Writer Shoshana Leon

Photographer Carl Schultz

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n its eight square miles, the charming town of Carefree has a wide variety of dining options — from wine bars and coffee shops to upscale eateries and pizza parlors.

Jo Gemmill of the English Rose Tea Room founded the Carefree Restaurant Association in 2017 to promote the town’s many unique restaurants.

“The restaurant base in Carefree is made up of independent, family-owned businesses,” Gemmill says. “Business owners determine the look, feel, style, concept and brand based on their individual culinary expertise.”

To further promote and showcase the area’s many offerings, the Carefree Restaurant Association began organizing Carefree Restaurant Week. During the event — which is now held twice each year — local restaurants offer prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner, giving diners the opportunity to try a variety of dishes and experience different restaurants.

This year’s spring event is slated for May 3–9. During Carefree Restaurant Week, most participating restaurants will offer a two-course lunch menu for $18 and a three-course dinner menu for $35 or $45. Some restaurants will offer specials and promote new menu items throughout the event.

“Carefree Restaurant Week provides a chance for local restaurants to collaborate on a marketing opportunity that helps promote dining locally,” Gemmill says. “It creates a stronger sense of community and camaraderie among restaurant owners and provides an opportunity to support our town’s small businesses.”

Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse — which opened in 2018 — is one of the many restaurants that will be participating in Carefree Restaurant Week. Paul Keeler, the restaurant’s owner, is grateful for the unique opportunity that the event offers the community.

“We believe that Carefree is being established as a quality dining community with a diverse selection of high-quality, independently owned restaurants,” Keeler says. “During Carefree Restaurant Week, our guests can expect high quality, value, a comfortable environment, and knowledgeable, personable and professional service.”

Other participating restaurants include Alberto Ristorante, Black Mountain Café and Coffee Shop, Civana, Confluence, Corrado’s Cucina Italiana, English Rose Tea Room, Giordano’s Trattoria Romana, Pizzicata, Raven’s View Wine Bar, Sundial Garden Cafe and Venues Café.

“We participate in Carefree Restaurant Week to help bring recognition to our creative, hardworking and growing restaurant community,” Keeler says. “It is exciting to reach guests that have not yet discovered the great restaurants in Carefree.”


Carefree Restaurant Week

May 3–9, 2020 | See website for participating restaurants

Two-course lunch for $18 | Three-course dinner for $35 or $45