in line.
🚀 We will have beer 🍻 and wine 🍷 to purchase and take home!
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Thank you for your continued support and understanding in this pandemic. We love you! See you tomorrow!

Bobo’s Deli and Grill Reopens Today

From the Bobo’s Deli & Grill Facebook:

We are officially reopening today! We will be open for drive-thru and carry out starting at 11 am today and staying open until 8 pm. We have missed you all and are very excited to be serving again! We have thoroughly cleaned the whole restaurant and will be doing temperature checks of employees upon arrival. And of course, we will continue with rigorous standards of cleanliness and sanitization. We look forward to seeing all of your friendly faces in the drive-thru today and this weekend!

Alma Mexicana and The Porch Reopens After C-19 Quarantine

We are happy to re-open our doors tomorrow for Pick-up, Delivery, and Outdoor Dining. You can place take out orders via our app or by calling us. You can visit our website to make a reservation for outdoor dining Wednesday – Saturday nights from 4 – 9 pm. As always, we will continue to follow all CDC and the Health Departments’ best practices and guidelines to keep everyone to be as safe as possible in light of COVID-19. Masks for staff have been required, but we will now also require customers to wear masks upon entering the restaurant, even just to pick up meals. We will have masks available if you do not have one. While we hope to remain COVID-free, we will be as transparent as possible if and when another staff member contracts COVID-19. We want to be here for the long run, and we appreciate your support during these challenging times.

Phone Number: (336) 317-1254
Online Ordering: https://direct.chownow.com/order/10685/locations
Website: www.almamexicanawsnc.com


We’re back in action 🥳 We’re open 11-8 pm tonight with Grab n’ Go, Take Out & Delivery! Visit our website www.dinnersontheporch.com to view our menu, call us to place an order (336) 893-8361 or place an order online for pick up/delivery: https://eat.chownow.com/discover/restaurant/12732

Before entering The Porch please be sure to wash your hands in our hallway restroom, put on gloves that we’ve provided and masks are required to enter. We will have some available if you don’t have a mask. Thanks for helping us keep our customers & staff safe!

Support Your Local Black-Owned Businesses

Someone asked me this week if I had a list of black-owned restaurants and food services in WSNC. And, I actually did not. So, I set out to find the restaurants that were.

Support these businesses and the people that own them and the people that work for them. Stand in solidarity with them. Let them lean on you. Let them know you care. Be there for them.

A vast majority of this list I obtained from the Winston-Salem Urban League, for others, I did some digging on my own.
For other black-owned businesses outside the food designation, which still need your help and support can be found here.

A perusing of the Forsyth County Health Inspector’s website showed:

  • 795 restaurants (many of which are multiple locations, i.e. McDonald’s, Wendy’s, etc., hospital, hotel foodservice, convenience stores that sell food or other “restaurant types”)
  • 249 “Food Stands” (which also include multiple locations like Cook Out, but is for non-dine-in services)
  • 27 “Mobile Food” listings which are mostly food trucks
  • 14 “Push Carts” which is almost entirely hot dog carts.

If there are ANY businesses that I have left off this list, please let me know so I can add them. I want no businesses left out. 

  • 3 Layers Cakery
  • Ackingna’s Place
  • Big Mouff Cheesesteaks
  • Bingo Bango Sodas
  • Cam’s Coffee
  • Carolina Kitchen and Pantry
  • Carolina’s Vineyards and Hops
  • Chef J’Avia Scents & Crafts LLC
  • CLS Catering
    • Gunny Smitty’s Hot Dogs Cart
    • C&L’s Cakes
    • Soul Food Fusion (Personal Chef Service)
  • Cow Who
  • DJs Cheesecakes
  • Downtown Bodega
  • Dr. Chops Soul Food Cafe
  • Dream Kreams Artisanal Creamery
  • Elasya B’s Candy Tree
  • Flavor57 Personal Chef Services & Catering
  • FoodDealer
  • Forsyth Seafood
  • Happie Food
  • Honeybee Grocery Delivery
  • Hot Dog City
  • Jazzy Daugs Cart
  • Kymora’s Kookies
  • Leanback Soul Food
  • Le’Chateau Bakery
  • Lei Lei’s Cuisine
  • Mary Jay’s Southern Soul Eatery
  • Mayberry Ice Cream (4th St)
  • Meta’s Restaurant
  • Miss Ora’s Kitchen
  • Mo’s Chicken & Grocery 2 Go
  • Mother’s Finest Urban Family Farms
  • Munch Box
  • Off the Beaten Path Coffee
  • Other Suns Coffee Shop
  • Peanut House, The
  • Prime Tyme Soul Food Cafe
  • The Rhythm Lounge and Grill
  • Share the Sweetness
  • Simply Soul Restaurant
  • Skrimp Shack
  • Sooo Trucking Hungry Food Truck
  • Spice Delight Mobile Cafe
  • Sweet Escape, A
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweet Truth Bakery
  • Ta’Nisha Monique Cupcakes
  • Taste of the Triad
  • Trice’s Eatz, LLC
  • Two Girls Sweet Treats
  • Two Sisters and a Lemon
  • WS Wings-N-Fins Truck
  • Wutyasay Food Truck
  • Your Dinner Awaits
  • Zesto Burgers & Ice Cream

