Spoon River celebrates 4th anniversary, plans to expand

Published 12:13 am Monday, November 21, 2016

BELHAVEN — For more than four years, Spoon River Artworks and Market has been an unexpected spot for fine dining in quiet Belhaven.

It has quickly become one of the well-known places in the town, offering a distinctive farm-to-fork-style cuisine and community atmosphere. Each plate served is a work of art, and the interior design is enough to allow customers to step into a whimsical, yet tastefully elegant atmosphere.

To celebrate its time in Belhaven, Spoon River is planning for a big event Nov. 30, in which patrons can mull around seven stations of food with beer and wine offerings paired for taste.

Durham-based band The Boulevard Ensemble will provide entertainment for the event, with a style of music mixing rock and pop favorites and a twist of jazz.

“It’s going to be a lot of food,” restaurant owner Teresa VanStaalduinen laughed.

VanStaalduinen said it means a lot to the restaurant to have support from customers and be operating successfully going into its fifth year.

The fourth-anniversary celebration is going to be one of the best ones yet, and more importantly, VanStaalduinen said 10 percent of the proceeds will go toward Eagle’s Wings, Beaufort County’s food bank.

WORK OF ART: Every plate served at Spoon River is a work of art, as shown by the presentation of this crab cake entrée.

WORK OF ART: Every plate served at Spoon River is a work of art, as shown by the presentation of this crab cake entrée.

The event is also an unofficial lead-in to a large expansion project the restaurant will begin next year.

According to VanStaalduinen, the business has received $500,000 in federal grant money to go toward its renovation of two old theaters in the downtown area. The grant money will cover more than half of the cost.

She said the business is planning to turn the building next door into an event facility and convert another space across the street into a market area.

“It was kind of a natural progression,” VanStaalduinen said. “Once you lose an old building, you can’t get it back. … There’s a certain sense of the need for preservation.”

Spoon River expects to have the money in hand sometime after Christmas, and hopes to break ground on the renovations in early 2017.

As if meant to be, VanStaalduinen said the same person constructed these properties as constructed the space in which Spoon River is located now.

The expansion is a big step for the restaurant, and the intent is to hold onto Belhaven’s history, while also continuing and growing the farm-to-fork style into the future.

“It’s still every day you wake up, and you go, ‘I’m good, but I want to be better,’” VanStaalduinen said. “We’re really looking forward to the future.”

The fourth-anniversary event is scheduled for Nov. 30, from 6-10 p.m. at Spoon River in downtown Belhaven. Tickets are $60 for all seven food stations. For more information, visit the “Spoon River Artworks & Market” Facebook page, or call 252-945-3899.