Cathy Jett is the assistant business editor at The Free Lance-Star, and specializes in covering the area's retail scene.
Wish List winner is perennial favorite
What is the No. 1 retailer or restaurant that readers would like to see open in the Fredericksburg area in 2012?
No surprise. It’s perennial winner Trader Joe’s.
The grocery chain known for its Three Buck Chuck wines and gourmet store brands has topped The Free Lance-Star’s annual Wish List since the paper started it in 2003.
Coming in a distant second was Cheesecake Factory, which received 226 votes to TJ’s 276.
Whole Foods clocked in third place with 191 votes. Barnes & Noble, with 158 votes, and an Apple store, with 155, rounded out the top five.
Many, many thanks to the nearly 100 readers who suggested about 120 businesses, and the 1,666 of you who voted in the first-ever Wish List poll to rank the top 10.
There will be a story about the Wish List in the business section of today’s paper, and I’ve listed all the suggestions people made below. Please note that while many nominated Great American Restaurants, that’s actually a corporation with a number of chains. They include Best Buns, Coastal Flats and Sweetwater Tavern, all of which have been nominated in years past.
In addition, some readers asked for such types of business as a diaper service, clubs and more farmers markets. One wished for more local businesses that are hiring workers.
Here’s the entire list of nominees:
|Abott’s Frozen Custard|
|Anita’s Mexican Restaurant|
|Ashley Stewart Store|
|Babies “R” Us|
|Barnes & Noble|
|Bonefish in North Stafford|
|Brio Tuscan Grille|
|California Pizza Kitchen|
|Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant|
|Carraba’s in North Stafford|
|Chain restaurants on U.S. 17 in Stafford|
|Chesapeake Bagel Bakery|
|Chevy’s Fresh Mex|
|Chick-fil-A in the White Oak section of Stafford|
|Chipotle in White Oak|
|Christmas Tree Shop|
|Cloth diaper business|
|Club for older teens|
|Crate & Barrel|
|Dave & Buster’s|
|Dick’s in North Stafford|
|EarthFare Grocery Store|
|Einstein Bros.’ Bagels|
|Family restaurant with a bar on U.S 17|
|First Watch Restaurant|
|Good bagel place|
|Great American Restaurants|
|H & M|
|Harry & David|
|Hibachi Grill Express|
|In & Out Burger|
|Indian restaurant with a buffet|
|Jack in the Box|
|Janie & Jack|
|Le Pain Quotidien|
|Local businesses hiring workers|
|Maggiano’s Little Italy|
|Max and Erma’s|
|P.F. Chang’s, including one in North Stafford County|
|Pizza Hut on State Route3|
|Potbelly Sandwich Works|
|Red, Hot & Blue|
|Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant|
|Sports Authority in North Stafford|
|Sticky Fingers Smokehouse|
|Tractor Supply Company on State Route 3 East|
|Trader Joe’s, including in North Stafford|
|Unique shops selling European goodies|
|Wegmans in North Stafford|
|White House/Black Market|
|Whole Foods, including one in North Stafford|