MINT HILL, NC – On Friday, April 24, The Hill joined other local eateries in offering curbside takeout service.
In the wake of Governor Cooper’s March 14 order to close all public K-12 schools for two weeks, The Hill made the decision to suspend dine-in service temporarily. With the safety of customers, staff and their families in mind, The Hill moved to curbside pick-up service for lunch and dinner beginning on Tuesday, March 17, the same day Governor Cooper would ban sit-down service in all North Carolina bars and restaurants.
Only three days later, on March 20, The Hill made the collective decision to close temporarily.
“Humbled. Grateful. Hopeful,” the announcement read on Facebook. “We wish we could keep this up and continue to serve the community in these uncertain weeks ahead, but we have decided, as a team, that it is no longer the safest and most responsible thing to do.”
It was a tough decision that put the safety of not only The Hill’s dedicated staff but also their families at the forefront. “A lot of my staff live with parents, take care of grandparents or have young kids,” says owner Dave. “We didn’t know what we were dealing with at the time. We came together as a group and said, let’s take some time off and see where this goes.”
As the situation progressed and it became clear that COVID-19 would be more than a fleeting crisis, Dave began contemplating what a reopening could look like. On Friday, April 24, they offered a limited curbside takeout menu that included Hill favorites like Wings, The Hill Burger, The Hill Dog, Philly Cheese Steak, Chicken Cheese Steak, Crab Cake Sandwich, Rueben Sandwich, French Dip, Chicken Tenders, housemade chips and fries. On Saturday, their second day of curbside takeout, they added the Piggy Burger, Zucchini Burger and a salad. Their plan is to offer curbside takeout from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
“We’re going to play it by ear this weekend and the next,” says Dave regarding the menu. “Obviously we’re not going to sell as much as we did before. We want to make sure what we’re selling isn’t going to waste. We’re also trying to limit some things that take longer to prepare.”
For Dave, reopening isn’t as much about making a profit as it is providing for his employees and customers. His goal is simply to break even, put some money in his employees’ pockets and, of course, see the customers they’ve been missing while he, like every other restaurant facing the same choices, rides out the storm.
Mint Hill made its love and support of everyone at The Hill clear on Friday night. Officially open at 5:00, they started answering the phones at 4:30 and were so busy at some points they wound up calling back numbers they saw on the caller ID!
“We were so excited when The Hill reopened for curbside so we could enjoy their delicious burgers and not have to do dishes!” says Erica Larter, who took advantage of curbside service on Friday night. “We are very thankful for all their hard work, especially on their first night being re-opened!”
“This is our spot every single Friday!” said Jenifer, one of a small group parked in lawn chairs across the street from The Hill in the now-empty Homestyles Gallery parking lot. “Our posse is a Friday night Hill standard,” she continues. “We love The Hill, we’d do anything to support them.” The group plans to continue the tradition, dining in lawn chair set six feet apart, until they’re able to go back inside.
It’s support like this that means everything to Dave and the rest of The Hill’s staff. “We really appreciate the town of Mint Hill,” says Dave. “We feel very very happy to have the support of the town as every other restaurant in town does as well. It really hits home how special the town is and how people are ready to help us out when we need it the most.”
To order takeout from The Hill, call (704) 573-7212 Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and make sure to watch their social media for menu and other updates! A 15% gratuity is added to all curbside order to assist with diminished income for servers.