Winter Restaurant Wave

In case you have not noticed, we are in the middle of another wave of restaurant openings. The convention center may be the reason for fueling the increase of downtown food choices over the last few years. Here is a list of recent openings; some are talked about in the new downtown news section added to the left sidebar.

  • The Pit has opened up in the former Nana’s Chophouse location in the warehouse district. I’ve tried it out and the “upscale” BBQ has such a different feel that in no way does it compete with Cooper’s. I highly recommend it to any fans.

  • Raleigh Times has expanded next door with the creation of “The Smoking Times”. From what I’ve seen in passing, the place has a different feel and look then its neighbor but will easily become a downtown favorite.

  • Poole’s diner has now re-opened with a different look. This N&O article breaks it down. I have put it on the to-do list.

  • The Mint looks very close to opening and their website claims it will open this month. If you pass by it on its Fayetteville St. location, take a look inside.

  • There are plans to split up the old Greenshield’s spot at City Market in order to encourage smaller tenants, rather then a large one. No news yet on who might be moving in.
  • Work on the future sushi restaurant, Waraji that will be located at the corner of Hargett and Salisbury St., has started. Rumors say they will open in February of 2008.

I really think that this wave of restaurants is mostly the result of the convention center. They are preparing for the fall 2008 opening and should see a lot of convention traffic. I’m glad the convention center has helped spur growth downtown but the next wave of growth that I want to see come around are stores and food places that cater to the residents of downtown, not visitors. I’m hoping that the number of condos opening next year will help encourage more shops to open for the new rise in population. This will also go along with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance’s plans for more shopping downtown.

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  1. I second the recommendation for “the Pit”. I was raised in Eastern NC on BBQ and this stuff is great. While its very tough for me to pay $12 a plate for it, it is really some of the best BBQ that I have had. The flavor and sauce are wonderful. Upscale BBQ is a little wierd, i was worried that I would be offended by “upscale bbq” but alas, the flavor won out and I will go back.

    Thats just for the BBQ, the sides and other dishes were good as well. (horseradish cole slaw was damn tasty).

  2. Ginny, I’m right with you. I’m really hoping that with a rise in the downtown population, we will have a large enough base to support a grocery store.

    I think one in City Market or on Wilmington st. is needed as well as another somewhere in Glenwood South, maybe on Peace St. Capital City Grocery over in Seaboard Station is just not cutting it.

  3. I just noticed that one my favorite restaurants, Vin, isn’t listed in your restaurant roundup in the left-hand sidebar. It’s web address is: Ashley Christensen, who owns Poole’s, designed Vin’s menu.

    PS – Poole’s is delicious. The half chicken and egg/toast appetizer especially.

  4. Added. Thanks Jenna for pointing that out. I must have overlooked it.

    I have heard Poole’s is real good. I’m going to make my way over there soon.

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