While 215 on Main opened some 16 months ago, there are a lot of things fairly new about the downtown Laurinburg restaurant.
The hours of operation for starters. Beginning on Monday, the restaurant is open Mondays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5 to 9 p.m.
The restaurant also has a new owner and operator — John Cartrette.
The 22-year-old Gibson native, purchased the business from previous owner Aaron Knight, who decided to start another business in Atlanta.
“He causally mentioned selling it,” said Cartrette, who had worked at 215 on Main while attending college. “I talked with my parents about buying the business and we felt the opportunity was too hard to pass up.”
Cartrette, who goes by Lil’ John, said owning a restaurant has always been a goal. He is majoring in restaurant administration at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. The restaurant is staffed by about 10 people.
“I’ve always wanted to be a chef and I love interacting with people,” he said. “Owning a restaurant combines those two passions.”
Cartrette said his love of cooking began with his grandmother — Linda Chappell. Her influence can be found on the menu with such patron favorites as coconut cake. His grandparents as well as his parents — John and Sherry Cartrette dine often at the restaurant.
“I couldn’t have done this without my family,” he said. “They are a real help to me including coming in and washing dishes.”
The owner may be different, but Cartrette said he plans to keep the same Southern staples like shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes and dirty rice coming out of the kitchen. The thinking behind 215 on Main was to take traditional Southern dishes and use them in new and fresh ways. Cartrett said he plans to stick with that concept.
For lunch, the starter menu will include items like grilled chicken salad or something called a 215 salad chocked full of shrimp, bacon, toasted walnuts, onion, tomatoes parmesan with sunflower honey vinaigrette. Diners can also order that day’s cup or bowl of sup.
Also on the lunch menu are fried pork tenderloin,vegetable pasta and sandwiches like a pressed turkey melt or mushroom melt.
Prices at lunch range from $4 to 9 for most items.
Dinner entrees include pan roasted chicken with wild mushroom and bacon sauce, grilled shrimp skewers with dirty rice, creole cocktail sauce and sauteed vegetables. There is also a grilled rib eye with sweet potato mash
Cartrette has added shrimp Etouffee, fried pickles and pulled barbecue pork with Parmesan fries and cole slaw to the menu.
Dinner for two will average from about $14 to $30.
“We will continue to be place where you can find something a little different,” Cartrette said. “There was a lady in here not too long ago who was screaming in the dining room. It turns out that she was just thrilled about her meal. Having people shout about the food is a good testament.”