10/20/08 — K&W to reopen soon

View Archive

K&W to reopen soon

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 20, 2008 12:49 PM

The K&W Cafeteria in Berkeley Mall has closed for renovations and should reopen soon, officials say.

Owner Dax Allred of Winston-Salem said he hopes all the work will be finished by the end of the month.

The K&W closed in early October. Allred said the mall owner agreed to let the workers stay on task around the clock. He said although he promised to reopen by Oct. 31, he hopes to be able to do so a few days earlier.

K&W Cafeteria opened in the mid-1980s.

City Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianfarra said the renovations are costing almost $244,000.

The K&W is getting a real workover, with all new plumbing, a new ceiling, new boilers and a new heating and air-conditioning system, light fixtures and finishings.

Allred said there is even going to be new carpet, and he has ordered a new set of chairs.

"We're adding mirrors throughout to give it a more open look," he said.

"We needed to do renovations," he added. "The location was originally Morrison's, and we took over 20 or 25 years ago. And since that time, the drain lines and some grease trap lines were in disrepair."

Work crews had to replace all of the pipes under the restaurant, which meant having to tear through a 6-inch concrete slab.

"A lot has to be done by hand with a saw, because large equipment won't go in there. They've been having to hand-dig. It's a long, slow process," Cianfarra said.

Back in the day when the mall was originally built, he said, everybody used caste iron pipe. The only problem with that is caste iron has a limited lift expectancy, which can be significantly shortened if you put heavy cleaning products through them over the years.

Replacing the lines was an invasive job, Allred said.

"It's done now. The new lines are in. The new concrete has been poured. We still need to lay the tile," he said.

General Contractor John Lowe of Structure Services in Winston-Salem said the renovations are proceeding as planned.

"It's going great," he said. "We're on schedule. And it will look a lot better when we're through .... We'll be finished by the end of the month if we don't run into any snags."

There are 33 K&Ws in this state, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, and they are all family-owned. The business started in Winston-Salem with one small restaurant/cafeteria combination that opened 70 years ago by founder Grady T. Allred Sr., the current owner's grandfather.