Five Guys is noted for its infinitely customizable burgers and overly generous portions of fries. Oh, and unshelled peanuts. Let’s not forget the unshelled peanuts. Photo by Jerry Huddleston

A lot of news on the business front today, some well-sourced but awaiting official confirmation:
New Bern Marketplace, the up-and-coming shopping center between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Trent Road, may well wind up as a dining destination.
Columbia Development, the developer of the large shopping center, has not updated its tenant list (which already includes a Hobby Lobby, Five Below, Academy Sports, Ross, and, at 100,000 square feet, the Mother of All Harris Teeters), but reliable sources say it will be the location for  Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and LongHorn Steakhouse.
All three restaurants are in New Bern’s vicinity (Greenville, Morehead City, Jacksonville), but will be new to New Bern. There is a Five Guys aboard Cherry Point, but not accessible to people who don’t have access to the Marine Corps air base.
Within the massive outdoor mall’s orbit will be a new Sonic Drive-in restaurant (New Bern’s second location) next to Rite Aid, across the MLK from New Bern Marketplace, and a new Paula’s Pizza location off the MLK near New Bern High School.
In other business news:

  • Captain Ratty’s, the iconic seafood restaurant at Middle and South Front streets in Downtown New Bern, is reportedly up for sale.
  • BSH, manufacturer of world-class kitchen appliances, is adding a third dishwasher line to its New Bern plant. The new assembly line will be building high-end dishwashers.


  1. Need a Sheetz badly, a Steak N Shake would be nice as would a Noodles N Company. not another Sonic!

  2. What about a new movie Theater for New Bern? I’m excited about the prospects of all new restaurants…it’s about time!

  3. I wish we would get a Home Depot, Cosco, and a real Dairy Queen.

  4. It’s a shame we don’t have as many good fresh seafood restaurants here, being so close to the sea! A seafood buffet or such would be nice. Also, how about a new theater that shows good movies (not just Transformers, etc.) plus a bowling alley for something to do here in the winter!

  5. Neuse Cinema is being upfit with leather seats and new interior!

  6. Would have been better to have put all this out at the Craven 30 location. This is going to be a traffic nightmare.

  7. Can we please get a cracker barrel

  8. How about a Krispy Kreme…

  9. I would love to have a REAL (Maryland Style) seafood restaurant in town.

  10. Cracker Barrel would of been nice. We need a real homecooked meal type restaurant. Also an old fashioned breakfast type restaurant.

  11. La Cosetta sucks. that is the worse can food i have every had.
    go to La Rosa Italian Restaurant if you want good Italian food! as close to real Italian food as you can get in the US

  12. The theater on Neuse Blvd has been bought and being refurbished. The owners of trent rd theater bought it. Lots of changes coming soon.

  13. Goodness, so many negitive Nancys in these comments. Growth is happening! Be happy!

  14. Yes. New Bern is growing and need these types of businesses and restaurants in the area. Marines are also making the city of New Bern home which helps the flow of consistent cash to new and established businesses.

  15. Yes. Cracker Barrel will be a great addition to New Bern!

  16. I agree but I think a Cracker Barrel would be more of a success in New Bern!

  17. Yeeessss, Plus Krispy Kreme, and a new bowling rink or something like it for kids, Sweet tomatoes is awesome too!!!! We need that!

  18. Sam’s Club, Cracker Barrel, Trader Joes, Bowling alley or trampoline place, Chili’s all would be amazing additions for New Bern!

  19. I agree to both. La Casetta (sp) is terrible. One of the worst meals I have ever had.
    Went to La Rosa, food was very good
    Looking forward to many new businesses in New Bern

  20. Sheetz…YES!!! Would love a Noodles N Company too!!!!

  21. I agree. We need another Bowling Alley…..bigger laser tag area too. My family and I had so many great time there for the years. Trader Joe’s would be great.

  22. How about Family restaurants since Golden Corral left why not be family oriented. Since we live by the water we should “eat” great seafood. More family restaurants are needed in this area. What about K&W?

  23. We just need a restaurant, no more fast foods

  24. Omg I so agree on a bowling alley and theater

  25. Go to MJ’s on Middle Street downtown. The owner is from Baltimore, MD. It is our go to place for Maryland seafood.

  26. I would like to see a Chedders come to New Bern. I thought that an aldi’ s was coming have not heard anymore.

  27. We most definitely need a good Steakhouse.
    They are the best now that’s just my opinion .

  28. Wish we had a Cracker Barrell. Some good ole American food would be nice. Tired of all the fast food places.
    What about placrs for young children to go play, like Marbles indoor trampoline park, Legoland ? We have plenty of Restaurants.

