People and Places with Pierce: Mae’s Restaurant

SEVEN SPRINGS, N.C. (WNCT) – Seven Springs is a town that like so many across the East, was devastated by the floods following Hurricane Matthew. The future of the town is uncertain but the reopening of a popular restaurant right along Main Street is giving some renewed hope.

“Everybody kept saying that we were a ghost town or we’re not coming back and nobody’s there,” said Ronda Hughes, a regular at Mae’s Restaurant. “Once she opened up the doors people said oh ok.”

“When I heard that she was opening back up, I was very glad,” added Wayne Jackson, another regular at Mae’s Restaurant.

At first glance, this small town restaurant may seem like any other.

“She has probably one of the best homemade biscuits that you can put your mouth on,” remarked Jackson.

“I love her hamburger steak,” added Hughes.

For people in the small community, Mae’s means much more.

“It’s kind of a gathering place for everybody,” said Hughes. “You see generations here.”

But this gathering place almost didn’t bounce back.

“When I first saw it, it was under water, very much so,” said Jackie Rouse, owner of Mae’s Restaurant. “A lot of devastation in here; everything had to be replaced. It just took a long time but they did a wonderful job.”

“I think when Jackie opened back up that it gave hope to everybody that we were going to survive, that we were still here,” said Hughes.

“It’s wonderful to hear that Mae’s is open,” said Rouse.

For Jackie, Mae’s is much more than just the town gathering place.

“Mom opened it up in 1984,” recalled Rouse. “Unfortunately she passed away in 2009 and then I took it over. I was real close to my mom. I learned a lot from her. I didn’t grow up with the intentions of running a restaurant. She’d be very proud of me keeping it going. She loved to meet the people. She was a very outgoing friendly person.”

“It’s just home,” stated Hughes. “It’s a home feeling. You come here and you feel like you’re at home.”

“Come try it one time,” added Jackson. “You’ll probably be back.”

“If you want to feel like you’re in Mayberry, or just that little dream hometown, this is the place to come,” said Hughes.

After all, there’s no place like home.


Pierce is always looking for interesting and unique people and places to visit. If you have an idea, send him an email or a message on Facebook or Twitter.


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