Milton and Eva Lovick borrowed $180 in 1941 to begin Lovick’s Quick Lunch in Downtown Kinston, NC as the family transitioned from farm life to city life during the Great Depression. Located at 320 North Herritage Street, Lovick’s offered a quick breakfast or lunch for a small price six days a week. Many tobacco farmers were known to stop by while selling their crops in town as the café sat between two large tobacco warehouses. Opening at such a distressed time in history, during World War II, the restaurant had to adapt to meat and food rationing. Sandwiches, such as the “the dough burger,” became staple food items on the menu.
After the passing of Milton Lovick, the next generation to operate Lovick’s Café was son Milton “Mac” Lovick, who began working at age eleven, and later dropped out of school in the ninth grade to work full time. He owned and operated Lovick’s Café for almost sixty years until his passing in late 2009. Mac’s three children Susan, Reed, and Steve have since carried on the tradition into its third generation working in a variety of roles at different times throughout the years.
Today, Lovick’s still serves a quick breakfast or lunch for a small price. We are now serving the 3rd and 4th generation of families who continue the tradition of coming into town for a homemade meal. Serving residents all over Eastern North Carolina and beyond, Lovick’s is famously known as the "Home of the Doughburger” and the #1 Wonder of Lenoir County as voted by readers of The Kinston Free Press.
When Lovick’s originally opened in 1941, four other businesses resided inside the current building and two large tobacco warehouses sat alongside the building on both sides. The capacity of the restaurant at that time was 17 customers. Over the years Lovick’s expanded through its walls as those other businesses closed, then the warehouses were torn down. Still today, customers can see the different flooring that distinguishes the location of the original businesses within the building.
Beginning in the late 1980’s additions were made to the building as the café continued to grow. Initially, a new enlarged stock room was added onto the rear of the building, and the then current stockroom was converted to dining space. In 1995, a new dining area was added to seat 70 customers. In 1998, sheet metal siding was added to repair the aged brick and wood of the original building. Then, in 2005, an interior redesign of the café was completed. Air conditioning was installed and ceilings were dropped throughout the building for a more pleasant dining experience.
Lovick’s Café has had one other location open outside of the 320 N. Herritage Street location in Kinston, North Carolina. From 1999 to 2000, Lovick’s Café was open in Faison, NC under the management of Greg Turner (son of Susan Lovick Turner).
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