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Have you ever had that oh-so familiar feeling when walk around your hometown? When you see the local shops that haven’t changed a bit and still being run by the same wholesome, down-to-earth folks that the whole neighborhood adores? Ring a bell? Good.

That’s is what has happened in the recent weeks. Allow me to bring you, our readers, up to speed.

We are going back to our roots – or should I say – Don’s roots. For those of who that are new here and/or may not know, Donnie used to do what he does best in Monroe, North Carolina. Originally, he started out his career in Charlotte in 1996 then ventured further south to various regions of Georgia. Over the course of many years, and inevitably found his way back, albeit a little more to the left, in Charlotte.


Over the course of his career, Donnie has amassed an impressive number of culinary awards. Within the last few years: Best Farm-to-Fork 2015, Best Chef 2015, Best Lunch Spot 2015 just to name a few.

After being in Charlotte for quite some time, Donnie felt as though he had undoubtedly left his mark on the city. Donnie wanted to pay homage to a little town that put him on the map, the town that gave him the start, the little town of Monroe. So that’s where are today; back to his roots. As of a few weeks ago, Donnie resigned from his position at the Charlotte favorite Zada Jane’s Corner Cafe in Plaza Midwood to pursue his next venture: restoring old Glory that is Monroe.

“We are bringing it back to Monroe. Y’all have been sleeping on Monroe. Y’all are not ready for this! We are going to make Monroe the go-to place to be! Just watch. Y’all haven’t seen anything like this.”

So what is coming to Monroe, you may ask? A lot.

  • Multiple restaurants (4 are currently planned to be constructed this year. The first restaurant opens on May 1st 2017. Just a heads up!) each with their own individual personality, vibe and soul. Each of venues hosts strikingly different menus filled to the brim with selections and choices that will surely appease the masses of Monroe.
  • Rallies, local car shows, venue gatherings, etc hosted by the new venues,
  • “Restaurant” Crawl
  • Many more things are in the works that I can’t share at this moment but believe me when I say this, you are not ready for what is going to happen to Monroe! Better grab your napkin and fork!


For all things Monroe and more as well as keeping up with updates from the Pork & Peppers team as they happen, subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom! This way, you’ll be able to read and stay informed via the posts landing directly in your email inbox!

To see what Don is doing, follow him on his Instagram here: @thedonchef and his official Facebook page: Celebrity Head Chef Donnie Simmons.

We thank you for your continued support and hope to see all of you in Monroe!


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