Railroad St. Steakhouse in Roseboro, one of the best kept secrets in Sampson County, is expanding. Owners Richard and Laura Barefoot have added on a lounge and an outdoor patio, all in an effort to offer their patrons more options and to do their part in enriching the town of Roseboro.
“We opened the restaurant in 2010 and it was doing good, but we felt like something was missing. Now two and half years later, we’re expanding,” said Barefoot. “We had a vision of what we wanted to do and now its all coming together.”
The Barefoots’ vision included a lounge, separate from the main restaurant, where alcoholic beverages could be served.
“We’ve always had a mixed beverage license ever since we first opened in 2010, but we didn’t serve any of those drinks out in the main restaurant because that’s a family atmosphere out there and I didn’t want it out there,” explained Barefoot. ” However, now that we have the lounge, we’re looking forward to offering that choice for our adult customers.”
Although some finishing touches still remain to be done, the new lounge is comfortable and inviting, reminding one of an old west saloon with its worn wood floors, brick walls, corner bar, and a big sliding barn door that’s original to the building.
“This area wasn’t originally connected to the main restaurant. This is the building that was out behind it, and years ago, they used to work on trucks and tractors back here,” noted Barefoot of the building’s history. “We wanted to save as much of the original as we could.”
“They just don’t make buildings like this anymore,” added Barefoot’s wife, Laura.
Off the lounge, a covered outdoor patio waits to be filled with black wrought iron tables and chairs. “We’re really looking forward to using this area this spring and summer,” said Barefoot. “We’re planning on offering Sunday lunch out here, and we’ve already got a lot of entertainment lined up that, weather permitting, will be held out here.”
Plenty of dancing and music is featured on the entertainment schedule. “We’re going to have a variety of entertainment,” said Barefoot. “There’s going to be shag lessons with professional dancer Scott Matthews, local singers Linda and Worth Stevens will sing gospel music twice a month, and DJ Chris Langston from Autryville will be doing some karaoke nights as well as some themed music nights like 80s music night and beach music night.”
Since they have some additional open outdoor space beyond the patio, a little friendly competition is also in the works. “We’re also planning to do corn hole competitions and we many even set up a volleyball net,” added Laura. “There will definitely be something for everyone.”
And when the Barefoots’ say everyone, they mean it. “It’s the total package. We want to offer our customers a choice, and we want to offer them good, clean adult fun. There won’t be any trouble-making going on here; I won’t have it,” stressed Barefoot. “I want everyone to be able to come here and feel comfortable.”
“We want it to be respectful for everyone,” Laura added.
Expanding the restaurant is a large and risky undertaking in a small town like Roseboro, acknowledged Barefoot.
“We know that it’s a risk, especially in this economy,” said Barefoot. “This kind of business tends to be temperamental so it’s certainly a challenge. We’re looking forward to it though, and we think it’s a challenge that Sampson County can rise to and support.”
Barefoot, who is also a town commissioner and head of Roseboro’s Main St. committee, believes the restaurant and its expansion is a good thing for Roseboro.
In fact, Barefoot has already used his restaurant to help the local economy. “I try to use as many locals as I can; I think that’s important. I bought a lot of building materials from Warren’s Hardware here in Roseboro, and all of the contractors I used, except one, were local from Sampson County.”
In terms of offering something new and different to community, Barefoot recalled an interesting study done in 2009 by the state. “The study showed significant leakage from the town of Roseboro. It showed that around 3.3 million dollars was being lost in a five mile radius because the town lacked restaurant and bar establishments. That perked up my curiosity.”
“Now that we’re here, we’re a destination for Roseboro and really for this side of the county,” explained Barefoot. “Now locals, who may have been missing out on this kind of experience, don’t have to go to Fayettevile to eat at a nice steakhouse. We’re unique in that we are local and there’s really nothing else like this around here, especially now with the lounge and patio.”
An additional positive for the community is that the restaurant is pulling customers from about a 30-mile radius, according to Barefoot.
“In addition to the locals here in Roseboro, who have been supportive, we’ve also got people coming from Fayetteville, Hope Mills, Elizabethtown, White Lake, Warsaw, Dunn, and of course, Clinton,” Barefoot noted. “Having this kind of pull, bringing different people in, is good for our business and the town.”
“I think the restaurant can be an outlet for people,” continued Barefoot. “It will enrich the way people entertain themselves. It can only be good for the community, and I would love to see more adventurous things like this happen in Roseboro.”
The Railroad St. Steakhouse, located at 102 SW Railroad St., is open Tuesday thru Sunday nights for dinner and as well as Sundays for lunch.
Friend them on Facebook to keep up with their specials, entertainment, and much more.
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.