Restaurant revamps menu offerings

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Hunter Hill Cafe owner David Eilers cooks fresh ribeye loin on the grill Wednesday at the restaurant.


Staff Writer

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A local restaurant is expanding its menu selections in the hope of boosting business.

David Eilers, owner of Hunter Hill Cafe, said because of customer demands he’s decided to add steak and seafood themes at the restaurant. Eilers, who runs Hunter Hill Cafe with his wife, Kimberly, said the restaurant will have a Thursday “Steak Night” special that will start at 4:30 p.m. today and continue every Thursday. 

Eilers said each steak is going to be cut 12 ounces, coming with two side items and bread for $14.99. 

While some of the franchise restaurants in town offer steak on the menu, Eilers thinks there hasn’t been a quality local steak restaurant to come through Rocky Mount since JR’s Steakhouse was open on U.S. 301 about 25 or 30 years ago. 

“I think Rocky Mount just needs a good place for a good steak that’s affordable and it doesn’t have to be on a special occasion,” Eilers said. “It’s important that good middle-class, hard-working people be able to do things like that because being in the restaurant business for over 15 years I understand food costs. This will be a good opportunity for people in the Rocky Mount and Twin Counties area to get a high-quality ribeye steak without paying an arm and a leg.”

Eilers said the steaks are going to be fresh cut right off the loin and cooked on the grill. 

“These aren’t pre-packaged steaks, and we’re going to cook them when people order them, so people are going to get a fresh-cut angus beef ribeye steak,” he said.

For people coming for steak night, Eilers said an advantage the restauarant has is the space.

“We can seat up to 150 people, so space shouldn’t be an issue,” he said. “That’s a benefit because there are other steakhouse places that you may have a long wait time. We’re going to seat you right away and get started on your steak right away.”

Other new choices for customers at Hunter Hill Cafe will be a “Seafood Night” starting on Friday with items such as oysters, scallops, shrimp, flounder and trout now on the menu.

“The key to this is that everything will be hand breaded and fried to order,” Eilers said. “A lot of people don’t understand when they go to other seafood places that they will have it already pre-breaded and frozen before they pull it and drop it in the grease and cook it. It’s still good, but what we’re doing will give it a more like the taste you get from the coast.”

Even on the special-themed nights, Eilers said customers still will have the option of receiving the normal Southern- and soul-food style foods that Hunter Hill is known for since it was established in 2008 on Country Club Road. The restaurant has been at its current location at 501 Old Mills Road for the past five years and recently purchased the property, Eilers said.

Eilers acknowledged that January was a rough month for the restaurant in some part because of the winter weather but also because the wave of new restaurants that have surfaced in the area has impacted the establishment. 

“We’re holding our own — but when you have a lot of new restaurants in the area, that can affect your business because people are going to try them,” Eilers said. “I’m the type of guy that if a restaurant comes here, even though its competition, that it’s enough here to have a variety. People can’t eat the same thing every night, so I want to see businesses do well and I want to see businesses thrive.”

Eilers said Hunter Hill Cafe is currently hiring to add to its staff of 12 employees.

“We’re always looking for some good help and hopefully with this Steak Night and Seafood Night that will expand our business and increase our numbers,” he said.