New café opens doors in Darlington

By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer,

Darlington diners have a new option when planning for lunch or breakfast – or even Sunday dinner – since The Wash Pot Cafe opened for business in October. Owner/manager Nikena Quick invites you to stop by and enjoy a meal of classic southern favorites or popular grill items, all made with one goal in mind: to please your taste buds and keep you coming back for more.

Quick says The Wash Pot’s name comes from the old south tradition of cooking big meals in a wash pot over an open fire, and she’s decorated the restaurant with various images of old cooking pots to evoke this sense of history. While this is her first foray as a restaurateur, Quick is working hard and taking pains to ensure the food is top-notch and the business is solid.

“I was working at KJ’s Deli in Florence, and a lady from Darlington encouraged me to do this. She said, ‘I’ve tasted your cooking and you can do it.’ So I started going to school,” says Quick, who decided to study business in order to get grounded in the principles of success.

“I just graduated with my associate’s degree and I’m going to get my bachelor’s and just keep on going. I’m not going to stop,” she says. “I’m trying to get the book smarts while I’m learning all this chaotic stuff, so I’m doing it all at once.”

Quick already learned one important lesson of the food business: sell what your customers enjoy eating. She says that while she enjoys cooking healthy dishes – salmon, spinach, mushrooms, etc., these items weren’t exactly thrilling her Wash Pot patrons. So she switched up her game, refocused on soul food classics and hearty breakfast fare, and business began to pick up.

“We have an everyday meal that is a meat, two sides and a drink. We also have regular grill items like chicken wings, fries, hamburgers, and salads. In the mornings we cook breakfast and usually have grits, eggs, pancakes, sausage, bacon, salmon, toast and biscuits. On Sundays, we cook a special Sunday dinner,” says Quick, adding that she takes requests into consideration when planning the menu.

For those planning holiday gatherings, let The Wash Pot Cafe relieve some of the cooking pressure by providing delicious favorites – like homestyle macaroni and cheese. Call to learn more about having The Wash Pot Cafe cater your next event.
The Wash Pot Cafe is open weekdays from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Sundays from 12 noon until 5 p.m. at 502 S. Main Street in Darlington. For take out orders, call 843-944-5099, and be sure to keep up with menu choices and special selections by visiting them on Facebook.

Author: Duane Childers

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