09/16/13 — Auction planned for Mount Olive eatery

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Auction planned for Mount Olive eatery

By Josh Ellerbrock
Published in News on September 16, 2013 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Have fond memories of the Southern Belle restaurant? Then pull up a chair. Or better yet, buy the chair.

To celebrate Gaynell Brock and the Southern Belle's legacy, there will be an auction sale Thursday at the old building to sell off the many items that thousands of Mount Olive customers used throughout the restaurant's 51 years.

The Southern Belle closed for good Sept. 1.

All proceeds from the sales will benefit Mount Olive's David Aaron Historical Museum in Mrs. Brock's name.

"They can buy the chairs they've been sitting in and the table unit and the bar if someone wants that," said Stephanie Kornegay, who is running the auction.

As for auction items, both the small -- salt shakers, plates and cups -- and the large -- tables, chairs, light fixtures, kitchen appliances and stainless steel preparation tables -- will be available for purchase.

The biggest item is probably the piano in the back room donated by the Mount Olive Rotary Club to the auction.

"There's a lot of songs that have been sung around that," Ms. Kornegay said.

Purchases must be made in cash. Credit cards and checks will not be accepted. Purchased items must be removed off the restaurant premises by that evening.

A few of the unique items, such as the old wooden painted sign that depicts a 19th century Southern belle are being given directly to the museum.

Since closing, Mrs. Brock and her family have been busy cleaning up the restaurant and getting items ready for the auction.

The Southern Belle will open its doors for the last time at 5 p.m. Thursday for buyers to stake out potential claims. The auction will begin at 6 p.m.

But buying won't be the only thing on the agenda.

"It's not just an auction but a celebration of Mrs. Brock," Ms. Kornegay said.

During the event, community members are encouraged to write down their stories about the restaurant and bring them to the auction for a special project. Collection of written stories will continue after the auction and will be collected by the Mount Olive Historical Society. Stories and memories can also be sent to to wbrown11@nc.rr.com.

"I just hope that people will come out and show their love for Mrs. Brock and spend some money for a good cause," Ms. Kornegay said.