On a recent Sunday afternoon, cars jammed the parking lot at The Fellowshipp restaurant, and people were lined up out the door. Gospel music drifted from speakers and the atmosphere inside was akin to a family reunion.
The ties, elegant hats and high heeled shoes were part of an unofficial dress code. Olivia Swinton, who had stopped by for lunch, said that she always sees people there that she knows.
â€œWe're just leaving church and it keeps you in that spiritual place,'' she said.
The Winston-Salem Journal reported that creating a spiritual place for their clientele was Marc and Patrina Mosley's vision when they opened The Fellowshipp in July.
â€œI've always had a dream for people of God to come to a place that's smoke-free, profanity-free,'' Patrina Mosley said.
But that does not mean that she and her husband want to create a serious or gloomy place.
â€œSome people get saved and they feel like, 'We can't have fun anymore,''' she said.
That's not what they want their restaurant to be like, she said.
The Fellowshipp offers Gospel karaoke and live entertainment, such as music and comedians. It's open from 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays, and for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner Friday and Saturday. They also offer catering services. But the Mosleys may not stop there.
They have been eyeing the building next door, and dream of using it as an auditorium for performances, Mosley said. They envision people being able to eat in one building and enjoy entertainment next door.
Georgette Mittasch, a hair stylist who lives Clemmons and is a member of the First Assembly of God, said she and some friends came to the restaurant for the first time on a recent Friday night for some entertainment. She and her friends, members of a local Christian singles group, listened to two Christian comedians and Gospel karaoke.
The Christian setting is important to her, Mittasch said.
â€œKnowing that God's hand is in it, is what it's all about,'' she said. â€œI know that I'm protected.''
But for other restaurant patrons, there is another reason to patronize a business run by a young Black couple who are stepping out on their own to fill a community niche.
Swinton, who lives off of Carver School Road, said that there is nothing in the eastern part of the city but fast food places. When she was growing up, there were many Black-owned businesses in the city.
The Fellowshipp is not that far away, she said, and it's important to support such places.
â€œIt's important for Black people that we have something,'' Swinton said.
Kim McClain, who lives in West Salem, and was eating at the restaurant with her husband Marshall agreed that it's important for Black people to support those in their community who try to create a positive change.
â€œA lot of Blacks are struggling,'' she said. â€œI feel like it's a step up and an encouragement to young people to see someone with their own business.''