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Is Fowler's closing?

Biggun Nov 14, 2006 11:18 PM

So my wife ran into the chef, or one of the chefs, from Fowlers at a bar the other night and was told that it is shutting down. Anyone know if that is true?

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  1. d
    Durm RE: Biggun Nov 15, 2006 06:36 PM

    Well, this article in the Herald-Sun claims they're really just renovating:

    But I find it hard to believe that a gourmet food store would choose to do its renovations over Thanksgiving--wouldn't the owners lose a huge amount of holiday business that way?

    Also, everything I've heard suggests that the employees had no idea the store was "renovating" until they showed up to a locked building, and that some of them were at Pop's asking for new jobs last week. Sounds very fishy to me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Durm
      detlefchef RE: Durm Nov 15, 2006 07:08 PM

      Your account, along with the fact that it's not as if they've been crushing it for several years now does not bode well.

    2. c
      chops RE: Biggun Nov 15, 2006 10:42 PM

      Maybe someone will take that great space and do something with it. I was happy when it reopened, but it has been downhill since. EVERYTHING was overpriced and it seemed like the ownership was proud of it. I feel bad for the workers and I will miss the smoked chicken, but all in all not that big of deal for me.

      1. r
        rockycat RE: Biggun Nov 16, 2006 02:15 PM

        Today's N&O actually had an article about the rumors. The owners claim they really are just remodeling and the job is taking longer than expected. They also claim that all the employees were notified about the renovation.


        1. b
          bbqme RE: Biggun Nov 16, 2006 05:32 PM

          They seem to do quite well for lunch and as a coffee shop. I think they could survive if they streamlined their businesses and stuck with what they did well. Right now it's a restaurant, bakery, cheese, coffee/tea, meat/seafood/smokehouse, wine and gourmet shop all in one. That is too diverse. They need to keep the coffee and restaurant business and get rid of the other stuff. Southern Season they are not.

          3 Replies
          1. re: bbqme
            abowes RE: bbqme Nov 16, 2006 05:56 PM

            I respectfully disagree, as I think their meat, wine and cheese departments are wonderful, and would hate to see them go.


            1. re: abowes
              bbqme RE: abowes Nov 30, 2006 06:35 PM

              Oh I don't disagree but it was obvious that those departments-- at least the meat/seafood and cheese-- were moving enough product.

            2. re: bbqme
              Manj RE: bbqme Dec 7, 2006 04:08 PM

              I agree they are not a Southern Seasons. However, Zingerman's Bakery in Ann Arbor Michigan successfully brings all of these offering to their guests and thrives. In fact, they also do well with mail order. They actually have a training program for their employees and that is often rolled out to other business called, ZU, ZIngerman's University. Somehow, they get away with $10 plus sandwiches. So, I know it is possible. It would take a minimal philosophical transition for Fowlers to get there, but would be a great step and great use of the space.

            3. a
              abowes RE: Biggun Nov 16, 2006 06:02 PM

              They sent out an email to their list announcing that they were "closing for renovations" and would re-open Dec 1. However, my immediate thoughts were - a) who in their right mind closes at this time of year???, b) they've seemed even more flakey than usual lately, and I know LOTS of people not willing to put up with that which I found charmingly quirky, and I really wonder if they'll be able to stay afloat even if they do re-open. They'd reached heights that even I was considering bailing on them before this last brilliant move. (Both of the wine employees left, and Carolina Wine Co. pulled out of managing the wine dept. Plus, I'm in a group that had an event planned there, and Fowler's pulled out at like 1:00 the day of the event!)

              So, regardless of the owners' intentions, I'll be surprised if they successfully re-open as planned.

              My pennies,

              1. s
                steveindurham RE: Biggun Nov 16, 2006 07:44 PM

                I think their croissants are wonderful but most of their sandwiches are overpriced.

                1. d
                  Durm RE: Biggun Nov 22, 2006 01:46 PM

                  An article in today's Herald-Sun confirms what I've seen--that no renovation work has been done since the store closed.


                  It doesn't look good.

                  1. t
                    Tom from Raleigh RE: Biggun Nov 30, 2006 04:13 PM

                    And the other shoe drops...

                    As posted on www.beerinator.com

                    Thank you!
                    We appreciated your business.

                    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 frineds for supporting us over the years. 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 serice.

                    For additional information and inquires please contact fowlers@fowlersfoodandwine.com.


                    Fowler's Food and Wine

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Tom from Raleigh
                      bbqme RE: Tom from Raleigh Nov 30, 2006 06:33 PM

                      Yup, I was on the email list and got that email today. Bummer.

                    2. orzobino RE: Biggun Dec 2, 2006 01:04 PM

                      its sad but I dont think their stuff was as good the last 10 years,,,and its obvious they couldnt compete with the other stores,,also why did they tell stories in the beginning?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: orzobino
                        brentk RE: orzobino Dec 2, 2006 04:00 PM

                        Who knows....perhaps they had a bail out offer that fell through. Lots of things can happen in the business world that lead to unexpected outcomes.

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