(252) 523-6854


"I have been coming in for twenty years (20). I enjoy meeting my friends and family here. The owners and staff are like family and I enjoy seeing them each and every day."

– Wilson and Emily Jones


"Today, August 16, 2016 I celebrated my 84th birthday, by having lunch at Lovick’s Café in Kinston. In the early 1940s my father sold tobacco at Brook’s Warehouse. He often carried me with him and after the sale we would go to Lovick’s Café for lunch. My party included four generations of my immediate family and my two sisters, which brought back wonderful memories. The food was delicious and the service was great."

– Edna P. Sugg


"The year was 1942 and I was 6 years old. my Daddy, a sharecropper farmer, worked nights and weekends as a tobacco weigh scale operator at the Central Warehouse located on Herritage Street in Kinston. On Saturdays he would take my Mother, my younger sister, my younger brother, and me to work with him. Our whole family went to town on Saturdays in the fall of they year! My Mother and my sister would shop at the stores on Queen Street while my brother and I played with the tobacco baskets and tobacco handling carts and played hide and seek among the weighed and tagged piles of tobacco lined up on the warehouse floor awaiting a Monday auction sale. Usually we would attend a Saturday afternoon movie at either the Paramount, Carolina, or Oasis theaters which were all located on Queen Street.
The Central Warehouse was located directly across the street from Pulley’s Barbeque Restaurant. The warehouse footprint surrounded Lovick’s Hamburger, Hot Dog, and Dough Burger stand with the main entrance into the warehouse located directly beside Lovick’s. In order to enter the warehouse you had to walk or drive through the wonderful smells of Lovick’s sandwiches being cooked, served and eaten. Lovick’s fronted Herritage Street but was otherwise surrounded by the warehouse.
When the family was together late Saturday afternoon after Daddy finished his Central Warehouse job for the day we ate at Pulley’s Barbeque. When we were in a hurry or when we purchased take out food to eat on our way back home to Trenton in Jones County my Dad purchased a bag of Lovick’s dough burgers. The dough burgers cost 15 cents each or 2 for a quarter. A bag of 8 dough burgers kept our family of 2 adults and 3 hungry fussy children quiet and occupied all the way home. What a good deal for a dollar!
When we would go into Lovick’s to order carry out or to eat in I was always fascinated by the white “pill box” sailor hat worn by the cook. It was never dirty and he never lost it.
Central Warehouse, Pulley’s Barbeque Restaurant and Lovick’s dough burgers remained part of my life through the remainder of my elementary and high school years in Jones County. During my senior year in high school I joined the National Guard unit in Kinston. Our weekly drills were held in the Central Warehouse. Lovick’s was always nearby.
In the fall of 1954 I went off to Atlantic Christian College in Wilson for the Fall Semester and then enlisted in the US Army for three years in January 1955. During 1955 my parents, sister, and brother moved from my grandparents farm in Jones County to Wilson where my mother accepted a job as the Atlantic Christian College Dietician. My daddy returned frequently on day trips from Wilson to the family farm in Jones County with a stop at Lovick’s being a requisite for each trip.
When I returned from my 3 years active service with the Army and resumed studies at Atlantic Christian College with weekends, holidays, and summers spent on the farm of my “in-laws” just outside Pollocksville in Jones County, Lovick’s resumed its spot as the source of dough burgers for me, my wife, and our daughter.
Upon graduation from Atlantic Christian College in 1961 I entered the US Army again; but this time for a 20 year career. During this 20 year absence from the Kinston scene we would intermittently stop by Lovick’s during home visits to satisfy our dough burger cravings. On a trip from Fort Benning (Columbus) Georgia one summer and en route to Jones County we stopped at a dough burger stand in Beulaville to satisfy our hunger. Not the same! Those off brand dough burgers could not compare with Lovick’s.
As the years rolled by my personal family expanded and included a son who spent time with his grandfather on his intermittent day trips from Wilson to Jones County via Kinston with the requisite stops for a Lovick’s dough burger. Thus another generation of Lovick’s dough burger addicts was created.
As we entered the 21st century my daughter decided to move from New York State and make her home on the family farm in Jones County. One of her early ventures into Kinston was a trip to Lovick’s for a dough burger. She still returns occasionally.
My grandsons, one in Pennsylvania and one in Florida, have accompanied me on numerous occasions to Lovick’s for dough burgers and when they visit with me in Jones County one of their requests is to go to Lovick’s for a dough burger. My oldest grandson has a 4-year-old daughter and an infant son so we are working on creating a 5th generation of Lovick’s dough burger lovers.
In addition to dough burgers and other good food, Lovick’s represents a sense of family, cultural, and historical identity and permanence for me. As the years have passed and I have spent many years away from the area in Europe, the Far East, and the states of Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland my return home trips have always included visits to Lovick’s. I have noted the physical changes in Kinston; Pulleys gone, demolition of Central Warehouse, dormancy of Queen Street, resurrection of the confederate states ironclad ship Neuse, demolition of the “shirt” factories, ups and downs of the Kinston Indians baseball team, and primarily, the loss of the tobacco auction market. In the midst of these enormous physical and economic changes Lovick’s remains; and is thriving.
While my wife and I are no longer starry eyed Jones County teenagers as we enter into this our 80th year of life, we do look forward to many more years of happiness, good food, and the family camaraderie that is associated with each trip we make to Lovick’s for a dough burger. We intend to keep visiting and eating.
Thank you Lovick’s for the memories and the inspiration for the future."

– John Wesley (J.W.) Gray
Trenton, NC


"Gene and I have been eating at Lovick’s for 20 years. We enjoy meeting family and friends for food and fellowship. Coming to Lovick's feels like coming home."

– Gene & Linda Woody