Enjoying A Beautiful Friday Night In Wendell, NC

Wendell NC mural that says "Small Town Big Charm Wendell Est. 1903" with train and Wendell train station
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Happy weekend everyone!  Is it just me, or is this month BUSY?  But for us, it has been a good kind of busy- end-of-school-year activities, celebrating Mother’s Day tomorrow, preschooler sports, having a cousin sleepover for the first time at our house, connecting more with neighbors and my community, and planning my son’s second birthday party. 

But amid all that whirlwind, my husband and I got to have a regular adult’s night out in Wendell, NC for a few hours on Friday night courtesy of his very kind parents (aka Mimi and Papa). Want to know why we chose Wendell instead of downtown Raleigh? Let’s dive in!

So Many Options in Eastern Wake County!

When I found out that my in-laws would be willing to watch the kids, my mind started to race with excitement.  I knew I wanted dinner and a drink, and to go someplace outside where we could enjoy the beautiful weather that evening (it was mid-70s, breezy, and not humid– a rarity in the South).   Should we keep exploring Knightdale?  Branch out to Zebulon?  Make our way up to Rolesville? Take a trip out to downtown Clayton? After thinking it through, we settled on a quick, 8-minute car ride over to Wendell, NC.

Why Have A Date Night In Wendell, NC?

The number one reason for us choosing Wendell was simply its close proximity to Knightdale.  I knew our time out alone was limited and I didn’t want to waste it with a 20+ minute drive there and back someplace further away.  I had also gone to downtown Wendell earlier that morning to try out an awesome locally-owned coffee shop called 41 North and was just struck by Wendell’s sweet, small-town charm that I knew I just had to come back with my husband. 

Since it’s not a far drive, it’s really not that big of a deal to come back multiple times a day.  In fact, lots of people who live in Wendell NC come to Knightdale for their big-box store shopping like Target, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. since we are so close by.  It genuinely feels like Knightdale and Wendell are two distinct small towns, but are also very close neighbors who pop their kids over the fence to play for a few hours before going back home.

This was not the first time I had ventured into Wendell.  Actually, we had seriously considered buying in a beautiful, resort-like neighborhood called Wendell Falls, and I had enjoyed walking through the downtown district before- but always with my kids in tow and therefore very distracted.  This was the first time I could just go there and pay attention to all of the details of the area more closely.  

Structure at Wendell Falls

By the way and fun fact- Knightdale and Wendell have been taking their development planning very seriously.  Eventually, there are plans to build a greenway that runs from Knightdale Station Park to Wendell Falls, which will connect not only two main areas of employment, entertainment, dining, and retail but also provide bicycle and pedestrian access to the future Lake Myra County Park.  

Downtown Wendell’s Historic Charm vs. New, Modern Beauty

Wendell is such a neat town not only due to its small-yet-charming downtown historic district but also its modern, beautiful, newer community, Wendell Falls, which will be a serious destination spot in eastern Wake County once all commercial development is complete.  Within the community, they have a stunning welcome center and clubhouse that also houses a publicly available restaurant called the Farmhouse Cafe.  I had heard great things about this place so I was ready to give it a try!

The Farmhouse Cafe: A Farm-to-Table Concept and Community Dining Experience in Wendell Falls

Outside of the Farmhouse Cafe, "Welcome to the Farmhouse"

Pulling into a neighborhood’s clubhouse parking feels a bit weird for going out to dinner.  But you quickly realize this isn’t any old clubhouse.  As we were walking up to the restaurant, right outside the Wendell Falls pool and playground area were two food trucks: The Naked Empanada and Groovy Kinda Grub.  Both had lines and it was nice to know other dining options were available in case we weren’t feeling the menu at the cafe.

We walked past rows of river birches and found our way inside the cafe. The first thing that hits you is that the kitchen space is small, but the place was busy!  A line formed in the back.  While dining seating inside is a bit limited, there is also a sprawling covered patio area with seating and plenty of lawn space to lay out picnic-style.  The Wendell Falls clubhouse had live music that night so people had been driving, biking, walking, and golf carting their way up. 

It really was such a family-friendly, dog-friendly, and multigenerational space.  People and leashed pups of all ages were sitting outside enjoying the night and the kids had plenty of space to run, toddle, and play around the lawn.  Another family-friendly plus- restrooms were clean, spacious, gender neutral, and had changing tables. 

Outside seating area of the Farmhouse Cafe

We got up to the front and ordered at the counter.  The menu had a variety of sandwiches with dinner specials that change frequently.  I was also impressed with the number of vegetarian options available. 

The staff was friendly (albeit obviously busy).  I ordered the Shrimp Gyro and half-and-half sweet tea and my husband chose the Italian Chicken Sammie with a side of chips.  While we waited, I checked out the gorgeous bouquets of flowers available from a local flower provider, Kree’s Flowers, available to purchase for Mother’s Day (or any day that you want to be surrounded by beauty, really).

How Was the Food At The Farmhouse Cafe?

Awesome.  Our dinner came out quickly and we were hungry!  The food was served in compostable cardboard containers and with compostable cutlery.  My food was seasoned just the way I wanted and had some amazing flavors of fresh dill, cucumber, feta, shrimp, and some of the sweetest blueberries I have ever had.  I was very surprised by the size of the portions for the price- I think I counted 8 large, tender shrimp and my husband’s sandwich had a big, juicy well-seasoned chicken breast in the middle of his ciabatta bread with thick slices of fresh mozzarella.  

