Newk’s Eatery, located at 516 SE Greenville Blvd, has been open for almost a year and offers its customers generous portions of fresh food along with reasonable prices for college students.
The Newk’s franchise originally started in Mississippi in 2004 by Chris Newcomb, and since then has expanded towards the coast, having over 100 restaurants in 13 different states. Greenville welcomed its first and only Newks on August 6, 2018, Mollie Pittman, shift leader and catering coordinator at the restaurant, said.
“Here we have pizzas, salads and sandwiches. We have a variety of soups as well as a variety of cakes. Right now, we are featuring our lemon cake for the summer and that has been a popular item,” Pittman said.
Pittman said two of the most popular items on the menu are the Newk’s “Q” Pizza, which is $7.99 and has grilled chicken breast, smoked bacon, and Newk's Signature white BBQ sauce, and Newk’s “Q” Sandwich, which is $7.69 and offers Newk's signature white BBQ sauce, freshly grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon and Swiss cheese.
Newk’s Favorite Salad, another popular menu item, is priced at $8.99 and offers grilled chicken, cranberries, artichokes, sliced grapes, gorgonzola cheese and Newk’s house-made cherry vinaigrette and croutons, Pittman said.
“We are open from 7 (a.m.) until closing time. For the summer, on Sunday through Thursday, we are open until 9 (p.m.), and Friday and Saturday we are closed at 10 (p.m.) We are open at 7 for our Fresh Market, where we have pre-packaged salads and sandwiches, desserts as well as drinks. Our dining room and kitchen officially open at 11 (a.m.) every day,” Pittman said.
According to Pittman, Newk’s Fresh Market, also called “Grab & Go,” has pre-packaged items that customers can come in and check out. It features a couple of Newk’s popular items, such as the Black and Blue salad, and a variety of sandwiches which customers can come in and purchase.
The restaurant additionally offers deals for ECU students throughout the fall and spring semesters. One of its popular deals features a pizza of the student’s choice and a drink for $6.99, which they can get with their student ID, Pittman said.
The restaurant is working to offer more student deals as well, and its management is going to see what appeals to the Newk’s Eatery student customers in the upcoming semester. It also offers deals for families with children.
“Every day after 4 p.m. we have it set up where you can purchase an adult entrée with a drink, and you can get a kid’s meal for $0.99, so that really reaches out to the parents,” Pittman said.
Pittman said most of the positive feedback the restaurant receives has to do with the size of their portions for the price they offer. She said that while at other restaurants you may have to pay a higher price for a larger portion of fresh food, here, you pay anywhere from $7 to $12, and receive a decently sized entree and drink.
According to Pittman, Newk’s Eatery desserts receive a significant amount of praise from its customers. Cake, one of the popular dessert items, can be purchased by the slice for $3.45, or the whole cake for $42.50.
“We have our big crispies and our peanut butter crispies, as well as a brownie. We also have a variety of cakes, such as our strawberry cake and our chocolate cakes, and they are all 12 layers, so you’re going to get six layers of cake and six layers of icing with them. They are made by the Newks’ bakery, and we get them sent here,” Pittman said.
Pittman said the restaurant is open to hosting events for its customers and is hoping to be more involved with ECU organizations, such as Greek life. Pittman said they would host “spirit nights” where Greek life leadership would encourage their members to come out, and Newk’s would help raise money for those organizations.
The restaurant additionally has a catering system where customers can call in orders, or go online and place the orders either through the website or through ezCater, which does catering for corporate businesses. If the location is within the Greenville area, Newk’s will deliver but it will cost a $5 delivery fee.
“We do sandwich platters, as well as a variety of things that’s on our catering menu that’s not on our actual menu, like our shrimp platter. On average, we get about four to five catering orders a week. We are currently catering to the ECU football team and we provide sandwiches to them every Friday and we are getting ready to do that in August as well,” Pittman said.
Pittman believes people should try out Newk’s because their customers will receive what they pay for, as well as quality food and service. She is hoping that their restaurant can be more involved in the community soon.
Justin Hynz, a server at the restaurant, said he usually eats at Newk’s Eatery around six times a week himself. He said he enjoys the food and large portion sizes.
“It’s (the food) delicious. Our pizzas are definitely popular. I don’t even order pizza from anywhere else anymore, I'll just get them from here. We have a choose 2 deal (which is $8.39), where you can get a half sandwich and half soup or salad, which is usually what people get,” Hynz said.
According to Hynz, Newks has an app which will send out deals to its customers throughout the week. He said it doesn’t matter how often customers come to the restaurant, whether it be once a day or once a month, the deals still apply to everyone.
Hynz said customers he serves often are surprised at how large the portion of food they are getting is when he brings their meal out to them.
Teshambie Hunter, a resident of Greenville who comes to eat with her husband, Darrell, just started eating at the restaurant two weeks ago and has already visited four times since then.
Hunter said that she and her husband’s favorite items on the menu are the Ultimate pizza and the Newk’s Club sandwich, which is $7.69.
“The food is great, the service is amazing, and it has a good atmosphere. The pricing is great,” Hunter said.
For more information on Newk’s, visit their store at 516 SE Greenville Blvd or their website, or call them at (252)-351-8393.