Older Donut Dinette location in Albemarle to become parking lot

A downtown Albemarle restaurant location will soon help to ease parking concerns with the Stanly County Courthouse.

At the April meeting of the Stanly County Board of Commissioners, the board purchased the property at 231 S. First St. The property was previously a location of the Donut Dinette and had been several restuarants, most recently SueJay’s Soul Food.

The building has been demolished and a new parking lot for the county’s courthouse will be constructed.

Stanly County Manager Andy Lucas said staff had been directed late last year to undergo a period of due diligence in getting the property. The deal was completed in April.

“As we plan for the long-term capital needs of our courthouse and associated public safety agencies, there is an immediate and long-term need for additional parking that is convenient for those attempting to access court or other services at the courthouse,” Lucas said.

Stanly County historian Lewis Bramlett recently posted on his Facebook page regarding the history of the property. Originally, the Donut Dinette was a franchise which Flave Whitley, who owned Whitley’s Luncheonette on Second Street, purchased and opened May 1948.

Bramlett said the Dinette moved to the east side of North First Street in 1957, then back across the street four or five years later. The Dinette was managed by Bill Varner for many years and later Joe Smith.

In 1984, the original Dinette building was moved to the location on South First Street where it was until its demolition in September. The North First Street location is now the Sunrise Grill.