Dot's Grill and Rooming House

Years Listed
Piedmont South


Dot’s Grill was listed in the Green Book in 1961 as “Dot’s Grill & Rooming House—470 York Street, Comfortable Rooms and Good Meals” in Gastonia.1

470 N. York Street was the location of the Elks Club until the early 1950s, when Ozella Sherrill opened a cafe there called Dot’s Grill. John Groves took over the restaurant by 1953 and owned it with his wife, Eloise G. Groves, when it appeared in the Green Book in 1961.2

John Groves lived in Greenville, South Carolina as a young man and married Newberry, South Carolina native Elouise Counts. The couple moved to Gastonia in the early 1940s but didn’t settle there permanently until the late 1940s; John found work at the Princess Cafe on South Street and, later, as a cook at the Elks Club.3

John and Elouise continued to operate the grill until at least 1963. Two locations were open (Dot’s Grill 1 and Dot’s Grill 2) by 1969. The building is no longer standing.4

Essay by Brandie K. Ragghianti, 2022


1. Alma D. Green, 1961 Green Book, 68.

2.  Hill’s 1947 Gastonia, NC City Directory, 518 (street directory); Hill’s 1949 Gastonia, NC City Directory, 116 (street directory); 1950 United States Federal Census, Gastonia, Gaston County, North Carolina, digital image s.v. “Osella T. Sherrill,” corrected alternative “Ozella T. Sherrill,” accessed from; Hill’s 1951 Gastonia, NC City Directory, 262 (alphabetical listing); Hill’s 1953 Gastonia, NC City Directory, 185 (alphabetical listing); Hill’s 1961 Gastonia, NC City Directory, 161 (alphabetical listing). 

3. 1940 United States Federal Census, Greenville, South Carolina, digital image s.v. “Johnny Grove,” accessed from; John [none] Groves, September 15, 1900, Gaston County, North Carolina, U.S. World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, accessed from; Hill’s 1945 Greenville, SC City Directory, 232 (alphabetical listing).

4. Hill’s 1963 Gastonia, NC City Directory, 194 (street listing), 124 (alphabetical listing); “The following are sanitary ratings . . .” (legal notice), The Gastonia Gazette, February 11, 1969, digital p. 9, accessed from

Did you know?

  • This entry was printed on two lines of text in bold, bigger font as: “Dot’s Grill & Rooming House---470 N. York Street, Comfortable Rooms and Good Meals.”