Correction: Due to a typographical error, the price of a second Savor Fuquay-Varina was misstated in an earlier version of the article. It costs $25.
You don’t have to go back too far to remember a time when a restaurant week, like one you might find in New York, or even in Durham and Raleigh, would have been close to impossible in Fuquay-Varina.
But as the town’s Chamber of Commerce readies for a four-night smorgasbord of deals and special menus for the first time, it’s clear something has changed since then.
“The caliber of restaurants that are beginning to come to Fuquay has increased dramatically in the last five years,” said Lynanne Fowle, the Chamber’s director of member services. “What we’re finding is that the general population of Fuquay is changing in terms of the kinds of folks who are moving here, and they expect a higher caliber establishment.”
From Monday, Nov. 7, to Thursday, Nov. 10, a roster of 13 restaurants in Fuquay-Varina will celebrate the variety and quality the area’s eateries have to offer.
The Fuquay-Varina Restaurant Week will bring exposure to local establishments, Fowle said, particularly those without enough staff or resources to compete in Saturday’s culinary competition, Savor Fuquay-Varina, which is now in its fourth year.
Savor Fuquay-Varina will feature restaurants, caterers and chefs from Fuquay-Varina and the nearby towns of Holly Springs and Angier.
Savor traditionally is held in the spring but was moved to the fall this year so it wouldn’t compete with the WRAL Freedom Balloon Festival, which Fuquay-Varina hosted Memorial Day weekend. Restaurant Week, Fowle said, was also partly devised to drum up publicity for an event people might have forgotten had been moved.
In the past few years, Fuquay-Varina’s downtown district has welcomed a variety of new restaurants, including the recently opened Rock Harbor Grill, a seafood restaurant that relocated from its first location in Apex late this summer.
It has also been the site of expansion for other popular Triangle eateries, following the region’s southward expansion, that are looking for a second or third location. Think Anna’s Pizzeria, which first opened in Apex, or the Mason Jar Tavern, a Holly Springs restaurant that opened its second location this year on Fuquay-Varina’s South Main Street.
David Vance, the owner of Rock Harbor Grill, echoed Fowle’s assessment of Fuquay-Varina’s culinary upward mobility.
“I’ve lived (in Fuquay-Varina) for 12 years and always went out of town for dinner,” Vance said. “But a lot of people are moving here, and I feel like I’m on the ground level of something great. People are looking for something a little nicer.”
Gargan: 919-460-2604; @hgargan
Where to eat
Thirteen restaurants are signed up to participate in Restaurant Week, which could mean a variety of things, depending on where you go. Deals are almost guaranteed, though, so if there’s an enticing but typically budget-busting restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, now is the time. Go to fuquay-varina.com for details.
▪ Aviator Smokehouse, 525 E. Broad St.
▪ Bagels Plus, 100 Dickens Road
▪ Camos Brothers Pizza, 2916 N. Main St.
▪ Cupcake Bite, 512 Broad St.
▪ Drive Bru, 1013 E. Broad St. (Walmart Shopping Center)
▪ Eggs Up Grill, 1436 N. Main St.
▪ Garibaldi Trattoria, 900 N. Main St.
▪ Hook & Cleaver Market on Broad, 409 E. Broad St.
▪ J&S New York Pizza, 500 E. Broad St.
▪ Kumo Sushi, 2916 N. Main St.
▪ Los Tres Magueyes, 401 Wake Chapel Road
▪ Rock Harbor Grill, 132 S. Fuquay Ave.
▪ Triple Barrel Tavern (formerly Tyler’s Tavern), 2221 N. Grasslands Drive
The event is Saturday, Nov. 12, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Bob Barker Headquarters, 134 N. Main St. Attendees can taste dishes from local chefs, caterers and restaurants.
Tickets are $50, which buys an entry into the Chamber’s reverse raffle, food samples all afternoon and one free drink. A second ticket bought with the first costs just $25 but won’t include a second raffle entry. Tickets can be bought at fuquay-varina.com, at SUR Furniture, David Anthony’s, Shoppes on Main and Cellar 55.