Presiding over the indoor seating area is a plaque that simply reads: Worship in the House of Swine. There’s a 1930s edition of The Fayetteville Observer hanging not too far away. The people chopping up the fresh meat are all part of one local and close-knit family. This is Fowler’s, and it’s a bit like walking into a polished-up pig-pickin’.
It all begins with the family’s patriarch, Wade Fowler, and his food truck the Blind Pig. The Blind Pig, which has been in operation since April of last year, is notorious for providing Southern-style barbeque fare on wheels. Pulled pork sandwiches. Ribs. Smoked chicken. Traditional sides like cole slaw and potato salad.
But all the Fowlers seem to agree that they always envisioned opening their own brick-and-mortar restaurant together one day. And Feb. 28 was that day.
The other partners of the business include Wade’s sons David and Will, David’s wife Polly and their friend Jeff Warfield.
According to David, since the new restaurant’s opening, there has been a steady stream of patronage. Currently, Fowler’s is only open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch, but they hope to expand with a dinner menu in the near future.
“It’s a menu that has a lot of flexibility. We can do what we want with it,” said David Fowler. “But I think we also do the best traditional barbeque that you’ll get in Fayetteville.” David has an extensive background in the wine industry as a sommelier. He and his wife Polly came back to the town he grew up in to help his father open their dream business.
“The common thing for everything we do is we always want to cook something that we would want to eat. I want to serve the best product I can at the most reasonable price,” said David. “I also want to bring a different wine list to the restaurant scene here than what the rest of Fayetteville uses.”
The Fowlers pride themselves on the fact that all their food is local and fresh. The meat is straight from Heritage Farms in Goldsboro, North Carolina.
Menu items include the standard barbeque dishes that the Fowlers still serve from their food truck. But they also offer some fusion cuisine such as the Angry Hawaiian dish – grilled pineapple with your choice of meat, housemade teriyaki sauce and pickled jalapenos – or the Q-ritto – a choice of meat burrito with house avocado cream and spicy slaw.
Polly said this has everything to do with showing the public that they like to experiment with their food as well.
But it’s the close ties to the city of Fayetteville that set this restaurant, this family, apart from the rest.
Wade Fowler and his children grew up in Fayetteville. Wade was in the first graduating class of Terry Sanford High School. He was an elected city councilman for years.
Not only do the Fowlers cater throughout the area, but they give back to Fayetteville as well. On the day of their interview, they were busy preparing for an event at the Coliseum that benefits the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County.
“We’re proud of being from Fayetteville. This is definitely home for us,” said David. “As far as restaurants in Fayetteville, we’re one of the only ones that do everything from scratch. That’s really what our style of cooking is: home-style, from scratch. No freezer. No microwave. No nothing. So you’re going to find something on (the menu) that you like, and that’s our goal.”
Fowler’s is located on 723 W. Rowan St. For additional information, contact the restaurant at 910-491-5721.