Rocky Mount NC Economic Development is currently getting recognition statewide. Many are calling the city one that is “on the rise.” The recognition, accolades, and most importantly growth in the city of Rocky Mount will no question continue, as the ground was broken on the CSX “Carolina Connector” project yesterday.

A “Connector” for Jobs and Economy; Locally and Statewide


NC Governor, Roy Cooper, was among the dignitaries at the  “groundbreaking” of the CSX Carolina Connector yesterday.

The CSX “Carolina Connector” project will indirectly result in the creation of upwards of 1,300 jobs. The “Connector” is estimated as a $160 million project on 330-acres of land. In addition to the jobs locally, it should also assist greatly in the continued growing Rocky Mount Economic Development.

Many dignitaries attended the “groundbreaking,” including CSX CEO, James Foote. “CSX appreciates the partnership it has developed with N.C. Department of Transportation,” Foote said. “We commend the state for its leadership in making this project possible.” He continued, “CSX is excited to expand its network in Rocky Mount and believes CCX will be a catalyst for economic growth and development in the eastern North Carolina region.”

The “Carolina Connector” : 3 Years and Finally Here

A time when the Rocky Mount NC Economic Development picture was not nearly as rich and thriving was July of 2016. The prospect of what was being called a $270 million project was met with much excitement.  A possible number of jobs reported at anywhere from 1,500-1,800 was music to the ears of Rocky Mount area residents.

The, it became official on July 19, 2016, when CSX announced that Rocky Mount would be the home for the Carolina Connector intermodal terminal.

During a press conference announcing that news to the Rocky Mount community, then-NC governor Pat McCrory added to the hope of the local community, speaking the following praise of what this meant to both Rocky Mount and the entire state.

The Governor Promises a “Game Changer”

“This historic project is part of our 25-year vision for transportation because it facilitates the efficient and cost-effective movement of goods, which is critical for job creation and economic growth.”Governor McCrory added, “The Carolina Connector will be a game-changer for our state’s economy, supporting North Carolina’s agriculture, ports, and position as the Southeast’s number one state for manufacturing jobs.”

Obviously, this news brought great optimism, as city residents knew this could be a major step in the right direction. Rocky Mount Economic Development was not alone in NC as far as seeing some more difficult times, as most still reeled somewhat from the 2011 recession.

Hopeful to “Connect” to a Stronger Employment Rate and Stable Population

The city of Rocky Mount had seen the ill-effects of said recession. They had not fully recovered by the time of the 2016 CSX announcement. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the city’s unemployment rate reached as high as 14.7 percent during that time.


CSX is a company steeped in history and is a welcomed addition to the Rocky Mount area

Consequently, with fewer jobs and less money, comes fewer people. Thus, Rocky Mount was also seeing a steady population decline during these more difficult times as well. There was a more than five percent drop in population, from 2012-2016 in Rocky Mount according to World Population Review.

President of the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce, David Farris looked back on the Rocky Mount economy at that time.  “The great recession cost us a lot,” recalled Farris. “A lot of businesses closed. As recently as five years ago, we were taking some body blows.”

A “Disconnect” becomes a “Reconnect” and Rocky Mount Economic Development Will Continue with CSX

So the great news of CSX coming into the area brings great optimism. Many hoped that it was just a sign of things to come in the turn around of the local economy. However, before ever officially “connecting”, it appeared CSX and Rocky Mount would be “disconnected.”

With an announcement made by CSX on November 3, 2017, a “company-wide strategic shift” will be the reason given that the company decides against Rocky Mount. Originally set to begin construction in 2018, it would seem the CSX project in Rocky Mount was no more. In contrast to these reports and statements, though, were some local officials and residents working hard to still bring CSX to Rocky Mount.

The story of CSX in Rocky Mount continues in our next article with the “rebirth” of the Carolina Connector project. This “new” project that will be discussed is the one that led to the project becoming a reality. Moving forward is a major “feather in the cap” in Rocky Mount NC Economic Development and those who made it happen.

