This article was published in the Lenoir News-Topic.
The owners of Sweet T’s on Main were never too attached to the restaurant’s name.
They inherited it, after all. Sweet T’s was already Sweet T’s when Scott and Lisa Jett and Tim and Donna Haas took over last September. By then, the restaurant had been Sweet T’s for nine months.
Starting March 1, they’ll be the owners of the same restaurant with a fresh name: 1841 Café.
The four owners wanted a name that reflected their mix-and-match approach to food, Tim Haas said.
Rather than being strictly Southern, as the old name would suggest, the cuisine at 1841 Café blends a variety of culinary traditions.
Haas calls it infusion cooking. If he’s making an Italian dish that calls for prosciutto, he might substitute hickory-smoked bacon.
“I use things that are more indigenous to our area,” he said. “I just kind of marry cuisines together and come up with something that tastes pretty dang good.”
But the strongest reason for the new name is the owners’ deep attachment to Caldwell County – which was founded in March 1841.
When John Hawkins, director of the Caldwell Heritage Museum, found out about the restaurant’s new name, he was thrilled.
“It’ll be like a mini history lesson every time you walk through the door,” he said.
Hawkins asked the owners of the newly named café to join in the first Caldwell County History Month, which starts Friday.
They agreed and will host two events in the coming month: a fundraiser for the history museum Friday, and a Trivial Pursuit night featuring Caldwell-focused questions March 12.
For the owners of the restaurant formerly known as Sweet T’s, the county celebrating its birthday this month is home. Haas and both Jetts were born and raised in Lenoir. Donna Haas grew up in High Point, but moved to Lenoir at 18.
“I’ve traveled all over the United States and there’s absolutely nowhere like home for me,” Tim Haas said. “I love North Carolina.”