Entrepreneur opens new eatery

1 of 4

Cornolius Moore looks at the menu Wednesday at Cokey Road Diner.


Staff Writer

Saturday, August 11, 2018

A local restaurant owner is making another try in the Rocky Mount dining scene.

Robert McBride, who was the owner of the former Washington Street Grille that closed down last year, has jumped right back into the fray as the owner of Cokey Road Diner and Catering Services at 1100 Cokey Road.

The dine-in and take-out eatery has been open for a little more than a month serving breakfast and lunch ranging from country link sausages, eggs, fat back meat and homemade cheese biscuits to fried chicken, pork chops, pepper steak, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, baked spaghetti, rice, french fries, burgers, ribs, turkey wings, pig tails, oxtails, chitterlings, seafood, kool-aid to drink and other choices.

“Our daily special plates and combination meals are priced low and affordable for customers,” McBride said. “We’re just trying to serve the people quality food that will make them want to come back.”

The building for the restaurant had sat vacant for the past five years after formerly housing D&R Restaurant & Catering before it closed. McBride said he was a regular customer of D&R Restaurant & Catering and kept an eye out for a possible business venture that’s located on the Edgecombe County side of Rocky Mount.

McBride said he put in some considerable work to fix up the building, including having to repair the roof and floors and doing major plumbing work. McBride has hired five employees to help run the diner.

Cokey Road Diner is also adjacent to the longtime Citgo convenience store that has drawn the gas station’s employees as well as people going to the store to come over and get a bite to eat.

“Before I lost out at Washington Street Grille, I made a decision to start a restaurant over here,” McBride said. “I figured this would be a great, ideal spot for Southern food cooking. Even though this is a smaller location than the previous spot, for me this is more manageable and a smarter move. The foot traffic from the gas station is definitely playing a part in the growth of the business.”

Even though Washington Street Grille didn’t work out, McBride said he learned some valuable lessons that will hopefully make Cokey Road Diner a success in the area. He added the diner also will host neighborhood meetings for the Brown Acres and Berkshire communities that are down the road from the restaurant.

“I definitely learned location is the primary point to success in the food business,” McBride said. “If you noticed here, there is no other food restaurant in the area other than Key Foods that’s two miles away. This restaurant is more visible to ongoing traffic whereas the prior restaurant was on a back street. Also, customer service, having quality food and having the right employees are also definitely important factors for having a successful restaurant.”

Cokey Road Diner is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Cokey Road Diner can be reached at 252-210-3323.