Furthermore, the CSX project is a major factor in the local housing market. Even more so, it is a reason to seek new homes in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve. To see the great places available at Belmont Lake Preserve new home community, visit our “Available Homes” section here.


The Main Course at Belmont restaurant has been described as a “hidden gem” in the Belmont Lake Preserve community. Located in the Belmont Lake Preserve Golf Clubhouse, the Main Course at Belmont first opened in 2014. Since its inception, the restaurant has continued to get rave reviews and deliver a fine dining experience in Rocky Mount.

A “Taste of Lifestyle Redefined

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The bar at the Main Course at Belmont is waiting for memories to be made, while your friends and family gather before or after an afternoon game for a great time

Though located on-site at Belmont Lake Preserve, the Main Course is open to the public. They are open Tuesday-Sunday, for lunch and Thu-Sun for dinner at the Main Course. Proprietor Mark Piatkowski and his staff headlined by Chef Robert “Buck” Gibbs have created a menu and atmosphere that is both inviting and fulfilling for all tastes.

Whether looking for a bite to eat with the family or a cold beverage with a friend, The Main Course at Belmont is the perfect spot for anyone and any occasion. The Main Course has a full bar if you want to enjoy a drink before or after 18 holes. Likewise, whether your taste is the ‘gourmet burger’ menu or the popular specials, the service and food are second to none.

Lunch: Tue-Sun: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Tee Off with the Lunchtime Classics

Offering great salads, entrees, sandwiches or burgers, it is no wonder The Main Course at Belmont has become the hot spot among Rocky Mount restaurants. Looking to go lighter? Try the popular Chef’s Salad or Belmont Beet Salad with the Soup of the day that is made from scratch daily. The salads available for lunch at the Main Course are:

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Lunch specials at the Main Course at Belmont are served daily liked this Grilled chicken cordon bleu on a sourdough panini. (Grilled chicken, ham, swiss cheese, lettuce with a bourbon honey glaze dressing.)

You can never go wrong with any of the sandwiches offered at The Main Course at Belmont. ‘The Rich Boy” (beer battered flounder), “Ruth Anne’s Rueben,” “Buck’s Shrimp Salad,” the “Palmer” (1/4 Angus beef hot dog), or a “Belmont Club” (ham, turkey, bacon, cheese, double-decker) are just a few among the favorites. Sandwiches offered for lunch Tuesday-Sunday are:

  • The Southerner (Fried Green Tomatoes/Candied Bacon/Pimento Cheese)
  • Buck’s Shrimp Salad
  • Belmont Club (see above paragraph)
  • The Rich Boy (see above paragraph)
  • Tomato Basil Wrap (Tomato basil tortilla filled w/smoked ham/dry, cured genoa salami/mild cheddar)
  • Fairway Turkey Sandwich
  • Ruth Anne’s Reuben
  • Prime Rib Sandwich
  • The Palmer (see above paragraph)

Also, try the amazing  “Wobbie’s Ribs,” a half-rack smothered in the house made bourbon BBQ sauce, or the southern classic, “Shrimp-n-Gritz.” This is available in either Cajun or Charleston style. For the full lunch menu at the Main Course at Belmont, click here.

Dinner: Thurs – Sat: 5:00 am to 9:00 pm

The ‘Front 9’ (or 10): Appetizers at The Main Course at Belmont

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The appetizers even have a ‘special’ here and there in addition to the everyday favorites at the Main Course. (Pictured are breaded chicken wings)

The Main Course at Belmont has become known for its great dinners, and always draws a nice crowd on Thursday-Sunday nights. One of the most popular ways to start the night is the incredible appetizers. Much like the entire menu, the appetizers are very unique as compared to the more common fare seen at other Rocky Mount restaurants. Appetizers offered at the Main Course at Belmont are:

  • Hot Crab Spread
  • Buck’s Shrimp Salad
  • Fried Pickles & Fries
  • Chip Basket
  • Firecracker Shrimp
  • Duck Bacon Wonton
  • Glazed Pork Belly
  • Chicken Wings
  • Onion Rings
  • Mac & Cheese Bites

 Going for the ‘Green’: A ‘Lighter Side’ for Dinner

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Sometimes a salad is special…in this case, it was a special at the Main Course, a Blackened Belmont Salad, blackened chicken on a bed of fresh mixed greens, roasted peppers, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles and avocado with your choice of dressing.

