My Way Tavern in downtown Holly Springs has quickly become a popular outpost for locals seeking quality provisions in a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere. The secret to the restaurant’s success? “Our food definitely sets us apart,” said owner and operator Andrew Stafford. “Virtually everything is made from scratch, and we are committed to providing first-rate food at a reasonable price.”
One glance at the tavern’s menu reveals ambitious offerings that extend beyond typical bar fare. Consider, for example, the lime pepper encrusted ahi tuna appetizer with wasabi cucumber dressing or the signature slow-cooked red zinfandel braised beef short ribs. Then there’s the soft Baja tacos filled with fried mahi mahi, pico de gallo, black beans, cheese and chipotle dressing.
Even the burgers at My Way are a cut above what you will find elsewhere. Half-pound Angus varieties include toppings such as andouille sausage, sautéed portabella mushrooms, béarnaise and fried egg. An assortment of cheeses runs the gamut from American and provolone to feta and Muenster.
Looking for a $6 bargain-priced lunch? Delectable options abound, including a mini cheese quesadilla with chips and salsa; a tilapia wrap with chipotle dressing and chips; and a buffalo chicken wrap with potato chips. Perhaps consider a gourmet soup or salad instead (you can’t go wrong with the sweet marinated chicken-infused Hawaiian or La Taberna Steak Salad with Cajun seasoned beef medallions).
Bartender Brittany Lewis from Holly Springs serves a drink and a smile. The tavern’s centerpiece bar was crafted out of wood sourced from a historic barn.
“We take our food seriously,” said Stafford, 41, who hails from Blacksburg, Va., but has lived in Holly Springs for nearly a decade. “I’ve been in the food business since I was 15.” In high school, he started washing dishes at a restaurant. By the time he was 17, he was an assistant manager. These days, his wife, Nikki, also works alongside him at the tavern. “We’re an authentic mom and pop operation,” he said with a smile.
Another distinctive feature at My Way is a sizable horseshoe-shaped bar, which was fashioned out of timber sourced from a 153-year-old barn. “The wood is beautiful tulip poplar that was cut into large planks,” explained master craftsman Paul Morgan, who owns Morgan Design and Construction in Fuquay-Varina and built the restaurant’s centerpiece. “The wood has a lot of history, and I like to say this is the oldest new bar in town.”
Fittingly, the full-service bar is well-stocked with more than 90 liquors, and 17 beer selections are available on draft. “We feature 14 North Carolina-brewed beers,” Stafford revealed. Among those are Carolina Brewery, Aviator, Highlands, Red Oak and LoneRider, to name a few. Popular daily drink specials like $2 off domestic bottles on Tuesday and $1 off any glass of wine on Thursday resonate well with patrons.
Speaking of suds, an extraordinary collection of more than 1,600 beer cans lines shelves found all around the restaurant. “There’s not a duplicate in the bunch,” said Stafford. “There are some cans that are 60 years old.”
But it’s not just the food and beverages that draw customers time and again. The eatery’s comfortable environment and friendly, efficient waitstaff make My Way Tavern the ideal neighborhood gathering place.
The dining area contains a mixture of high tables and booths, while the aforementioned bar offers plenty of room to enjoy socializing or watching sporting events on any of the 13 satellite-fed flat-screen televisions. An added bonus: free Wi-Fi Internet access.
“Whenever we decided to open a restaurant, we wanted it to be in the center of town so it would be easily accessible and an enjoyable place to come,” said Stafford. “Now we have regulars, including families, who come in several times a week. We even have a bike club that comes every Sunday and hangs out.”
When weather permits, a convenient outdoor patio provides seating for approximately 50 people. My Way Tavern also features trivia on Tuesdays and live music on Wednesday evenings, both starting at 8 p.m. If you’re in the mood for more leisure, consider a game of tabletop shuffleboard or darts, both conveniently located in the back corner.
Located off Main Street near Town Hall, My Way Tavern is open daily for lunch and dinner. Late nighters are welcome, as the doors stay open until 2 a.m.
My Way Tavern
301 West Center St., Holly Springs