***Just in time for your holiday shopping consideration, I start a new series focusing on independent retail & dining establishments found in pedestrian-friendly areas of the Triangle. Bring along friends & family and spend a fun day exploring our cities on foot while supporting local small businesses.***
Once upon a time, I lived in an unincorporated area near the Johnston/Wake county line and was a frequent visitor of Fuquay-Varina, the nearest “big city” for shopping, dining and entertainment. Sure it’s a small town, but it’s big enough to have two downtown districts where visitor’s will find a local brewery’s tap house, casual dining options, sweet treats and a variety of charming, independent shops.
One of the two historic downtown districts is Varina which lies along Broad Street and where retail shop offerings include Carolina Bead Company, ToyTown Hobby Shop (a favorite shop for remote-control action toy and train enthusiasts), Fuquay Sports Shop, and the Varina Soap & Country Store, among others.
Aviator Brewing‘s Smokehouse Restaurant and Tap House (directly across Broad Street from one another) offer casual dining and cold brews, reason enough to visit Fuquay-Varina and linger for a while. Those with a sweet tooth will find baked delights at CupCakeBite and cool treats at the new yogurt bar, Sweet Creations.
The second downtown district falls along Main Street on the Fuquay side of town. Visitors shopping for clothing will find fashionable selections at Cousin Couture within the “mini mall” Shoppes on Main, along with several additional specialty shops.
Shopping for men’s apparel and shoes? Then you must stop in Ashworth’s, a multi-generational family business established in 1957. Many recognizable brand names line the racks at Ashworth’s, including Peter Millar, a brand founded by a Fuquay-Varina native and former Ashworth’s employee.
When in the mood for browsing for something old, nothing beats Bostic & Wilson Antiques. The animated Christmas window display is as entertaining as perusing the inventory for old cookie presses and vintage toys.
Additional shops along South Main Street include the nostalgic Elliott’s Pharmacy with its full service soda fountain, the family owned artisan bakery, Stick Boy Bread (where you can purchase a cup of Larry’s Beans coffee to start your morning), and the newly opened pet shop, Mutt & Tabby.
Interested in learning more about downtown Fuquay-Varina? You’ll find a complete downtown business directory, as well as a calendar of events at the Fuquay-Varina Downtown Revitalization Association website here. One of the upcoming events includes a downtown sleigh ride during the town Christmas tree lighting this Thursday (Dec. 6th). No matter when you visit, you’ll find you’re welcome in Fuquay-Varina any time of year.
Do you use the Foursquare app on your smart phone? I’ve put together a list of my favorite spots in Fuquay-Varina (including all of the above and more) and you can find the list here. Feel free to save the list (and share with friends) for reference next time you visit Fuquay-Varina.