What's in store

Cathy Jett is the business editor at The Free Lance-Star, and specializes in covering the area's retail scene. You can email her at

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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
Apple Store
Ashley Stewart Store
Babies “R” Us
Baby Gap
Baker’s Crust
Banana Republic
Barnes & Noble
Bloomingdale’s Outlet
BMW dealership
Bodo’s Bagels
Bonefish in North Stafford
Boston Market
Bozelli’s Deli
Brio Tuscan Grille
Brooks Brothers
California Pizza Kitchen
Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant
Carraba’s in North Stafford
Chain restaurants on U.S. 17 in Stafford
Cheesecake Factory
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
clubs, bars
Container Store
Cook Out
Crate & Barrel
D.P. Dough
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
Forever 21
Franklin Covey
Fry’s Electronics
Good bagel place
Good diner
Great American Restaurants
H & M
Harris Teeter
Harry & David
Hibachi Grill Express
Hungry Howie’s
Ice-skating rink
In & Out Burger
Indian restaurant with a buffet
Jack in the Box
Jamba Juice
Janie & Jack
Jimmy John’s
Le Pain Quotidien
Local businesses hiring workers
MAC Cosmetics
Maggiano’s Little Italy
Max and Erma’s
McAlister’s Deli
No Fear
Orange Julius
P.F. Chang’s, including one in North Stafford County
Pizza Hut on State Route3
Potbelly Sandwich Works
Pottery Barn
Premium Outlets
Rainforest Café
Red, Hot & Blue
Restoration Hardware
Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant
Roy Rogers
Ruth Chris
Seasons 52
Sports Authority in North Stafford
Stein Mart
Sticky Fingers Smokehouse
Tervis Tumbler
Texas Roadhouse
T.J. Maxx
Tony Roma’s
Tractor Supply Company on State Route 3 East
Trader Joe’s, including in North Stafford
Uncle Julio’s
Unique shops selling European goodies
Vegetarian restaurant
Wegmans in North Stafford
West Elm
White Castle
White House/Black Market
Whole Foods, including one in North Stafford
Williams Sonoma
Winking Lizard