The Main Course offers many delicious dinner options, too.  Much like the array of appetizers that many can’t be found at any other Rocky Mount restaurants, their ‘lighter side’ or salad choices are also as unique as they are delicious. Yes, you can get the classics like “Grilled Chicken” or “Chef’s Salad,” but the variety again set the Main Course apart.

Salads being offered. for dinner hours at the Main Course include:

  • Petit Chateau Salad (fresh greens and veggies, shaved parmesan, tossed in white balsamic vinaigrette, topped w/ beef tenderloin)
  • Grilled Chicken Salad
  • Citrus Salmon Salad (grilled Canadian salmon on top of fresh greens/veggies/orange slices)
  • Garden Salad
  • Chef’s Salad

Steaks, Seafood, and Chops that are Anything but ‘Par for the Course’


The always popular Main Couse at Belmont, Friday night Prime Rib special keeps them coming back for more…and more!

While the nightly specials are many times to difficult to pass on, the steaks, seafood, and chops at the Main Course are pretty close to a “hole-in-one.” Straight off the  Main Course at Belmont dinner menu, the following mouth-watering items are available “From the Grill.”

  • Pork Rib-Eye Chop
  • St. Louis Ribs
  • Belmont Chicken (8 oz breast, smothered in cheddar, grilled onion, bacon, honey mustard)
  • Clubhouse Burger (1/2 pound brisket blend)
  • Filet Medallions
  • Filet Mignon (Center Cut, Certified Angus, 8 oz.)
  • Angus Ribeye (10 oz. Prime Cut)
  • Prime Rib *(Served every Friday)
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Depending on the season and the availability, the fresh seafood ‘Weekly Catch’ special (such as oysters pictured here) are always some of the more popular menu items

Likewise, just as many ‘look to the grill,’ repeat customers at the Main Course also rave about the seafood keeping them coming back. The following are the options from ‘under the sea’ available Thu-Sat nights.

  • Baltimore Crab Cakes
  • Tuna Takayama
  • Seared Canadian Salmon
  • Shrimp-n-Grits
  • Fresh Catch (weekly option based on availability)

To see the entire dinner menu from the Main Course, you can also click right here.

Main Course at Belmont Gourmet Burger Menu: 66 % Brisket/34% Chuck= 100 % Delicious

One of the other things setting the Main Course apart from competitors right from the ‘”first tee,” is the awesome Gourmet Burger menu available.

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The Main Course at Belmont Gourmet Burger Menu…enough said!!

These are too many to simply list all ingredients, as we urge you to check out the incredible full Main Course burger menu here. However, just knowing on top of these incredible options below, there are also awesome weekly burger specials too.

  • The Hawg (BBQ Glazed Pork Belly, Gouda Cheese)
  • The Dougie (All-beef sliced hot dog, chili, slaw, American cheese)
  • The Belmont
  • The Wedge (Bacon, Tomato Chutney, Bleu Cheese, Ranch)
  • The Funky Bunch (Fried Onion, Pickles, Broccoli Bits, Feta Cheese, Thai Chili Mayo)
  • The 007 (Black Bean Veggie Burger, Sundried Tomato, Herb Butter Pickle Okra, Boursin Cheese)
  • Best of Both Worlds (Philly steak, onions, peppers, mushrooms, provolone)
  • The Yard Bird (ground chicken, breadcrumbs, provolone cheese, pepperoni sauce, garlic herb butter)
  • The Torch ( swiss, provolone, pepper jack, gouda cheeses, w/ a jalapeno siracha hot sauce)

The Main Course at Belmont is located in the Golf Clubhouse at Belmont Lake Preserve new home community. The address is 201 Belmont Way, Rocky Mount, NC and for reservations or question call (252) 977-1029. For more information on homes for sale in Rocky Mount NC at BLP, visit our “available homes” section.