The Re-Emergence Part 14

Update #14. Remember not all the updates are to say they are opening for dine-in. Some are just updates to the procedures. Many places are requesting that you wear masks until seated. Please be considerate of others around you.


From Fiddlin’ Fish’s Facebook: (Friday after we “closed”)

As you may have heard, the State of North Carolina has just clarified its guidelines for Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan, allowing for brewery taprooms to reopen. We are thrilled to receive this news and we look forward to serving you in the taproom soon! That said, the taproom will remain closed for on-premise service this weekend as we prepare our staff and our space for safe and efficient operations under the State’s new guidelines.

Our top priorities are the health and safety of our staff and our guests and seamless customer service for customers who choose to join us in the taproom. Please stay tuned for a follow-up announcement with an official reopening date.

In the meantime, we will continue to offer To-Go Beer sales 12:00-8:00 daily and home delivery today and tomorrow. Thank you for your continued support and your patience as we prepare to serve you in the taproom again!


From Firebirds Wood Fired Grill’s Facebook: (for Winston-Salem only that I can verify)

We are NOW open for dine-in service with reservations only. You can make a reservation online or by calling us directly. We will also continue to offer curbside pickup and delivery. We want to assure you that safety remains our #1 priority. In addition to following CDC guidelines, we have enhanced our already high standards of food safety, hygiene, cleaning and sanitation. Please visit us online to learn more at https://firebirdsrestaurants.com/promotions/safer-together/.


From me, since the Facebook page isn’t telling much:

Willows Bistro will open back up today at 3 pm. Of course, social distancing rules will be in effect as will the 50% capacity rule.

Willow’s Bistro will be opening for dinner at 3 TODAY!. Come see us! Matthias “Frenchy” Gomez [has] an amazing new menu! We have taken courses and trained our coworkers on all the safety and sanitation procedures!

So, make sure to go by and have a beverage and a good meal. Be safe.


From Island Cuisine’s Facebook:



From La Botana’s Facebook: (I may have posted about them in one of the earlier updates)

La Botana
Our staff has been certified of Certificate Of Completion #countonmeNC We are doing our part so that you feel safe and comfortable when you Dine-In at La Botana, please do your part to keep yourself and others safe too. We will still offer limited Trays for takeout, we need your support more than ever.

Here is a list of Trays that we will keep during phase 2
1. Fajita Tray $25
2. Loaded chicken chorizo Tray $25
3. Enchiladas Rancheras Tray $30
4. Super Foods Vegetarian Tray (feed 2) $20
add 2 small guacamole salads $25

You can order from all of our menus now
Lunch menu
Regular menu
Vegetarian menu
Vegan menu
Paleo menu

Our first choice for you to enjoy La Botana cooking during phase 2 is through takeout. We are still waiting on a response from PPP relief fund and we are hoping we can get it. without PPP Relief we need to open our Dine-In area to catch up on our past due invoices and rent, we are behind several months now. We mean no disrespect to families who have been affected personally by this pandemic, It will be hard to recuperate economically but health and life is a different issue.

We are now taking Dine-In reservations.
For reservations call between
11:30am to 2:30pm lunchtime &
4:45pn to 8:30pm Dinner time.
If you can’t reach us by text at 336-768-6588 we will do our best to confirm. Our last reservation spot for lunchtime is 2:00pm M-F,
our last reservation spot for dinner is 8:30pm M-F and Saturday dinner 4:45-8:30pm.


More to come, stay safe WSNC!!