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Front Royal eatery offers meals for tips

Owners thankful for support of community

By Sally Voth

Thankful for the support their Front Royal restaurant and wine bar has received, Rachel and Christian Failmezger are offering gratuity-only meals on Thanksgiving Day.

Vino E Formaggio, 124 E. Main St., will be serving local, organic smoked ham, turkey, garlic rosemary mashed potatoes, squash casserole, pork-stewed cranberries, cornbread-walnut stuffing, dinner rolls and pumpkin cheesecake brownies from 1-6 p.m., executive chef Mrs. Failmezger said.

"We've been very blessed this year by our community that's given a lot to us," she said.

Her husband, vice president and manager of Vino E Formaggio, added, "We have had a lot of changes happen. We think it's a good opportunity to do something nice for the people who have been supporting us, and for whoever needs us."

Vino E Formaggio went from being a wine and cheese shop to being a full-time restaurant this year, Mrs. Failmezger said.

"It's been a great success, and our community has really been supportive," she said.

It first opened as a wine and cheese shop in July 2008, according to Mrs. Failmezger. She describes the cuisine as "gourmet comfort food."

The couple has been spreading the word about the Thanksgiving meal on Facebook and to local churches and charitable organizations, Mrs. Failmezger said.

"We've just been telling everybody to tell people who are in need, or need just a place to come to," she said. "This is not necessarily about the under privileged. Maybe they're alone on Thanksgiving, or they just don't have any plans, or they're passing through Front Royal. Anybody's welcome to come.

"We've gotten a lot of feedback. A lot of people are excited about it. A lot of the locals who have come in here have come in to [drop] off things like napkins. People just have been dropping things off that we're in need of, volunteering to do dishes.

"Our intention here is really to offer an upscale gourmet dinner [to] anybody that walks in free of charge in an environment that's dignified and fun and warm. We have open arms for anyone who needs a dinner or just wants to come in and chat. Whatever their need for coming in is, we're here."

All the Failmezgers are asking is that diners leave a tip for the employees volunteering to work the holiday unpaid. And, if all they can leave is 50 cents, then that's what they should leave, Mrs. Failmezger said.

Beer and wine will be available for purchase, she said.

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com


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