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McClatchy-Tribune  05/17/2014 10:13 AM ET
The Fayetteville Observer, N.C., Retail Therapy column [The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. :: ]

May 17--Dining out options are about to increase in north Fayetteville.

The new Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar on Ramsey Street that people keep asking when it's going to open is going to open -- on Tuesday.

If you drive by regularly, you might have noticed the restaurant has started posting banners counting down the days.

This is the fourth Applebee's in Fayetteville. All are owned by Raleigh-based Apple Gold Group. If you have been a regular at other Applebee's in town, you might recognize Tony Roberson, the general manager of the Ramsey Street restaurant. He previously worked at each of the other three Applebee's.

But you may wonder if it is really an Applebee's that you've stepped inside. The Ramsey Street restaurant was built with a new contemporary design. There are more and bigger booths, the spacious bar area is separate (but visible) from the dining area, there are lots of windows to let in light, and an outdoor terrace can seat about 50. The decor is modern, with warm tones.

Loads of pictures, murals and designs featuring local landmarks, people, businesses and history. One, at the door, nods to the location's long-past history as an airfield.

There also is a local connection in the offerings from the bar. Two of the many beers on tap are from Railhouse Brewery in Aberdeen.

The new Applebee's opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

For those wondering about the opening date of Panera Bread, the other restaurant a short drive away that is nearing completion, it is supposed to be June 10.


But wait. There's more on the local restaurant front.

At Westwood Shopping Center, Biscuits & Burgers has opened. It should come as no surprise to learn it specializes in ... biscuits and, well, burgers. Not to mention hot dogs, chicken salad and breakfast. The restaurant is the latest offering from the Keith family, which also owns Biscuit Kitchen on Grove Street.

Meanwhile, a restaurant called Phat Daddy's is opening Monday at 3406 Raeford Road -- the former location of El Tio and Tung Sing.

A staffer said Phat Daddy's will be open only for lunch and only weekdays its first week. It hopes to expand to dinner and weekends after that.

Phat Daddy's is a sports bar and grill, with wings, burgers, chicken strips and fries and, eventually but not yet, alcohol. The restaurant has lots of TVs and pool tables.


On April 6, Wanda Williams headed to the High Point Furniture Market to buy eye-catching furniture and accessories for her home decor store, Stedman House Interiors.

On May 6, she announced she was closing the 12-year-old business, and fast.

The reason? A job opportunity that Williams found too good to resist. Once Stedman House is shuttered, Williams will be heading for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she will be doing home decoration jobs for Beach House Furniture and Interiors.

"I have three condos just waiting for me to get there," she said.

Williams said she has loved running Stedman House but is excited about the new challenge, the break from the headaches of being a business owner and, of course, the beach.

"I do love the beach, and I love to decorate condos. I could do it all day," she said. "It's a new journey. Fayetteville has been absolutely wonderful, but it was an easy decision to make because I'm really ready for a new journey."

The sudden opportunity has yielded deals for customers. Williams slashed prices in half, including on items she had just purchased at the furniture market.

By Wednesday, the store's stock had dwindled to artwork, some mirrors, several lamps and a few chairs. Williams said there likely will be some items left to sell today but it is all likely to be gone by the end of next week.

The store is between Otrebla's Tailoring and Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming on Fort Bragg Road.


Feeling Christmasy?

Not so much, probably. But now is the time of year for artsy- and crafty-type businesses to make plans if they want to sell at the annual Holly Day Fair, which bills itself as the largest gift and crafts show in eastern North Carolina. The Junior League of Fayetteville is accepting vendor applications for this year's fair, set for Nov. 6-9. Interested? Check

Have tips, questions or comments for Retail Therapy? Dish it out by emailing or contacting staff writer Catherine Pritchard at or 486-3517.


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