Raleigh restaurant feeds firefighters, wins award

Posted October 4, 2008 5:00 p.m. EDT
Updated October 4, 2008 7:00 p.m. EDT

— Local restaurant Barry’s Café was nationally honored recently for its community service efforts.

Over the past 14 years, the small restaurant, at 2851 Jones Franklin Road, has served more than 40,000 meals on-site to firefighters working during emergency situations.

“They’re just great people – really, good people,” Café owner Barry Doyle said.

The restaurant, which features memorabilia from fire departments across the country, received the outstanding community service award from the National Restaurant Association. The restaurant also won $5,000 that will go to the Feed the Firefighters Foundation, a nonprofit group Doyle started. The charity also receives funding from the United Way and Wake County.

Doyle got the idea to start the foundation after helping firefighters during an ice storm in Raleigh in 1994. He said he got a call from hungry fire crews working a bad tractor-trailer accident. Doyle delivered a gallon of coffee and a dozen sausage biscuits to them.

“I got the food right here, so it’s just not that big a deal for me to go help them,” Doyle said.

Doyle takes his mobile unit to supply food for emergency responders at no charge about 30 to 50 times a year.

“We go to almost any large event that you hear about,” Doyle said.

The restaurant also supplied food to firefighters working at the Environmental Quality Industrial Services plant explosion in Apex.

“He doesn’t get anything out of it, except for our thanks. And we certainly appreciate what he does for us,” Cary Fire Battalion Chief Jack Frazier said.