The rumors about whether or not the popular Hope Mills restaurant Robin’s on Main is moving have finally been put to rest, said owner Robin Burnum.
“Robin’s is staying,’’ she said, referring to the restaurant’s current location on North Main Street.
Burnum said she’ll be signing a five-year lease with property owner John Beasley on Aug. 1, at the same time she’ll be announcing some changes to her weekly hours and the restaurant’s menu.
Burnum thanked Beasley for offering the extended lease after he had originally considered selling the business.
“I would have hated to leave Hope Mills,’’ Burnum said. “Hope Mills has been my family for eight years, and I’ve grown a great business here.”
Now, with the new five-year commitment, Burnum said she’s ready to begin work on some much-needed upgrades to the restaurant.
The first and most important will be converting to gas for her grilling and replacing her undersized 24-inch grill with a larger model.
She’s currently getting estimates on the cost for the work to add the new grill and said they are running between $10,000 and $15,000.
She’s hopeful the process to install the new grill will only take a few days and that the work can take place during normal closings and outside of regular restaurant hours so she won’t have to close while the grill is being added.
She’d love for it to be up and running when the new lease is signed on Aug. 1 but said the work may extend into September or October.
The larger grill will allow her to turn orders around much quicker and get larger food orders prepared faster.
Robin’s can handle as many as 80 customers at one time, and during the busiest periods, Burnum said,people have to wait in excess of an hour for their food.
The business caters to the breakfast and lunch trade. Burnum said she’s tried to add evening hours, but customers just haven’t responded, so she’ll stick with what’s working.
But, she’s planning a change in hours. Come Aug. 1, the restaurant will close on Sunday and only be open Tuesday through Saturday from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Currently, the restaurant is closed Monday, open weekdays 6-2, Saturday 6-1 and Sunday 8-1.
Burnum said she’ll continue her special Thanksgiving dinner for first responders, and, once the larger grill is installed, hopes to provide other charitable meals for the community. Those plans have yet to be confirmed, she said.
PHOTO: Owner, Robin Burnum.