LUMBERTON — All her life, Myrtle Baker had dreamed of owning her own restaurant.
Through hard work, sacrifices and, according to her family, the grace of God, Baker was able to see her dream come to fruition in Lumberton when she opened 6:41 Fish Fry on Bailey Road. Baker passed away in February of this year but her sons are keeping the restaurant alive and prospering, in large part to honor their mother.
“It was a long time dream of hers to open up a fish fry,” said Torry McIver, Baker’s son and manager of the restaurant.
The restaurant opened in Lumberton’s newest shopping center — The Center at Bailey Road — at 588 Bailey Road, just off of busy Fayetteville Road. The L-shaped commercial center is 14,000 square feet and home to more than a half-dozen businesses.
The name of the business comes from scripture, Mark 6:41, which tells how Jesus took five loaves of bread and two fish and was able to feed 5,000 people.
“The church was always a big part of my mom’s life,” said McIver, 38, of Lumberton. “My mother wanted a place where she could get some good seafood at a reasonable price and her niche generated the name 641 that comes straight from the Bible of St. Mark.”
Three people are employed by the restaurant, including cook Warren Cromartie of Parkton. The business can seat up to 20 people comfortably, McIver said.
There are changes on the horizon, said McIver. The restaurant plans to more than double its floor space by leasing the vacant storefront next door to increase seating. An existing wall on the south side of the business will be knocked out to access the adjacent commercial space. The changes are expected in the next two to three months.
“Everything is cooked to order,” McIver said. “There are no heat lamps or microwaves in the restaurant.”
They serve up fresh fish platters of flounder, spots, croakers, whiting, mullets, catfish, tilapia, shrimp and more. All plates come with fries, slaw and hush puppies.
McIver said their goal is to earn the loyalty of customers, and get them coming back again and again.
“Our aim is to have satisfied customers, who will have the attitude ‘we will come back’ … . That’s the way we want our customers to feel,” McIver said.
6:41 Fish Fry is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. The business is closed Sundays.
You can reach the restaurant by calling (910) 738-3339.