Member Spotlight: Ed’s Grill - Carolina Country
‘Where neighbors meet, and strangers become friends’ February 2024
‘Where neighbors meet, and strangers become friends’
February 2024

Diane and Earl Stewart, and their daughter Lisa, say that their customers are just like family.

Who doesn’t love a diner? The best ones have a fun, relaxed atmosphere, food that keeps you coming back, and buzzy conversation that makes you feel at home. Ed’s Grill, a 52-seat diner on Madison Street in Whiteville, has all that, and more. Owner Diane Stewart and her daughter Lisa fill us in on their secret sauce, and why they love what they do.

Diane: When we opened up in 1991, I wanted a place that would make people happy. I’d worked in restaurants before, and really enjoyed it, and I knew that a key ingredient for our success would be simple food made as delicious as it could be. And next would be making it a place people wanted to gather. I enjoy talking to and laughing with people and having a good time.

Lisa: We have some regulars who have been coming here since we opened – and some who were children then are coming in with their own children. They keep coming back for our cheeseburgers and hot dogs. We’re famous for our slaw, and also our chili, both made from secret recipes. “All the way” (mustard, chili, onions) with slaw is very popular. People also love our pork chops and fish, and some say they like our chicken better than Chick-fil-A!

Diane: It’s been a family operation from the beginning – Ed’s stands for Earl and Diane Stewart. Before he retired from DuPont, my husband would come here before work and help with kitchen prep. Now we’re together and get to see the same people every day. It’s the flow of life, keeping up with everyone and how they’re doing, sharing happiness together – and tough times too. If we haven’t seen someone for a while, we’ll call them or go and check on them. We’ve taken food to rest homes, hospitals, of course people’s houses. If someone passes, we’ll take food to the family. If we’re needed, we’re there.

Lisa: Our customers are like family. Some of our busiest days are the day before and the day after Thanksgiving. We’re really busy on Christmas Eve too, I think everyone wants to see each other. And new faces are always welcome. We’ve had folks from across the state, and across the country, and it’s really great when they come back. There’s something about being a family business – I love working with my mom, we think just alike and are best friends, and I have a son and a daughter, and they’re here a lot too. We’re all grateful to do what we do – we love our customers, and that’s why we cook from the heart.

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