Downtown’s first black-owned restaurant gets a renovation

Eugene Thompson orders his favorites at Meta’s West Third on Tuesday, March 7. Thompson has been eating at the restaurant since it opened in 1994.

Downtown’s first black-owned restaurant gets a renovation
March 09
06:45 2017

Photo by Tevin Stinson



Fresh paint, new lighting, high-back chairs and a wall of flat screens: Downtown’s first black-owned and longest thriving restaurant has a fresh new attitude and name to go along with it.

For more than 20 years, Meta’s Restaurant has been the place to go for authentic soul food in Winston-Salem. While fan favorites like the cornbread muffins, fresh cut greens and lemonade will remain on the menu, Meta’s West Third will offer the same family vibe you get from your grandma’s kitchen with a little twist of big city dining.

Starting next month, Meta’s will extend its hours during the week and on the weekends. Monday through Thursday it will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, the restaurant will stay open until 2 a.m. Fresh seafood and steak will also be added to the menu during extended hours on the weekend.

When asked about the changes, owner Armeta Poole said as an entrepreneur, you must be able to adapt and willing to change with the times. To appeal to the night life scene, Meta’s will also be adding a bar later this year.

“The downtown area is really growing and as an entrepreneur, you have to go with what’s going on,” said Poole. “We have hotels being built, condos and apartments popping up, so we wanted to make sure we accommodate our customers.”

Poole mentioned she has been able to maintain downtown thanks to loyal customers who make regular visits to the restaurant neatly tucked away between Winston Tower and First Presbyterian Church.

“I was skeptical about moving downtown in the beginning, but we’ve had a lot of support over the years. We have a lot of loyal customers.”

After ordering his favorites off the menu earlier, Eugene Thompson, who has been eating at the restaurant since it opened in 1994, said he was impressed with the upgrades to the décor. With the changes coupled with the exceptional customer service and the best soul food in the city, Thompson said he would put Meta’s up against any restaurant in the city.

“It really looks great,” said Thompson. “Meta’s has a vibe that you just can’t get anywhere else. For a soul food restaurant, I think Meta’s is the best at it.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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