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Triangle/Durham: Fowler's has closed!


ediblerock
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After a three-week remodel, Fowler's Food and Wine was supposed to reopen today, but the following message appears on their homepage:

After 82 years of operation Fowler's Food and Wine is closing its doors. We would like to thank our staff, loyal customers and long time friends for supporting us over the years. Sunday November 5th was sadly our last day of operation, our goal over the years has been to serve our customers and community quality products and quality service.

Apparently, the owners are looking for a buyer:

N&O: Durham market is for sale

The last few paragraphs of the story seem to indicate not as many people cared as much about Fowler's as they used to. But where else can we get prime dry-aged beef and freshly made stock in the Triangle? To my New York friends, that was a sign that we had a little bit of sophistication. :rolleyes:

What do you all think? Did the new, larger Southern Season and new Whole Foods stores kill off Fowler's for good? Or is there still room for a small local grocery that sells the best-quality products?

Cheers,

Scott

Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit. -Oscar Wilde
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When I was in college and grad school in the 80s, Fowler's was THE place to go for food. They had the best butchers, the best cheese, the best wine and the best kitchen store. Heck, Bill Neal himself had the cover picture of his Southern Cooking cookbook taken inside Fowlers.

Over the years, however, Fowler's did not evolve in the manner it needed to, and the competition killed it. When it moved out of its old location, it was never quite the same. Moreover, the Brightleaf Square area, once a fun shopping destination, also suffered from the competition of the mega-malls. Consequently, there just wasn't enough reason to go to Fowler's when one could find much of what they offered at other places.

It is indeed a sad day to see this venerable institution die. I'll always have fond memories of Fowler's.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I am sad that I'll no longer be able to get dry aged beef. Sure, I only splurged for it maybe twice a year, but still...

We were there probably once or twice a month. We may have even been there on the last day. I tried to stop by before turkey day to get some sundries. Sad to hear they are gone. I wish there had been some 'going out of business' sale or something. How can we grieve without a wake?

For those that follow the 'get a new puppy' breed of coping with loss, check out Compare Foods just north-east of where Roxboro and 85 intersect (by the Big Lots, if that's a reference for you). It is a completely different animal, that's for sure. But it is all Durham. Crazy hodge-podge of foods - selection like a Teeter and the price and layout of a Food Lion. All kinds of Latino food items, and also great selection of Asian foods and unusual cuts of meat (I needed Chinese black vinegar and a skin on pork shoulder - No problem). And they even had King Aurthur bread flour, which our local Teeter and Kroger can't consistently stock. It is not quite the adventure that the Asian market in Cary by Crossroads is, but it is damn close. And close to my house.

Take my advice and save your arm - Get a cart even if you are planning on getting only a few things.

If anyone is reading from Fowlers - I'll take whatever beef you started aging 2 weeks before your last day off your hands... :)

~Nibbs

Edited by nibbs (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...
Nooo!  Now I can't get Nueske bacon.

Actually, the new Fresh Market carries it. They carry (their labels) Market Style Bacon and Applewood Smoked Bacon. The label the meat dept prints out for the Applewood Smoked Bacon says "Neuskes Bacon".

Also, it must be Neuske's, because it is $7.49/lb, while the market style is $4.99/lb!

Fresh Market is now at the corner of Cary Parkway and Waldo Rood Blvd. It is huge now, the size of a Taj MaTeeter.

Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit. -Oscar Wilde
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Nooo!  Now I can't get Nueske bacon.

Actually, the new Fresh Market carries it. They carry (their labels) Market Style Bacon and Applewood Smoked Bacon. The label the meat dept prints out for the Applewood Smoked Bacon says "Neuskes Bacon".

Also, it must be Neuske's, because it is $7.49/lb, while the market style is $4.99/lb!

Fresh Market is now at the corner of Cary Parkway and Waldo Rood Blvd. It is huge now, the size of a Taj MaTeeter.

I've been buying Nueske's Applewood Smoked Bacon for a couple of years at the good ol Fresh Market in Cameron Village.

CBHall

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Nooo!  Now I can't get Nueske bacon.

Actually, the new Fresh Market carries it. They carry (their labels) Market Style Bacon and Applewood Smoked Bacon. The label the meat dept prints out for the Applewood Smoked Bacon says "Neuskes Bacon".

Also, it must be Neuske's, because it is $7.49/lb, while the market style is $4.99/lb!

Fresh Market is now at the corner of Cary Parkway and Waldo Rood Blvd. It is huge now, the size of a Taj MaTeeter.

I've been buying Nueske's Applewood Smoked Bacon for a couple of years at the good ol Fresh Market in Cameron Village.

There's also Benton's if you're really up for a full smoked bacon. It's not local, but it comes from East Tenn where I hail from. BryanZ I have a pound for you when you get back to town.

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  • 3 weeks later...
After a three-week remodel, Fowler's Food and Wine was supposed to reopen today, but the following message appears on their homepage:

After 82 years of operation Fowler's Food and Wine is closing its doors.  We would like to thank our staff, loyal customers and long time friends for supporting us over the years.  Sunday November 5th was sadly our last day of operation, our goal over the years has been to serve our customers and community quality products and quality service.

Apparently, the owners are looking for a buyer:

N&O: Durham market is for sale

The last few paragraphs of the story seem to indicate not as many people cared as much about Fowler's as they used to.  But where else can we get prime dry-aged beef and freshly made stock in the Triangle?  To my New York friends, that was a sign that we had a little bit of sophistication.  :rolleyes:

What do you all think?  Did the new, larger Southern Season and new Whole Foods stores kill off Fowler's for good?  Or is there still room for a small local grocery that sells the best-quality products?

Cheers,

Scott

The store has had two poor ownerships since Bob Fowler sold it in '98. Neither of them understood the soul of what Fowler's was about. To me, Bob's store was always strictly about the food (and wine) without any pretense, actually the opposite. Bob was notorious for knowing and loving food as much as any of the biggest foodies, but just as much for breaking down the pomposity of his customers with a dirty joke, a blunt opinion, and a "I don't care what you think of me" attitude. Many people just thought he was some dirty bagger, possibly homeless. It was a great contrast to A Southern Season's prettiness and stodginess and the selection was always more authentic.

The two new ownerships never lived up to that attitude that "it's really just about the food." That's why they failed.

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