John and Carleen Savvides were managing a restaurant in Hendersonville when they decided they'd like to run an establishment of their own.
They wanted a comfy space where they could get to know their customers.
The longtime restaurateurs found just what they were looking for in the 65-seat former Gagliardo's restaurant, across from the Iredell County Government Center South on Statesville Avenue.
The couple opened their Black-eye'd Pea Family Restaurant & Grill on May 30, serving homemade salads, entrées, sandwiches, desserts and such sides as the popular corn pudding. All the restaurant's sauces are homemade.
"Everything is homemade," John Savvides said.
Black-eye'd Pea serves a dozen salads, including grilled bourbon salmon, Hawaiian, apple and Greek chicken selections, as well as soups, burgers, steaks, sandwiches and pasta, chicken and fish dishes.
Their nine appetizers include "spud" skins, hot chips, sweet corn nuggets, wings and spinach-and-artichoke dip.
John Savvides makes the desserts, including the coconut cream and key lime pies, and various seasonal selections such as strawberry shortcake, available now.
The couple's roots in the restaurant industry reach back to the 1980s, when they ran an Italian restaurant and a pizzeria in Baton Rouge, La.
They intend to change the Black-eye'd Pea menu every six months, based on customer recommendations.
One item customers already ask about that's not on the menu is black-eyed peas.
"My late grandmother had the best black-eyed pea recipe," said Carleen Savvides, who came up with the name for the restaurant. "Until I can make it like hers, I'm not putting it on the menu yet."
427 E. Statesville Ave.; 704-663-0906; 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Char-Grill opens in Davidson
DAVIDSON Char-Grill, which has served award-winning charcoal-grilled burgers in the Raleigh area for 50 years, recently opened a location in the Davidson Commons (Harris-Teeter) retail center off Interstate 77 Exit 30.
USA Today voted the Char-Grill in Raleigh the "top burger joint in North Carolina."
It's also known for its hamburger steak sandwiches, flame-grilled chicken tenders and its brownies, milkshakes and fried apple turnovers.
624 Jetton St.; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily; 704-896-8710.
Rusty Rudder to host charity golf outing
CORNELIUS The Rusty Rudder will host its second-annual charity golf outing at Skybrook Golf Club on Sept. 12 in Huntersville to raise money for "The Friends of Brielle & Brook," an organization that financially assists families of children who have spinal muscular atrophy type II.
The benefit needs donations, hole sponsors and golfers.
Details: The Rusty Rudder, 704-892-9195; www.therustyrudder.net; on Facebook; and on Twitter @Rusty_Rudder.