Three team up to open new restaurant


Platinum Cafe owners, from left, Delasio Bartley, Dexter Alston and Torey Thompson sit Monday inside the new restaurant at Tiffany Square Shopping Center.


Staff Writer

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Three Rocky Mount natives have joined together to bring a new eatery to the Twin Counties.

Dexter Alston, Torey Thompson and Delasio Barkley have delved into the restaurant industry as the owners of Platinum Cafe, which opened Wednesday at 1232 N. Wesleyan Blvd. in the Tiffany Square Shopping Center.

The owners said Platinum Cafe will present an alternative to the longtime cafeteria-style restaurant at the shopping center. The lunch and dinner menus will consist of different flavored wings, cheesesteaks, burgers, hot dogs, wraps, chicken strips, salads, seafood items and soft drinks.

Alston said there are special items featured on the menu Monday through Friday, including 50-cent wings that are only available for dine-in customers on Tuesdays. 

“Everybody can relate to cafeteria food, but we’re going be something a little bit different,” Thompson said. “This is going to be a laid back and family-oriented atmosphere where people can come out and enjoy themselves and get a nice meal. The reason why we chose the name of our restaurant is we want our customers to receive platinum service or that they know they’ve received the best service ever.”

Alston said they’re in the process of acquiring a beer and wine license for the bar area and down the road, they plan to have live music with some jazz or go-go bands. Thompson said take-out orders will be offered for people, but there is plenty of room for people who want to dine in.

Thompson said the more than 4,000-square-feet of space in the restaurant can seat up to 272 people, and the plan is to add more seating in the future. He added the space will provide the restaurant the ability to offer community events such as hosting a Zumba class, art class, baby shower or repass for families needing a larger gathering space.

The owners said starting a restaurant is their way of giving back to the community. Thompson said the plan is to start off hiring 20 employees who will be a mix of full- and part-time employees.

“We aren’t going to be a high-scale end restaurant, but we’re happy to be able to offer good employment where people can help take care of their families at a place where people will hopefully enjoy working at,” Thompson said.

In addition to running the new restaurant, Thompson and Alston have full-time jobs, while Barkley is a retired police officer with the Rocky Mount Police Department.

Barkley said he spent 30 years on the force, while Thompson has worked 15 years in the banking industry and currently is a financial advisor at Self-Help Credit Union on Tarboro Street in downtown Rocky Mount. Alston said he has worked 12 years with special needs children in Raleigh. 

The owners said they understand starting a new restaurant is a risk, especially with all the competition of small and large restaurants in the area. However, with the momentum in the local economy, such as other small businesses opening, new industries set to come into the area, existing businesses expanding and new development downtown, they believe their restaurant has a chance to flourish in the community.

“Somebody told me years ago that if they aren’t fixing the roads that means the city isn’t growing,” Thompson said. “But we got construction going on and we actually see the city is growing. I think with our restaurant and our pricing that we can contribute to that, and we will be able to sustain some of the ups and downs that comes with the economy.”

Platinum Cafe will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.