People gather for music, food, fun at Stratford BBQ in King

KING, N.C. -- A couple nights a week, Stratford BBQ Restaurant on Main Street is known for more than its food.

“I come here for the music,” said Barbara Fain, who come not just for music, but live music.

On Tuesday and Saturday nights people gather for food, fellowship and free entertainment.

“We don't charge nothing,” said one bluegrass performer. “We tell them there is one requirement — have a good time or go home.”

For many here a good time is something they thought they'd lost.

“I'd never danced before,” said Gwyn Clodfelter who recently lost his wife of 64 years. “I got to staying home and a neighbor told me I need to go out and it’s some of the best therapy I’d ever had.”

It's a common theme.

“My husband played the banjo for 60 some years,” Fain said. “He passed away five years ago. I couldn't be around it for the longest time. I finally got back to it.”

Some may come here alone but — for this time — nobody here is lonely.

“It's a lot of fun if you can get out there and do it anymore,” said Chad Tucker’s grandmother, Vina Lee Hege. She's a regular here, dancing her way through a battle with cancer. “I enjoy doing it.”

No matter what ails them, for a few hours each week, everyone is smiling.