Our Story


Big Ed’s Restaurants is proud to introduce Big Ed’s Garner on Timber Drive

Being a unique place of its own, an All-American city, Garner is a special place that will develop its own community. We look forward to building new friendships in Garner, serving the best country cookin’ around, and being a place where everyone can eat and feel like they are home.


Our Story

Big Ed’s Restaurant was first founded in 1958 by “Big Ed” Watkins, a native of Wake County. His family’s farm produced tobacco and other crops. It was on the homestead where Big Ed developed the original recipes used in his restaurants; he would assist his mother in the kitchen, preparing meals for the farm’s workers.

After various successful restaurants in other Raleigh locations, Big Ed opened in Downtown’s City Market in 1989, which was done in conjunction with the city of Raleigh’s revitalization project.

In January 2006, "Big Ed" retired and the restaurant and concept were bought by Sam & Lynn Hobgood who remain active owners today. Through the years, Big Ed’s City Market developed a home in Downtown Raleigh, and remains a central part of City Market to-this-day.

The skyline has evolved, as has the community, but Big Ed’s City Market continues to serve up North Carolina country cookin’ classics, almost 30 years after its Downtown conception. We are proud to be a longstanding member of the Downtown community.

In summer 2015, the Big Ed’s team took on a new challenge in opening a second location, Big Ed’s North, that serves the same great country cookin’.

Located at Quail Corners Shopping Center in North Raleigh, the Big Ed’s North team is immensely grateful for the community that has given Big Ed’s North a home at the corner of Falls of Neuse and Millbrook Roads.

Wherever it is you may join us, we hope that you have a wonderful experience, full of southern hospitality, joy, and laughter.