The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

September 24, 2012

Locust business owner plans to open Joe’s Do-Nut Dinette

By Justin Jones, Staff Writer

Monday, September 24, 2012 — Downtown Albemarle will get a little sweeter this winter as Joe’s Do-Nut Dinette has plans of reopening.

The popular shop closed about four years ago as former owner Joe Smith had decided his time as business owner should end, leaving regular customers without their favorite local doughnut shop.

When Joe’s Do-Nut Dinette closed, Doug Laxton showed interest in the shop, buying Smith’s donut recipe, making his own donuts at the Sunrise Grill restaurant in Locust. Now, Laxton has stepped up his interest, announcing his plans to reopen the dinette, as soon as November of this year.

“Joe said ‘I don’t go anywhere that someone don’t say why won’t you make doughnuts again?’ So we talked it over and he thought it would be a good idea,” said Laxton.

Laxton is the owner of the Sunrise Grill in Locust, which is a breakfast-only restaurant. For the Do-Nut Dinette, he plans on making the restaurant into a breakfast and lunch restaurant, open six days per week.

“We’ll have doughnuts, cinnamon buns and chocolate covered (doughnuts) and also have a full breakfast and lunch menu,” he said.

Laxton intends to bring the same recipe and flavor that Albemarle enjoyed prior to its closing back to the store.

“Joe worked out there with me (in Locust), and trained me. He used to tell me, ‘If you can bring them back in the original building, you would really do well,’” Laxton said.

But when the economy began to crash in 2008 and 2009, Laxton quickly realized that doughnuts were not a top priority on which families would spend their money, so he disassembled his equipment and quit making doughnuts. With this new venture, in which he is leasing the building from the Smiths, he’s eager to have the store re-opening, and in the right spot.

“It’s going to be a nice clean place to go have breakfast or get lunch, hot dog, hamburger or something like that with a bigger lunch and breakfast than before,” he said.

While Laxton’s goal is to open by November, he did reiterate that due to the need to bring the building up to current building codes, including making the building handicap accessible, that date is subject to change.