  29. Some good ole American food would be nice. Tired of all the fast food places.
    What about places for young children to go play, like Marbles indoor trampoline park, Legoland ? We have plenty of Restaurants.
    Wish someone would open a place to do birthday parties for kids that are themed related,

  30. City of new Bern ruined that deal when they remixed on a deal with them two years ago, that won’t happen anytime soon.

  31. I agree 1000 (one thousand). percent!!

  32. There are TONS of great restaurants in New Bern. I love that we have a thriving independent restaurant base rather than chains on every corner.
    Spunky McDoogle’s
    37th Street
    Baker’s Kitchen
    Half Times
    Just a small list of the many options available here. If all you see is fast food, you aren’t looking for all the delicious options. I purposely gave examples located all over town and not just downtown. I’m not opposed to new restaurants, although none of those named are my cup of tea, my point is only to try a great place we already have if you haven’t.

  33. Just fyi, the new Sonic is the only Sonic. The one that was downtown is closed now. Which is a shame for many of it’s employees lived downtown and walked to work. Maybe someone will purchase and refurbish.

  34. We need a bowling alley in New Bern. My grandson comes here 3 times a year and hes in a league. Plus the family lives to bowl as well! Good clean fun!

  35. YES! Better movie theaters and bowling alley would be so nice!!!

  36. Need a Grandson’s buffet like the ones around Smithfield.

  37. No I think you named all of them,Lol.

  38. If you are referring to the Sonic by the hospital it will not be reopening. The hospital bought the land. That is why they moved.

  39. Thanks David! I was thinking the same thing! I am a New Bern native and I can tell you how incredible it is to see all this new activity!

  40. What is going to happen to the old Rite Aid by the hospital?

  41. Oh ya Chedders is just awesome. Would eat there all the time that I’m not eating at Olive Garden.

  42. If you think La Casetta sucks then you don’t know Italian food. Go to New York City and then try to find something close to that. You will end up at La Casetta.

    1. You need to try La Rosa’s on Glenbernie. Outstanding !!!

  43. I wish more national chain stores and restaurants would come to the James City area of New Bern.

  44. Yes!!! Trader Joe’s!!!!! Amen.

    1. Trader Joe’s would be amazing! I know so many people that regularly travel to Raleigh just for Trader Joe’s.

      1. Author

        Carson City, Nevada, with a population of 54,000, seems to be the smallest city where there is a Trader Joe’s. New Bern’s population is 30,000, but the MSA (Metropolitan statistical area) is just over 50,000.

  45. Nice to have a great seafood restaurant in New Bern. Have to travel to Morehead City for good Seafood !

  46. We really need a Cracker Barrel in New Bern, NC. Or a K&W. To be near the ocean, it’s a shame we don’t have family restaurants on the MLKing stretch. Downtown is fine, but in the business areas there are only fast food stores. Sunday after church is out.

  47. Would love a RedLobster, Kohl’s, and Olive Garden❤️

  48. When is the Olive Garden suppose to be coming? I’m tired of driving every Saturday or Sunday to Morehead or Jacksonville.

  49. We need a Red Lobster
    When will the Olive Garden open?

  50. New Bern needs a new Bowling Alley with classic/current Arcades combined with a Gaming Lounge with old school and new school consoles such as Atari, NES, SNES, Genesis, PS1-PS4, OG XBOX, XBOX 360, XBOX One, GameCube, Wii, Switch, Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo 64 and make it bigger than Boxcar in Raleigh and Durham.
    All that aside, they need a Grandson’s Buffet

  51. Is it true the deals with Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse fell through? If so, that would be a sad thing for the city of New Bern, NC. Are the powers (i.e., restaurant owners) in DT New Bern discouraging or have influence on what types of restaurants come to the city. Something is strange about business relationships in and around the close areas surroundings of New Bern.

  52. I’m working on this project Judith

  53. Yes, I agree – more growth is needed
    Indoor Trampoline Park – great family time
    Miniature Golf – so much fun for families
    Outdoor summer family movie series at one or more of our local parks.
    Indoor ice skating rinks are so expensive but would be a wonderful asset to add to the area and could be included with other activities. (Like within the YMCA)
    Firebirds Restaurant – a great place for all – great food- nice decor and reasonable
    Although I love Harris Teeter, the stores listed below could be an asset to the area as well:
    Trader Joes
    Fresh Market

  54. A K&W restaurant would do great in New Bern! A place to get more vegetables and all around more family choices. Also, New Bern has many elderly and retired persons and I believe they would also certainly enjoy a cafeteria! 🙂

  55. What we really need is a Peruvian style rotisserie chicken, not another crap like KFC

  56. I’d like to see the following
    1. Best Buy
    2. New Movie Theatre
    3. More stores in the Mall
    4. Buffet Restaurant.
    5. Bowling Alley
    6. Putt Putt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *