JD’s Tavern is a restaurant and bar located in Apex, NC on the Apex Peakway which I was encouraged to try out by a beguiling co-worker of mine who proclaimed, “It’s neat place to go to and the food is decent there.” Dwelling in Raleigh, NC, I didn’t fancy the travel, but ultimately I conceded to appease her wishes. Later on, I realized the extra incentive of being able to write up a food critique of the establishment and submit it to my publication as our latest review (what you’re reading now). Never having been there before, I wanted to maintain the mystery of it, so I opted not to search online for more information about it.
Arriving on a Sunday afternoon, I found the layout inside to be pretty much what I expected and no different from what one might find at any other bar/restaurant. I did notice that were televisions stationed around, each projecting different imagery. The TV’s behind the bar, to the left of where I chose to sit at, displayed the actions and results of a trivia game an older woman sitting there was playing (I was later thoroughly amused by her frequent requests of me to provide answers for the more modern pop-culture specific questions). Those above the primary dining areas aired the end of Game 3 of the Chicago Blackhawks vs. the Minnesota Wild NHL Western Conference Semifinals (which entranced my attention for the majority of the visit as I’m a die-hard hockey and Chicago fan) and I imagine that they regularly show the popular professional and local sporting games and events. Lastly, the ones near the entrances & exits, bathrooms and personnel only areas, displayed musical performances, both videos for songs and live performances. I thought that this was a unique set-up to provide options as to what to view. The music was played on repeat and was of the standard fare mixture of Pop, Rock, and Top 40 radio rotation with a great deal of volume. Of said sound levels, from other accounts I’ve now since read, this will be played to its max during sporting events and theme nights. At the time of my visit, English indie rock band, the Arctic Monkeys, were playing and as a poster boy for the genre myself, I was wholly pleased with the selection and amplification of the sound. So depending on your mood, musical preferences, and tolerance for loud noises, you will either love or hate this.
My waitress Janice was a superb hostess and server, representing everything that one could want from either position. She was pleasant and polite, but not in an overly disingenuous manner. Her conversation was both engaging and forthcoming and she kept attentive to any inquiries that I had and accommodated all of my requests. Janice was just a pure delight to have been around and I found the entire experience enhanced by her very presence. The rest of the staff were just as friendly, albeit in a, “Business is so slow, we’re just glad to see another new face come in”, sort of way. Traditionally, tavern food has had the hallmarks of being affordable, convenient, and filling, but grossly unhealthy for you. So I opted for the cleaner shrimp fajita and also for the sweet potato tots after an enthused Janice suggested as it is her favorite dish there. When I received my meal at an expedient pace from the time which I ordered it, I found the shrimp fajita to be quite scrumptious with a balanced, hearty portion of both meat and veggies, while the sweet potato tots were a savory indulgence with their light brown sugar coating and buttery moistness causing me a slight guilt for deviating from my earlier proclamation of a lighter selection.
Admittedly, I have come to expect a less than stellar dining experience from bar/restaurants, stemming from prior visits to these locales. As a non-alcohol consuming customer and not being in a party of patrons, service workers are often uninterested and don’t make a concentrated effort to appease and satisfy. I can graciously say that JD’s Tavern does not suffer from such apathy and with a trifecta of appetizing food, quality workers, and multiple sources of entertainment, I have much incentive to return.
JD’s Tavern is located at 800 W Williams St #100, Apex, NC 27502 and is open 11am-2am, 7 days a week.
For menu and more info, visit http://www.jdstavern.com/
Lamarr Fowlkes is Raleigh, NC based writer, currently working for Triangle Arts & Entertainment. A descendant of Welsh heritage , noted hockey fanatic, and future Spring 2015 enrollee at UNC-Asheville majoring in International Studies, Lamarr will continue to provide arts and entertainment event reviews for the Triangle when not attending to his studies. To read more of Lamarr’s works online, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/lamarr-fowlkes/For more thoughts and opinions, follow https://twitter.com/ChuckWag