New restaurant to open in Cape Fear Farmers Market

By: Chrysta Carroll - Bladen Journal

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Cape Fear Farmers Market in Elizabethtown will be the site of a “sub”lime treat.

At its regularly scheduled meeting this week, the Elizabethtown Town Council approved a lease agreement for Elizabethtown Deli and Subs to occupy space at the Cape Fear Farmers Market. JTS Group, Inc., out of Lumberton, will be using the space for the next five years, at a monthly rate of $1,250. The company is owned by James Thomas Stephens, who plans to serve soups, salads, and sandwiches, as well as alcohol.

“It will provide an indoor and outdoor eating facility that will give the community the option of delis and subs, North Carolina wines and North Carolina craft beer, along with a variety of other items that are currently not being offered in the downtown area,” reads an application for grant funding for the project.

“(This is) good news for our Farmers Market,” Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell told the Council on Monday.

The Board also approved the grant application on behalf of the new establishment. Available through the N.C. Department of Commerce, the $17,000 Rural Building Reuse and Infrastructure Grant — if awarded — will fund interior renovations like constructing new walls, rewiring walls and plumbing, refinishing floors, installing fixtures like counters, and replacing ceiling tiles.

The town’s 5-percent local match will be used to replace signage, to the tune of $850.

The new restaurant will be located in the space formerly occupied by Cape Fear Chicken & BBQ, one of two anchor facilities in the Farmers Market, the other being Burney’s Sweets & More.

According to the applicants, the restaurant has the potential to change the downtown area.

“This project brings an economic development opportunity that does not currently exist in downtown Elizabethtown and will hopefully encourage other businesses in the downtown area to extend their operating hours, thereby creating a vibrant night life downtown,” the application reads.

Operating for lunch and dinner, the restaurant will provide four new managerial and cook positions.

Though the venture into a deli and sub business is a new one, the new lessees currently own and operate a landscaping business, as well as Stephens Vineyard and Winery, located at 284 Smith Mill Road in Lumberton.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing ccarroll@bladenjournal.com.

Chrysta Carroll

Bladen Journal