Rod’s Capricorn Inn a Wilmington favorite

Rod’s Capricorn Inn a Wilmington favorite

Customers take delicious delight in diner’s food

By Beverly Drapalik

 

Maggie Wright/Salt magazine

Maggie Wright/Salt magazine

Maggie Wright/Salt magazine

WILMINGTON — Wilmington may have its own version of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

Guy Fieri, the show’s host, hasn’t visited yet, but if he were to cover Rod’s Capricorn Inn, he would find consistently tasty Rod Burgers. The top of the menu reads, “All Burgers are Angus steakburgers.”

Driving out west from Wilmington on state Route 730, the restaurant is an unassuming place across from Cowan Lake, and it has been on that spot around 40 years.

Rod Mohler started the restaurant, Kevin Jaminson purchased it from him, and Teresa Scott and Phala Weaver bought the restaurant almost three years ago from Jaminson.

“(We) have kept the restaurant the way Rod had it … right down to the original spatula. The menu and décor are the same, also,” Scott said.

Scott had wanted a business of her own for years.

“I just wanted something of my own. I didn’t care if it was a bakery or restaurant or some other kind of shop,” Scott said. “I am so grateful that the opportunity to buy Rod’s came along. It’s so much fun.”

Years ago, she worked at Cowgill’s and Cooper’s in Wilmington, and Weaver worked in her parents’ eatery, Randall Cafeteria. Their experience, coupled with a desire to have fun, is making Rod’s more than a restaurant. Some of the workers carry on Rod’s tradition of breaking into song or dancing around the restaurant on Saturdays.

If you walk into Rod’s, you will find Scott at the grill — always. She keeps some admirable hours, seven days a week.

Scott said, “I run the griddle. I’m a control freak and just want to make sure customers are happy.”

“Great food, great prices and a very friendly staff,” Sandie Henley Parsons wrote on Facebook. “Have you seen their chef salad? Feeds two easily. I love Rod’s Capricorn.”

“Great memories from college signing the wall in the back during sorority retreats, and the fries are the best in town,” wrote Angela Kessinger Mitchell.

The Rod Burger usually comes with fries on the plate. Then a half-pound of Angus beef burger on top, all the trimmings included, with the meat cascading over the bun — all for $5.99. Diners can ask for onion rings under the burger instead of fries.

The menu is extensive, including ham and cheese sandwiches, pork tenderloin, side dishes and kids meals, but Scott said the second most popular item on the menu is the homemade peanut butter pie.

‪”I love the peanut butter pie. Best I’ve ever had, hands down,” Diana Allen wrote on Facebook.

All of the desserts are homemade, and she makes cinnamon rolls each day. It’s not unusual that people stop by to pick up desserts. In fact, 30 percent of Rod’s business is takeout. Homemade coleslaw and a Rod Burger is really all a fisherman needs as he sits across the road at the lake.

Scott and Weaver agree they could never run Rod’s Capricorn Inn by themselves. Their right-hand man is Randy Hubbard. Late one Friday afternoon, the exhaust fan quit working, and Hubbard was there immediately.

The women also credit everyone on their staff.

As far as Scott knows, Rod’s never had rooms for rent, as the name “Inn” might suggest. Guests can’t stay for the night, but they are welcome to stay as long as they want.

 

BEVERLY DRAPALIK

Beverly lives in Wilmington with her husband, Jeff. They also live with a dog, a cat, a parrot, chickens and bees.

Salt Magazine