Now that the holidays are over, and you now have time to read the blog, we can discuss a couple of ideas for what downtown should have in 2009. What is possible to create within a year’s time that will add to the vibrancy of downtown, serving residents as well as visitors? Here is a short list to get the ideas flowing.
A lot of conversations I’ve had with people considering to move downtown are about the lack of a grocery store in the area. They hesitate to move because of the fact that they still need to get in their cars and drive somewhere. There are not that many residents yet in downtown so it will be a gamble for someone to open the first within the core downtown.
I do believe that if done properly, it can be successful. Most people that visit a suburban grocery store buy enough food for days, some weeks even. If downtown, this store needs to do the opposite and provide me with fresh food and other products for only a couple days. This leads to repeat visits from customers, a much more personal experience, and I really feel that downtown residents will support a locally owned store with local produce.
Another music alternative to Lincoln Theatre and The Pour House would be great. It could possibly fill the void ever since King’s was demolished or maybe head in another direction. My guess would be a larger venue but I’m also not into the current market for it. Maybe the demand is not here in this area but I see tours all the time skip over Raleigh completely, at least the music that I’m paying attention too. If they even come to North Carolina, Charlotte usually grabs them and I’m tired of making the 2 hour drive out there and back in one night.
24 hour food
My dream would be some kind of diner that is always open, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner 24 hours a day. The food does not have to be gourmet at all, more like home-cooked at a reasonable price. Right away, I could see the nightlife crowd lining up until 4am to get some breakfast. It would be the most reliable spot to send people looking for a bite when they check into a hotel late, are up extra early for work, or anyone that doesn’t want to spend much at a restaurant.
By the slice pizza and delivery
If you have been reading RalCon for awhile now, you know my personal desire to see a good, hole-in-the-wall, pizza place. It would be nothing fancy at all except damn good pizza. An added bonus would be delivery in and around downtown. I could see a couple people running all over downtown taking pizza up to the condos or riding bikes out to Oakwood or Boylan Heights making deliveries.
At least one corporate re-location to downtown
The current economy may have a play here but office space is being built in downtown and we need companies to fill them. Charter Square is the obvious candidate and I’d like to hear of at least one announcement of a major company moving to downtown. A couple hundred more employees to the 9 to 5 scene may help the other suggestions above actually happen.
Online Raleigh scene
As a blogger and tech enthusiast, I’d like to see the current internet scene about the city pushed even more. I want more blogs to get started, more pictures to be uploaded, and just more internet chatter about this great city. Video blogging is still in its infancy and podcasting is pretty much silent. If you have any good links or know someone that is doing some interesting work online about Raleigh, post it or let me know about it.