Black’s Bluewater: Where seafood meets the country

by Molly Reitter

The restaurant is one part down home country kitchen with sea green linoleum floors and blue checkered tablecloths and one part kitschy seafood joint with huge lobster traps and framed under-the-sea murals.

With lobster traps hanging and seascapes painted on the walls, Black’s Bluewater Seafood in Mount Holly takes customers from the foothills to the Outer Banks. (Erik Reitter/MI Monitor photo)

The brick wall is painted a cream color and a Dr. Pepper clock ticks away. So you can get that country-fried steak along with Calabash shrimp or pan-fried ham with flounder. A little bit country, a little bit Outer Banks.

Jered Black is the owner of Black’s Bluewater Seafood Restaurant. He is an unlikely restaurant owner. He began professionally racing motorcross and supercross at the age of 16. In 2007, at 27, he became a parent and gave up the racing. While taking some time off, he began eating 2-3 times a week at the then-named Bluewater Seafood Restaurant. The owner was having health problems and wanted to sell the restaurant.

“How much are you asking?” Black wondered aloud. And with that, he became a restaurant owner.

“I thought it would be easy,” said Black, with a rueful smile. “I mean, you serve the food and watch the money come in.”

It turned out there was much more to it than that. The kitchen, for example, did not have a stove. When they priced out stoves, they were running around $5,000.

“So we don’t have a stove right now,” said Black. They rely on good, old-fashioned stovetop cooking for their dishes. It does take a bit longer, but they are making it work.

The restaurant could not sustain itself without the help of Black’s family. His parents, Debbie and Chris Black, are retired from Freightliner and Duke Power respectively and happy to help out. His wife Rene is a waitress, while his mother runs the front of the restaurant and his father helps with the cooking. All of the family members are from the Belmont and Mount Holly area and love owning a restaurant. This togetherness is not surprising as the family has always been close.

“When Jered raced motorcross we all went to watch him,” said Debbie Black. “I mean, my mom, Chris’ mom, my sister and many more family members all made the trips. We all support each other.”

Black’s Bluewater specializes in a breakfast buffet Wednesday through Sunday. It is $4.99 and includes bacon, link sausage, patty sausage, livermush and French toast sticks. You can also order eggs any way you like.

“I like my eggs sunny side up,” Debbie Black said. “And so eggs to order is a must on that buffet.”

Prior to working at the restaurant Chris Black had not done much cooking, but is enjoying his second career.

“It gives me something to do when I’m not playing golf,” he said with a straight face.

The restaurant offers take-out and delivery options. “We serve a lot of elderly people who can’t get out,” Jered Black said. “So it’s a nice service to offer for them and other people who just don’t want to venture out.”

Thomas Lark is a regular customer at the restaurant.

“I like the senior flounder plate,” said Lark. “It’s a lot like the fish and chips you get in the UK.”

He also loves the personal service of the wait staff and the friendly atmosphere.

The family is happy to be working hard and trying to make the restaurant a success. “We’ve always supported our family in whatever they did,” Debbie Black said. And this restaurant venture is no exception.

Black’s Bluewater Seafood Restaurant

1118 South Main St., Mount Holly

704-827-1230

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