Ask Us: What’s the status on Laurene’s Cafeteria in West End Plaza?

Published 3:27 pm Monday, May 23, 2022

Ask Us is a weekly feature published online Mondays and in print on Tuesdays. We’ll seek to answer your questions about items or trends in Rowan County. Have a question? Email it to

SALISBURY — For well over a year, fans of southern cooking have anxiously awaited the opening of a new restaurant in the former K&W Cafeteria building in West End Plaza.

In December 2020, Perkins Management Services signed a five-year agreement with Rowan County to lease the building at $2,250 a month after the previous restaurant, K&W, closed in the summer of the same year. The company had been doubling up on the monthly payments in February after getting behind on the rent.

Perkins originally targeted a summer 2021 opening, but that never materialized. A boiler room break-in and subsequent damages were partially responsible for the delay. The company also decided to change the name of the restaurants from Perkins Cafeteria to Laurene’s Cafeteria to avoid infringing on the name used by a restaurant chain.

Perkins was hopeful to open earlier this year before it was discovered that the kitchen floors needed to be replaced. Rowan County agreed to help with the project in February.

Executive Vice President of Perkins Management Services Barry McCauley said it wouldn’t be fair to estimate an opening date. Much like the Arby’s opening up in West End Plaza, shortages in equipment materials delayed the progress of developing the kitchen of the restaurant.

“There’s a lot of older equipment that needs to be repaired or replaced,” he said. “We’re supposed to have a shipment coming in the next week but even that has taken a while due to the shortage.”