My South: Comedian Fortune Feimster on Belmont, North Carolina

The comedian, writer, and actor shares her favorite spots to frequent in Belmont—and why she loves to return to her hometown.


Fortune Feimster

Illustration by Colleen O'Hara

As told to Mara Reinstein

Growing up in Belmont, I couldn’t wait to get out. It was small. We were a dry county, so we couldn’t even get a chain restaurant to open there. My friends and I hung out in a church parking lot and jogged up and down the street for fun. But after the liquor law passed, around 20 years ago, the town totally changed. Now it’s such a gem! I still go back about three times a year with my wife to see my family, and we have a great time going to all these cool spots. My new favorite is Heirloom, which features a lot of farm-to-table options. Their awesome bartender makes good cocktails for us city girls. I also like Cherubs Cafe on Main Street downtown. People with Down Syndrome who live at a place called Holy Angels work there, and I love that folks with different backgrounds have that opportunity. Our downtown is actually really cute. It’s full of tree-lined streets decorated with lights during the holidays, and there are free concerts in the summer. Kids wait to see the train that runs through. And there’s a park by the river where people can rent kayaks. Station is a bicycle shop that serves food and drinks at night. It’s a very popular hang! And you know, Belmont is just one of those towns where you’ve never met a stranger because everyone is so friendly. Whenever I come back, people always come up to me and say hi. It’s not just because I’ve been on television—I’ve grown up with most of them, and my family has lived there forever. I talked about it briefly in my Netflix special, how even before I had gotten any traction in my career, the people in my hometown were so supportive of me and always rooting me on. They would have me perform in the back of one of the bars downtown, and people would come and pay $5. Everyone is proud that I took this risk to move 3,000 miles away and achieved success. That warm and fuzzy lifestyle is just so different from what I have in Los Angeles.


Fortune Feimster’s comedy special, Good Fortune, is now streaming on Netflix. She’s also currently performing new stand-up material on tour.

This article appears in the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of Southbound.