News, reviews, and options for Rocky Mount NC area restaurants and dining.

Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown

One of the most anticipated and for sure tastiest annual events on the Town of Rocky Mount calendar will be returning to town for a “smokin’” good time, as just a few minutes from the Belmont Lake Preserve NC golf community, the 9th Annual Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown takes place on Friday and Saturday, October 7-8.

The Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown festivities kick off this year on Friday at noon, at 101 Coastline Street in Downtown Rocky Mount, directly in front of the Helen P. Gay Historic Rocky Mount Train Station. And the “delicious” fun on opening day goes until 8:00 p.m. Saturday morning The “Throw Down” continues and swings into full effect as will be evident by the incredible smell wafting through town from the countless BBQ pros plying their craft from 10:00 a.m until 6:00 p.m.

For those who have not yet had a “taste” of the Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown, it is a professional cooking competition based on the Kansas City Barbeque Society’s (KCBS) official categories, which are chicken, pork ribs, pork brisket, and beef brisket. Awards are given out annually for the Grand Champion, Reserved Grand Champion, and the People’s Choice Award, decided upon by the attendees of the tops in Fall Events in Rocky Mount. Additionally, prizes to include cash awards, trophies, and plaques will be given out to the top ten finishers in each of the above categories.

Returning for the second consecutive years on the heels of its success at last year’s Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown will be the 2nd Annual Home Brew Competition, as once again, local beer enthusiasts and brewers will compete on Saturday. Each entrant in this competition may submit any style beer of their choosing, and each will be judged in different categories based upon the style they enter. If the entry does not fit into one of the specific categories they still are eligible for the overall “Best in the East” award that will awarded by a panel of judges representing this events sponsor from Rocky Mount Mills.

Although the Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown begins at noon on Friday, and the judging will commence throughout the two-day festival, there will also be other great food and entertainment ongoing throughout. The “Kick Off Party and Concert” has become almost as much of a tradition as the ribs, chicken, brisket, and other delicious food, with great live, local music being played throughout the day. Always a family friendly event, there will also be an assortment of vendors, and kid specific activities throughout the weekend as well

The 9th Annual Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown is free to the public. For a full schedule of events and more information on the Eastern CarolinaBBQ Throwdown, visit their website at

Rocky Mount Mills 5K

Advertised as “Not Your Run of the Mill 5K,” the Rocky Mount community will come together just minutes away from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve to enjoy a day combining active lifestyle, with great local music, and some delicious local food, all to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis as a part of the Rocky Mount Mills 5K on Saturday, June 4.

The Rocky Mount Mills 5K race itself will begin at 9:00 am, following a 90 minute period that starts at 7:30 where any entrants can come to pick up there packet for the day. The actual running/walking portion of the days events at the rocky Mount Mills 5K will start and finish at The Rocky Mount Mills. The course is set to honor the deep rooted history and scenic beauty of the city of Rocky Mount, as participants will begin by heading down Falls Road and over the Tar River. Heading next to the scenic greenway, which features both wooden paths and paved trails, all who are ”running the course” will enjoy a spectacular view of the Tar River on this route.

From the greenway, the race heads to most major points of historic and scenic value across city limits, as the Rocky Mount Mills 5K takes its runners through or past such local iconic landmarks and sights as City Lake, Sunset Park, and eventually back to Mill Village. There will be awards for the top three finishers in age categories ranging in five year increments, from under 13 years old all the way through 70 plus. The race to the finish line however will only be the beginning of the days festivities at the Rocky Mount Mills 5K, as great food, beverages, live music, and fun awaits once the run is completed.

In case the run at the Rocky Mount Mills 5K worked up anyone’s appetite or thirst, upon return, there will be a Food Truck Rodeo going on from 9:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., featuring a wide variety of both food and beverages. The participants at the “rodeo” will be: Bull Durham Beer Company, Chirba Chirba Dumpling, Chick-N-Que, Chick fil A, Healthy Grill Food Truck, JAM Ice Cream, Koi Pond Brewery, On the Square, and Sweet Taters Brewery and Restaurant.

On top of all of the great exercise and then the scrumptious tatstes of the food truck offerings, there will also be the grooving sounds of a band with local roots right in Rocky Mount and the Wilson area, Matty Begs. Described as having a “funky beach jam sound,” Matty Begs has played at colleges, taverns, and beaches across the southeast and will be providing the live soundtrack on Saturday, June 4, for the great time being had by all at the Rocky Mount Mills 5K.

The Rocky Mount Mills 5K will start at the “Mills,” located at 1151 Falls Road in Rocky Mount. Although not directly affiliated with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, due to many personal connections to friends and family of those involved with the event battling this awful ailment, all proceeds will be donated to the charity. For further information on signing up for the Rocky Mount Mills 5K or any other details on the event, visit

Rocky Mount Brewery

With the development of the Rocky Mount Brewmill property bringing a wave of new economic development and breathing new life into the area on many business and residential fronts, the Sweet Taters Restaurant and Brewery is moving right along in their remodeling and renovation process, just minutes from the premier NC golf and retirement community, Belmont Lake Preserve, with a tentative Spring 2016 grand opening date set for what will be the second new Rocky Mount Brewery.

With all local roots, it is a perfect fit that Sweet Taters would select site of the former Rocky Mount Mills as the location for their Rocky Mount Brewery. The soon-to-be- opened, family run sandwich shop and brewery is rooted in the local farming community and will occupy the 2,100 square foot former mill house at 1121 Fall Road in Rocky Mount.

