Taste of the Town, a recipe for success

By Ryan Cornell

FRONT ROYAL — If the long lines stretching across Main Street were any indication Friday night, Downtown Front Royal’s Taste of the Town was a resounding success.

The event, organized through the Front Royal Independent Business Alliance, featured a selection of local restaurants and eateries offering samples of their dishes.

Hurriedly scooping meatballs onto bread rolls before wrapping them in foil, Eric Digges worked to shorten the line growing in front of his tent.

But for each sandwich he churned out, three more people seemed to join the line.

“In the last five minutes, I’ve made 20 sandwiches,” said Digges, co-owner of Crazy Carl’s Subs.

His stand was also giving out samples of country ham and potato soup, iced pumpkin cookies and sweet tea.

A short walk up Main Street, an equally massive crowd was developing in front of the booth for Joe’s Steakhouse.

Terrence Lyon, executive chef at the restaurant, was frying up crabcakes for people to try.

By the time a half-hour had elapsed from the start of the event, he said he had served well over 100 crabcakes.

“This is a really good turnout,” he said. “We were thinking maybe we were going to have a turnout of around 400 [for the event]. It’s obviously a lot larger than that.”

Not only has it helped create more exposure for his business, he said, but also it’s brought them closer to the local community.

The cost to participate in the Taste of the Town event was $10, which included several tickets to use toward samples. A portion of the proceeds went to benefit the Warren County C-CAP.

In addition to collecting donations, C-CAP President George Rutter said he was spreading the word that the nonprofit was more than a food pantry and also helped people in need with financial assistance.

The Taste of the Town included covers of classic rock hits by Vinyl Tracks and a car show judged by Mayor Tim Darr, Town Manager Steve Burke and Councilman Shae Parker.

Front Royal resident Stephanie Boskovich took a break at a nearby table before biting into a maple bacon doughnut.

She said the town should consider bringing the event back next year.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been on Main Street on a Friday night,” she said. “It’s nice, it’s something different. I think we need more things like this, to be honest.”

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com