Restauranteur offering a new dining experience

Kelly Mayo Staff writer

October 5, 2013

LUMBERTON — Arnold West said he’s opening more than another restaurant in Lumberton. He’s serving the town an “experience” — and about 25 jobs.

“You can go anywhere and eat a meal,” West said. “I’m going to serve you a memory.”

West, who owns Village Station 1893 Restaurant in Lumberton, will start serving memories at his new restaurant, which will open at 2725 N. Roberts Ave, which was most recently Two Guys Grille and formerly housed the Lamplighter restaurant. He’ll have some help from his operating manager, Bruce Mullis, who has worked in the banking industry for 32 years and is making a career change.

“Arnold and I have been friends for a long time,” Mullis said. “We decided that I would go into business with him at the restaurant.”

West has not revealed the restaurant’s name, but said it is operating under the codename “Padelin.”

West said the restaurant will create about 25 service jobs, and that he hopes to open soon, perhaps even this week.

“I don’t have an opening day,” he said Thursday. “I’m pushing hard for this coming Thursday, but I’m not going to make it.”

Mullis said he decided to enter the restaurant business to try something new that would utilize skills he already has.

“It’s definitely going to be something new for me, a little outside the box,” he said. “Arnold is very customer-friendly and very personable. When I worked in banking, I had to sell myself and sell the company. We thought it might be a good marriage.”

West said the restaurant will have “lots of big TVs” and “specialize in wings, ribs, wraps and unbelievable burgers.”

“We’re going to create a family atmosphere with the community interest at heart,” he said. “This is going to be a positive for the community.”

West said on Facebook that “a great friend” gave him a colorful tin rooster to serve as a mascot for the restaurant.

“It just goes to show you, I’m the biggest rooster in town,” West said.

The LampLighter restaurant opened in 1976 and later moved across the street and became Village Station, which West now owns. West said he will still serve as Village Station’s owner while helping Mullis operate the new restaurant.

West said he wants the restaurant to target young people as well as families by capitalizing on the sparse amount of entertainment in the county.

“We’ve never had a greater opportunity to serve the younger families and younger people in Robeson County … because there’s nothing here,” West said. “We’re going to fulfill a need in that community.”

West said in addition to being “the classiest restaurant in Lumberton,” the eatery will be a catalyst for more business development.

“We’re going to place a stamp on this community for good times, great service and wonderful food,” he said. “We’re going to be a stepping stone for a new generation of family restaurants.”

For information about the restaurant or to submit a resume, call West at the Village Station. The number is 910-739-0211.