Eatery proposed for Drewryville

Published 10:10 am Wednesday, April 11, 2012

DREWRYVILLE—Plans are under way for building a family restaurant on U.S. 58 east of Drewry Road near Drewryville.

Partners William Kemp of Virginia Beach and Ramona Rich of Drewryville will need permission to rezone six acres from agriculture to commercial, said Beth Lewis, community development director for Southampton County.

A public hearing before the Planning Commission will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 12, at the County Government Office Center in Courtland. The Planning Commission will either recommend or not recommend the zoning change. The Board of Supervisors will make the final decision during a future meeting, Lewis said.

A Realtor, Kemp owns the property where he and Rich would like to construct a 2,400-square-foot, 40-seat restaurant they plan to call Oak Hill. The restaurant will serve breakfast and lunch and employ five to six, Kemp said. They also plan to include a gift shop featuring local peanuts and artisans’ work.

“It will be like a small Cracker Barrel,” Kemp said. “We did a lot of research and there’s a need for that. There’s no place to eat between Franklin and Emporia. That’s a 40-mile stretch.”

In a report to the Planning Commission for the public hearing, it was noted that the restaurant may serve a need for residents and travelers due to a lack of dining and other businesses along U.S. 58. It was also noted that the property, which is east of the former Drewryville Elementary School, is a logical place for commercial development.

In a letter to the county, Kemp said he plans to offer a healthy Southern country menu featuring little fried food.