We chatted, enjoyed our healthy and incredibly delicious food, and listened to some live music.  Our bill total including tax was $28.69 (before tip).  We left feeling full and satisfied, but also like I made a decently healthy choice.  Win-win!

Shrimp Gyro
Italian Chicken Sammie

Interested in trying them out?  Take a look at this Mother’s Day menu or check them out at the Farmhouse Cafe on FB for more up-to-date menu information!

On To Downtown Wendell!

Our next stop was downtown Wendell, which is about 7 minutes away from the cafe.  As a side note- these trip times include “traffic” which is hardly anything at all.  This is all travel on local roads.  

While not very large, there is something so quaint about Wendell’s downtown district.  Historical buildings surround the area and if you have some time to wander around, you can travel around the mural art trail and check out some really cool murals, like “Oliver, the World’s Largest Tobacco Hornworm” painted by Michael Brown located on 15 W. Fourth Street.  

Let’s Go Boutique Shopping in Downtown!

Before we decided to grab a drink I wanted to dash into a new store that I had been hearing wonderful things about. The Grey Tree Boutique recently opened in downtown Wendell and when I stepped inside I felt like their clothes and style were the epitome of what I wanted to look like (even if I do get 50% of my wardrobe from Costco and Sam’s Club nowadays, I still dream of being stylish again one day)! 

Pretty colors and patterns, soft fabrics, and fun accessories adorn the store.  They also were selling some really beautiful watercolor prints, cards, and vinyl stickers by a local artist, Amy Richards.  The employee there that evening was super friendly and helpful as well.  I basically told my husband that if he wanted to get me anything in the future, consider a gift card to that place.  

More Downtown Mural Art and Beauty

We didn’t go in, but I had to walk by the Simply Blush Bridal store.  This is the kind of place I dream of taking my daughter to one day if/when she is ready to get married.  Their storefront is beautiful and they also house another mural, “Simply Blush Murals” by Betsy Peters Rasco.

Time For A Beverage at the Bearded Bee Brewing Company

After making our way out of Grey Tree Boutique, a few more steps around the block brought us to the Bearded Bee Brewing Company.  The ambiance at this place was amazing.  Not only do they serve a variety of in-house brews but also local honey.  This place was extremely pet-friendly, even going as far as to offer pet treats at the front entryway. 

I got a pint of the Wen-Da-Hell hefeweizen for $6.50 including tax (not including tip).  We sat out on their back patio amidst couples, young professionals, more seasoned professionals, retirees, families with kids, and lots of well-behaved leashed dogs. 

Cafe lights were strung above and we got to enjoy the sounds of Hozier and The Lumineers playing over the speakers while we glanced upon another mural, “Pollinators” by Matthew Wiley. 

"Pollinators" mural with Bearded Bee beer in foreground

My beer was cold and delicious (full disclosure- I would never pretend to be a beer connoisseur so the best I’ve got to say is yum and would get it again)! I also noted someone sipping on wine and kids were enjoying bottled craft soda.  According to their website, they also offer mead, cider, and ginger beer.  For those who were hungry, they had a food truck parked outside.  EV parking is also available right outside the brewery.  A chalkboard displayed all of their special events for the month of May- it looked like fun! We ended the night with a quick stroll out of there and walked to our car in about 2 minutes right around the corner.  

Back Home To Knightdale

Knightdale Station Park Amphitheater

On our drive home, we drove down by Knightdale Station Park.  The town’s Parks and Recreation department was hosting a free Concert in the Park series with the Holiday Band.  With our windows down we heard the music floating through the air and saw that the outdoor amphitheater was packed.  As the sun was setting in the sky across the park, I felt a moment of gratitude and appreciation for my beautiful new community and home.  Then we made our way home to our babies. 

Taylor
Author: Taylor

Taylor, the founder of Eastern Wake Love and resident of Knightdale, NC, created the platform to celebrate Eastern Wake County’s community and lifestyle. Driven by the lack of substantial information about the Eastern Wake communities during her move to Knightdale, she wanted to create a resource for this beautiful area's potential and current residents and visitors. In her spare time, she’s chasing after her two young kiddos, getting involved in her community, and laughing with her husband about the chaos of parenthood.

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4 thoughts on “Enjoying A Beautiful Friday Night In Wendell, NC”

    1. Thanks so much! I love exploring Wendell and can’t wait to write more content (and get to meet more amazing, friendly, and kind people). 🙂

  1. This is a WONDERFUL piece!
    Thank you so much for visiting our town Friday night. Wendell has so much to offer with more and more exciting things to come.
    I also want to take a moment and thank you for dropping by the Farmhouse Cafe. I am very glad you enjoyed everything.
    Please come back and see us soon!!

    Sincerely,
    Patrick Cowden
    Chef/Owner
    The Farmhouse Cafe
    320 Vintage Point Lane
    Wendell, NC 27591

    1. Thank you so much, chef! What an honor for you to take the time to check out the site and comment…Thank You! I used to work in restaurants in my younger years and I know how limited and precious your time is so your feedback is cherished! I can’t wait to come back soon!

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