Once remodeled it is expected that the newest Rocky Mount Brewery will feature a cozy ambience, complete with several original fireplaces that will be reworked for a comfortable setting in the winter, with both front and back porch seating and dining available in the warmer months as well. They will also have areas for live music and entertainment, in addition to large televisions for viewing sporting events, and outdoor games that the entire family can enjoy.

With the majority of the Sweet Taters team growing up in the Zebulon area and spending many years locally in the community, the business manager for the Rocky Mount Brewery, Chris Flora spoke with excitement about getting the project off the ground and doing so in Rocky Mount. “The Rocky Mount Brewmill is a truly unique location with tremendous potential. What better place to work than at this historic site with these amazing buildings, looking out over the Tar River?” Continuing, Flora spoke of his excitement with the entire Brewmill project.  “We have also been extremely impressed with the vision of the Brewmill team.”

Speaking further on the local assets the new Rocky Mount Brewery will be afforded, Flora also noted the plan to utilize the local farming community at Sweet Taters, saying, “Wherever possible, we’re sourcing our ingredients for both our food and our beer from local and organic producers. After all, the Rocky Mount Farmer’s Market is just a quick walk up the street!”

For more information and updates on the Sweet Taters Restaurant and Brewery as they get closer to their grand opening, visit their Facebook page at

Craft Brewery in Rocky Mount

Founded in 2014 and aiming to provide “high quality, interesting, and delicious craft beer,” the first ever Craft Brewery in Rocky Mount, Koi Pond Brewing Company has officially opened its doors for business at 1107 Falls Road, just minutes away from your new home at the premier NC golf community, Belmont Lake Preserve.

What began as a request from a friend and eventually turned into a hobby for Koi Pond founder, Eric Ghiloni has resulted in the opening of the first Craft Brewery in Rocky Mount after said hobby became more of a passion and the responses from those tasting his product were increasingly positive.

Ghiloni explains on the official website of the Craft Brewery in Rocky Mount, “I had a friend, Jeff May, who asked me to make some beer. I was at a point in my life where I wanted to try something new, s I bought a homebrew kit and made up a batch.” He continued, “Jeff told me the brew was the best he’d ever had for a beginner. My mind raced with enthusiasm and ideas, from the single, heartfelt compliment.”

The rest of the story, as they say, “is history,” as Eric continued his exploration into the world of brewing and for more than a year began developing recipes that would include much of what you can expect to find at the new Craft Brewery in Rocky Mount. He would encourage his friends to taste the vast catalog of Indian Pale Ale’s(IPA’s), Witbiers, Stouts, and other tasty selections he created, basing his next moves on the essential feedback he received from them.

“The response has been overwhelming,” he noted. “There is a strong foundation for support of products like these in Rocky Mount, and an even stronger desire to see local businesses start up and become part of the action.”

The name, which was decided upon for the first ever, Craft Brewery in Rocky Mount, Koi Pond Brewing Company, comes from very deep and personal reasoning from Ghiloni. “I literally wear my life and heart on my sleeve,” he said in explaining how the name was decided upon as he has two koi fish tattooed on his arm representing each of his two sons. “My two sons…are responsible for the greatest joy in my life and provide the harmony, symbolic to many with Koi, that each of needs to succeed and do good.”

After opening production several months back at their production and bottling facility on South Grace Street near downtown, Rocky Mount’s first ever Craft Brewery opened it’s doors on January 3 and along with his wife, Mary and long-time friends and partners in Koi Pond, Matthew and Deborah Sperati they look forward to helping with the growth of the local business community.

“There is plenty of opportunity out there, especially in the Rocky Mount area.” My partners and I want to see Koi Pond grow, and we also want to see the establishment of other local breweries and supporting businesses.”

To see more on Koi Pond Brewing Company including their full selection of craft beers and hours of operation, visit their website at

dining in Rocky Mount NC

Just minutes up the road from your new dream home in the premier North Carolina golf community at Belmont Lake Preserve is a “slice of Americana” in edible form, as Lou Reda’s” An American Table restaurant is at the top of the list when weighing out options for dining in Rocky Mount NC

dining in Rocky Mount NC

Since first opening up its doors for dining in Rocky Mount NC, Lou Reda’s has been an immediate favorite with both the local community and travelers passing through town on either US Highway 64 or I-95. Combining all of the elements and menu options from your favorite steak houses, seafood restaurants, and comfort food joints, the uniqueness of the experience you will have dining in Rocky Mount NC at Lou Reda’s is only paralleled by the deliciousness of its ever changing menu options.

Building a reputation for their commitment to that “one of a kind” restaurant experience, as well as to authentic quality taste and freshness, Lou has spent over two decades in the culinary field and prides himself on every item from sauces to butters being made in house.

dining in Rocky Mount NC

Crowd favorite menu items such as the slow cooked brisket and ribs, fresh cut varieties of fish and seafood options, chicken-n-waffles, or a juicy 14 ounce rib eye steak are just a few staples that keep the locals coming back for more at Lou Reda’s. Additionally, Reda and chef, Justin Gaines take the dining in Rocky Mount experience “around the globe” on a weekly basis, as they may opt for an Asian themed menu one week, followed by that of an Irish or British pub, and possibly a Creole-style Cajun the next.

dining in Rocky Mount NC

With an unbelievable variety on their lunch, dinner, and brunch menu, Lou Reda’s: An American Table restaurant is sure to please every appetite at your own personal table, one way or another. They also offer several catering options for all your special events and much like their food menus, boast an incredible list of “bourbon infused” cocktails, with all home made syrups and puree’s used in the drinks.


Lou Reda’s: An American Table is located at 3646 Sunset Boulevard in Rocky Mount, to see their full menu and all the details on what is sure to be your most unique experience in dining in Rocky Mount NC, check out their website at