GREENVILLE – For years, Greenville has been a town filled with small businesses that bring in visitors from around the nation. These businesses are the backbone of the area, and many are considered must-visit spots for both locals and people passing through, maybe on the hunt for some true Down East flavor.
William “Bill” McLawhorn, started B’s Barbecue with the hopes of beginning a restaurant that would bring family and friends around to eat eastern style barbecue. B’s Barbecue has been a popular attraction for Greenville for 44 years.
For many eastern North Carolina barbecue purists, B’s Barbecue is considered one of the mother churches of the “holy grub.”
Judy Drach, McLawhorn’s daughter, has been serving customers at B’s Barbecue for years. “We have a lot of long-time customers,” Drach said. “I think people like the simplicity of it, it’s a fun morning when you wake up and say we’ve got to go to B’s.”
Aside from the delicious barbecue; the no phone, “eat until we run out” closing time, and overall atmosphere of the barbecue joint brings in visitors waiting in line, rain or shine.
“We stick true to what daddy started and he didn’t have a phone or believe in phones,” Drach said. “That person in front of us is more important than a person on the phone.”
Cubbies is another outstanding restaurant recognized and loved by many around Greenville. Cubbies opened in 1985, all because of a dream owner Dean Barrow had to unite families around the town through delicious burgers and casual dining.
Aside from their famous burgers, cheesesteaks, and shrimp burgers, Cubbies also offers freshly squeezed orangeade and lemonade that leaves customers’ mouths watering.
“Greenville is a great town, a college town,” Barrow said. “We based it (Cubbies) off of a drive-in my hometown [Morehead City], El’s Drive-in.”
“Over the last 35 years, employees come back, students, home football games, people I’ve met over the years just make it fun,” Barrow said. “Each week it’s kind of just like hanging out with your friends.”
Eastern North Carolina knows and adores these classic gems in Greenville, but in uptown Greenville’s core, new excitement in a history-saturated building has come about.
Fifth Street Hardware is a new locally owned and operated eatery that opened in March of this year. The location of Fifth Street Hardware is particularly special to Greenville natives because of the way the restaurant and taproom honors its past. What was once Globe Hardware for close to 100 years, the building features exposed brick and wood beams that housed a livery stable in the late 19th century, now restored and reimagined by its new owners.
“Customers come and they get to know the staff and get to know the area and a lot of the history brings them back,” Fifth Street Hardware marketing manager Douglas Rifenburg said.
The restaurant offers event space and catering along with their everyday restaurant and bar services. Popular menu items include burgers, salads, and flatbread pizzas. Fifth Street Hardware also has an extensive cocktail menu, with their customer favorite drink being the “Airhead,” a take on the popular sweet-sour candy.
“My kitchen team is amazing,” Chef Kelly Hammonds said. “Some of them have been here since it was Winslow’s, so when I first started, I was a little hesitant because I was scared – they were set in a routine – but they have adapted to changes and it’s just been amazing.”
Greenville continues to thrive through its always-lively local restaurant scene, connecting this part of Eastern N.C. to its rich history while finding ways to make revered spaces new again.