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County Fare, the former Durham food truck rodeo site, is for sale. And it’s not cheap.

‘I guess I’ve been gentrified,’ says Durham renter

Rosemary and John Abram live on a fixed income. Their apartment building on Morehead Ave. in Durham, NC was sold to a company in Texas in 2017. On April 1, 2018 they were given 30 days to vacate or apply for a renovated, more expensive unit.
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Rosemary and John Abram live on a fixed income. Their apartment building on Morehead Ave. in Durham, NC was sold to a company in Texas in 2017. On April 1, 2018 they were given 30 days to vacate or apply for a renovated, more expensive unit.

How much does a former food-truck-rodeo space cost in Durham’s Lakewood neighborhood? Nearly $2 million it turns out.

The former owners of the food truck hub County Fare — which closed after less than a year in business — have listed the property and building there for $1.95 million, according to Durham real estate firm Maverick Partners.

CountyFare1
County Fare opened last April in Durham as a bar and hub for the Triangle’s food trucks. Currently, it is closed while its owners look for a buyer. Drew Jackson jdjackson@newsobserver.com

In its brief run as a business, County Fare proved to be popular, especially among young families, who came to eat at a rotating cast of food trucks and drink from a barn-shaped bar with 30 taps. But last winter, the business closed unexpectedly.

County Fare was owned by four partners — Steve Frasher, twins Richard and Peter Savarino, and Gil Scharf.

In an email to The News & Observer earlier this year, Frasher said County Fare’s management and operations staff had quit at the end of the year and that the owners, having limited experience in the restaurant industry, closed while weighing the next move.

“Our location and venue are prime and the Lakewood neighborhood, and its developing Lakewood commercial community, is an amazing and exciting place to be in Durham,” Frasher said at the time. “We had an extremely successful opening year and whatever course is taken we are confident that the venue will be active again relatively soon.”

But the venue was not opened again and instead was put up for sale.

Located adjacent to the Lakewood Shopping Center, County Fare was part of a wave of new businesses that had invested in the Lakewood area in the past two years. While some of those businesses have succeeded, others have not.

Local coffee roaster Cocoa Cinnamon’s third coffee shop is across the street from County Fare and is still in business, while a restaurant and bakery venture, called the Lakewood, by chef Phoebe Lawless was shuttered.

The Lakewood Shopping Center itself is poised for significant redevelopment in the coming months after BrodyCo, a Greenville company, bought a large swath of the shopping center last year for $5.2 million in a foreclosure sale. In February, the owner of BrodyCo, HJ Brody, said the County Fare property wasn’t on his “radar screen.”

If the County Fare owners are able to fetch their asking price, it would represent a significant increase on the land’s last transaction. Using a limited liability company called County Fare LLC, Frasher bought the property for $180,000 in 2016 before building the food-truck barn, according to county records.

The property now has a total assessed value of about $842,000, according to county records.

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Zachery Eanes is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He covers technology, startups and main street businesses, biotechnology, and education issues related to those areas.
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