Whenever we visit our son and his wonderful wife we always like to find cool places to go out for breakfast. And our last trip was no exception. For Sunday Brunch we went to Barry’s Cafe in Cary, NC.
Barry’s Cafe is in a small strip center that is set back from the road so you could easily miss it if you weren’t looking for it. But we were certainly glad we found it! Over 25 years ago Barry Doyle had a vision for his community. He wanted a welcoming family restaurant that would provide all-day breakfast and delicious hamburgers that weren’t overcooked. Barry’s Cafe opened its doors on May 19, 1992 in the Swift Creek Shopping Center in Cary. The founding mission, “to make each person leave happier than when they first arrived”, is still carried out to this day. Barry accomplished the goal of making customers feel like family by learning the names of more than 3500 individuals.
Like so many restaurants, Barry’s Cafe struggled through its first year in business. But in the winter of 1994, Barry received a phone call that changed everything. The local volunteer fire department, Swift Creek, was the first to respond to a major ice storm that caused closures on Interstate 40 and Highway U.S. 1. Knowing that Barry served breakfast, someone called asking for sausage biscuits and coffee for the volunteer rescue workers. Barry quickly assembled a gallon of coffee and 10 sausage biscuits and headed toward the icy interstate. When he arrived on the scene he was surprised to see three firefighter crews, more than 200 people, and numerous, fatal wrecks and vehicle fires. He immediately went back to the cafe and returned with more hot coffee and food for the victims and emergency responders. He never asked for a reimbursement. Instead he warmly responded with “If you need me, just call”…and call they did! As the cafe grew from 50 to 130 seats, so did the calls for emergency response food deliveries. Barry decided to establish a not-for-profit foundation, called Feed the Firefighters which would provide food and beverages to firefighters and emergency personnel. As fate would have it, the international trademark for the foundation was approved and granted on September 11, 2001.
Barry’s Cafe has been awarded numerous awards and honorable mentions for their delicious food and dedicated community service. and is recognized in all 50 states and 27 countries as a restaurant that honors firefighters. This is most visible in the decor that adorns the walls and windows. These awards continue to be justified because the food is wholesome and delicious and the contributions to first responders enumerable.
2851 Jones Franklin Rd
Raleigh, NC 27606