It may be a shock for some, but Mainstreet CafÐ¹ and Grille no longer serves hot dogs or hamburgers. In fact, quite a few of its dishes are down right healthy.
So how has the downtown Lincolnton restaurant managed to keep its customers happy? Turns out the food is tasty.
â€œJust try our food,â€ said Ginger Weaver, owner of the restaurant since August. â€œIf you donâ€™t like it, it wonâ€™t cost anything.â€
Weaver used this proposition with two customers recently. They werenâ€™t impressed with the appearance of a leafy green salad.
Weaver told them to just give it a try. â€œBut it looks like grass,â€ they replied.
They finally relented and both dug in. After finishing the meal, they were singing a different tune.
â€œThey ate that salad and said â€˜Weâ€™ll be back,â€™â€ said Weaver.
Such instances make Weaverâ€™s new business venture worth it. Despite â€œthe early morning get-up and the long days,â€ she wouldnâ€™t want to do anything else.
â€œIâ€™m just a creator,â€ said Weaver. â€œThatâ€™s just what I am â€” I say Iâ€™m a creator of food.â€
Culinary skills, in fact, run in the family. Weaver takes after her mother, who owns Carolina Restaurant in Lincolnton.
Weaver had worked there for decades before finally buying the Mainstreet CafÐ¹ and Grille.
â€œMy mother is 72 years old, and if anything happens to her, I need to work,â€ Weaver said. â€œIâ€™ve always wanted this kind of restaurant on my own.â€
Owning Mainstreet CafÐ¹ and Grille is the pinnacle of her career in the food industry â€” which started with being a â€œsalad bar girl.â€
While sheâ€™s spent the majority of her years as a waitress, her true passion is cooking. The popularity of her chicken salad proves she has a knack for it.
â€œWe sell it by the cup- fulls,â€ she said.
Desserts are another thing Weaver is well known for, but donâ€™t ask her for any recipes. Because she makes her desserts from scratch herself, Weaver has no measurements for the ingredients.
â€œHonestly, I donâ€™t know what goes in it,â€ she said.
Despite a lack of recipes and a change in menu, the Mainstreet CafÐ¹ and Grille has proved successful so far.
Food isnâ€™t the only thing different at the diner. Thereâ€™s a different color scheme. Aged pictures of Lincolnton line the walls. Basically everything has been remodeled, and more changes are coming.
Weaver hopes these changes give her restaurant a unique feel.
â€œI didnâ€™t want to be like City Lunch,â€ Weaver said. â€œTheyâ€™re famous for their hot dogs, and where canâ€™t you get a hamburger in town?â€
Salad, grilled chicken, wraps and croissants have replaced the hot dogs and hamburgers. Weaver also cooks up a daily special every day, and even faxes the menu out to her customersâ€™ businesses. They can call in for reservations or boxed lunches.
Everything Weaver has done to the restaurant since she took over last August has made her happy with the final result.
â€œAs long as itâ€™s making money, and I can keep it the way itâ€™s running, there will be no changes,â€ Weaver said.
And itâ€™s a good thing sheâ€™s keeping those loyal customers.
â€œItâ€™s nice to know that they like our food, that theyâ€™ll keep coming back,â€ she said.
by Sarah Grano