LUMBERTON — Just because Tyson’s Diner is under new ownership doesn’t mean customers will miss the food they’ve always enjoyed there.
Nate Williams and Jeffrey Bryan purchased the tiny, 600-square-foot diner at 2303 N. Pine St. in Lumberton in May from Michael C. Tyson.
It was a good investment, Bryan said, because there was already a well-established clientele. Bryan said he and Williams decided there was no reason to tamper with a recipe that had been successful.
“The client base was already here and Mike was gracious enough to leave us the recipes that he used so we could keep the clientele,” Bryan said.
The menu includes hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, sausage dogs, bologna sandwiches, hamburger steak, pork chop sandwich, and Southern-fried chicken, served either in a sandwich or in individual pieces. Prices range from $2.70 for a single hamburger to $7.50 for a hamburger steak, which comes with mashed potatoes and green beans. Sides are fries and onion rings.
“Our bread and butter here is mainly our hamburgers, cheeseburgers and our fried chicken,” Bryan said.
While they do not refer to the restaurant as fast food, they do try to get food to customers fast, within 10 to 12 minutes, Bryan said.
With more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant business, Williams recognized a good opportunity when he saw it. He was with Burger King for 21 years and Arby’s for 11 years. He also had Nate’s Gyros and Subs from 2002 to 2003 at Biggs Park Mall but later sold it.
“Anything that’s been here has made a good business so it’s pretty much a turn-key operation,” Williams said.
Bryan said the first restaurant at the location was Jack’s 66, which had a sort of old-fashioned country store as well as a walk-up window where customers ordered bologna sandwiches and smoked sausage sandwiches.
“Anybody in the county will remember that because they still talk about it when they come in here,” Williams said. “It was pretty much a stopping place where everybody gathered outside.”
Then Candy Sue’s began using the building for a catering operation before it became Tyson’s Diner 14 years ago.
While they haven’t taken anything off the old menu, the partners have added a selection of subs that includes a Philly cheese steak sandwich, a Philly cheese chicken sandwich and an Italian sub, each of which costs less than $8,
For dessert, customers can choose between a slice of cake or a honey bun. They also have daily specials.
The diner is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is closed on Sundays. To order takeout, customers may call 910-272-9696.
There is one change that Williams and Bryan wanted to mention — as North Carolina State University fans, they are introducing more of the school’s red color and are transitioning out some of the UNC blue. Tyson is a big UNC fan, they said.
“He is just blue,” Williams said, laughing. “There’s nothing like a Tar Heel fan.”
Regardless of school affiliation, all fans are welcome, he said.
Reach Terri Ferguson Smith at 910-416-5865.