There’s a new restaurant headed for a familiar spot in downtown Smithfield.
The owners of Simple Twist have decided to bring their take on American cuisine to 227 E. Market St. in the space most recently left vacant by Serendipity Road.
Chef Nathan Roby opened Simple Twist last June with his wife, Colleen, at the interchange of Interstate 40 and N.C. 42 in the Cleveland community. Now less than a year later, Roby said they are looking to expand in April to Smithfield because they simply love the downtown location.
“We’ve had a lot of luck here in the community, and we have a number of folks who come from the Smithfield area who have mentioned they would really love to see us down there,” he said.
The plan is to open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, and Roby said his food should provide a nice compliment to what’s already available in Smithfield.
The menu includes a little bit of everything, including burgers, steaks, salads, sandwiches, seasonal seafood and rice bowls. The food used is fresh, farm-to-table and locally sourced whenever possible, Roby said, within reasonable limits.
“It doesn’t make sense to put local romaine on when it’s $20 a head,” he said as an example.
Simple Twist is shooting for an early April opening, at which point it will become the fifth business to occupy 227 E. Market St. since its construction in 2002.
Riverside Coffee Shop was the first and longest-lasting tenant, and it was followed by The Cakery in 2011 and Market Street Coffee & Bakery after that. The most recent occupant, Serendipity Road, opened for business last October and shut for good within two and a half months. The owner, Melanie Harris, declined to give a reason for the closure.
Downtown Smithfield Development Co. did not have to recruit the owners of Simple Twist to fill the space, and executive director Sarah Edwards said she was excited to learn of their plans to fill the vacancy. The new restaurant is expected to apply for grant funds available through DSDC, and Edwards said she hopes to see its business grow for years to come.
“I think it will be a great addition to the downtown mix,” she said.
Social media users seem to think so, too.
Simple Twist announced the expansion Feb. 23 on its Facebook page, and the post generated hundreds of likes and more than 60 comments from users. Most wanted to congratulate the Robys on their success, and many expressed excitement about having a new place to eat in Smithfield.
“So excited to have the place closer!! Now I can convince my mom and sister to come!” wrote Anne Davis Bradley.