Whiteville to consider sidewalk dining ordinance

Tags: , , , , , ,

Submitted: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 4:29am
Updated: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 4:11pm

WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — From fine dining to southern soul food Columbus County residents say you can get it all in Whiteville. However, if you were planning on sitting outside and enjoying your dinner you’re out of luck. One business owner is now seeking to change all of that.

“I thought the best way to bring some of my culture would be to put tables and chairs outside,” said restaurant owner Guillaume Slama. “When I tried to that I was nicely, gently, politely told not to do that and that I had to remove my tables and chairs.”

Since the state of North Carolina maintains highway 701 which runs through downtown Whiteville, restaurant owners weren’t allowed to put tables and chairs on the sidewalk until House Bill 192 was signed into law last July, but the City of Whiteville still has to pass their own legislation first.

“It’s just becoming so common in other areas that I figured it would come one day because other towns are doing it, so I figured that sooner or later we would work out a way to do it in Whiteville,” said Whiteville Mayor Terry Mann.

Like many of the dishes at Sophie’s Restaurant, restaurant owner Guillaume Slama says outdoor seating is just another small ingredient that could go a long way for downtown.

“When you look at a street and there’s nothing on the street it looks dead,” said Slama. “The minute you put a table and chairs it creates something. It creates an invitation where people want to come in and they want to sit down and they want to try something.”

The Whiteville City Council will be meeting at 5:00 P.M. on Tuesday at City Hall for a workshop to discuss what they should and shouldn’t include in any proposed sidewalk ordinance.


  • Guest2020 says:

    A question I have is this, is there enough room on the sidewalks to allow for tables and still give the pedestrians plenty of room to walk?

    He says he wants to bring some of his culture. I say if he doesn’t like the way Whiteville does things, then he is free to go back from whence he came.

  • Soprano says:

    Blending and introducing “NEW” culture(s) is every bit American. Perhaps u need to stay in your trailer from whence U came.

  • Ncnurse09 says:

    Honey, if all you have to say about Whiteville is that it is ugly, then maybe you haven’t ventured too far in our little town. It sure beats the socks off of some of our neighboring cities where as soon as you drive through, it looks like the Bottoms. As far as sidewalk dining is a concern, I don’t think it would be necessarily an improvement. It is not that important to me. Our sidewalks and road going through Whiteville are just too small at this time. At the time that our beautiful town was built, it was not anticipated that it would grow to what it is today. It was a few businessmen and a bunch of farmers who built this town. It may not be perfect, but it is ours. So I urge anyone who wants to condemn our little town to visit us, dine in our locally owned restaurants, shop in our stores ran by my fellow Whiteville citizens. It will only bring more revenue into our town to do more to please those who complain of our “lack of aesthetically pleasing surroundings.” If the look of our town bothers you that bad, then dearest, do something about it. Don’t hide behind a keyboard and screen and just complain. Get on the city council, open a business, do something! Oh, and to WWAY: How dare you read a hateful post like that that was made by Robin about our town. It was tasteless, and I doubt the same would had been read had it been about Wilmington.


    A proud daughter of Whiteville, Columbus County, North Carolina

  • Margaret says:

    Proud daughter-if you want to do something about it talk to Dr. Jesse Fisher, he owns the place.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Perhaps you should learn to spell before you accuse someone of living in a trailer. While you are at it, you should learn how to read as well. I said nothing about it being un-American. I just get tired of people moving into the South, complaining about how we do things, declaring that their way is better and not being satisfied until they have forced their way on us.

  • zenobia says:

    Other than it IS ugly. I walked past its empty store fronts and untenanted buildings featuring planters full of dying or dead plants , saw the tortured holly trees mutilated into sick looking lollypops (seconded only by the pathetic crepe myrtles cut down to the ground).People haven’t taken any pride in Whiteville for years. Its about time they started to try to improve the place for a change. Most landlords haven’t done anything but let the place rot.

  • sonny says:

    Robin, I think that it was very rude for u to say that our little town is ugly. How would u feel if I said ur town was ugly. Please be more considerate next time. God bless.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Sorry that Whiteville is an area that is less prosperous than Wilmington. Sorry that Whiteville ‘s council doesn’t focus all it’s money on one small portion of their town, like Wilmington’s council does. At least when I drive through Whiteville, I don’t bounce down all their roads like I do in Wilmington. They do the best they can with what they have. If that’s not good enough for you, then don’t go there.

  • Robin Inman says:

    I think that anything that is done in Whiteville would be an improvement. You have the most ugly town in NC and all because the folks that live there have never embellished change and improvement. You must not venture out much to other places in NC because all cities and towns offer sidewalk dining.

  • willy says:

    Guest Vader
    There will be a higher risk if you stayed close door with air circulating with all sort of virus and bacteria in any restaurant. Dinning outside it’s not only joyful , it’s also good to revived the dead downtown Whiteville.
    If you walk in Paris or Rome, you will see people enjoying the outside tables, and believed me the Europeans knows how to eat and relax better than us.

  • CCRES says:

    It’s a choice. Just because you don’t choose to dine outside, why stop others. There is outside dining all around you. Your comment makes you sound like you have been hiding under a rock. Outback Steakhouse, San Jose, family gatherings, picnics, churches, birthday parties, etc. are done outside with snotty nosed kids running all around. Get over your germ phobia. Those same snotty nosed kids walk and sneeze all around you inside the same as they do outside. Please. That was a lame comment. Downtown Whiteville is dead anyway. The outlawing of cruising by corrupt politics hurt Whiteville’s downtown.

  • Rusty says:

    One of the memories I have of St Thomas is dining outside on steamed shrimp; a foreigner passing by asked about it having not had it before.. he loved it (even though he ate shell and all). The by-play with others on the street can be worth as much as the meal at times. I’ll agree on the unruly kids but that is anywhere including inside restaurants and the parents fault.

  • Guest Vader says:

    Why anyone would choose to dine outside with people walking by within inches, sneezing, coughing, and unruly kids escapes me. If the weather is suitable for outside dining, that means flying insects will also be dining out. However, for those that do like it, as long as there is an off-sidewalk area to dine, ok, but taking up part of the sidewalk with tables and chairs is not a good idea. Sidewalks are for pedestrians and should remain uncluttered.

  • nomorecrime says:

    I hope Whiteville allows outdoor dining. It would add so much to the streetscape. Also, the food at New Southern Kitchen is simply divine if you have not been. I look forward to an outside experience in the future.

  • MG says:

    There’s our glorious government, out there trying to “help us” again. Our government, under the guise of “helping people,” has done more to destroy jobs and innovation, break apart families and damage the future for our children than anything else.

  • 4253 says:

    Don’t think Vadar will be walking around in Paris or Rome anytime soon. Doesn’t sound like Vadar gets out much even around here. :-)

  • Vog46 says:

    For all of us arm chair intellectuals.
    If indeed chairs are allowed on publicly owned side walks outside of a restaurant – can a gun owner carry at those seats EVEN if the restaurant prohibits such weapons inside as currently allowed by law?
    Yes Outback has outdoors seating in the rear on their property as does Carolina Ale House.
    But we are talking public sidewalks here…….


Leave a Reply