Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Refresh

This list is always popular so here is a new one for you to glance over. We have always talked about the new restaurants and bars that have opened or are planning to open in the coming months. This time, it is important to notice that a list of recent closings can be made. Has the bar been raised in downtown Raleigh and heavy competition forced American Pita to close? Is the slowing economy to blame for shutting down the always empty Fayetteville St. Tavern? Was it European Wine and Espresso Cafe’s boring name that drove people away? I’m sure it was a combination of things but here is a list of new, opening soon, and closed restaurants in downtown Raleigh. Let us know what you’ve tried, miss having, and are looking forward to.



  • American Pita Grill
  • Joe’s place (N&O article)
  • Enoteca Vin
  • European Wine and Espresso Cafe
  • Fayetteville Street Tavern
  • Champa Thai
  • Hard Times Cafe

Coming soon

  • Gravy – Bella Monica and Empire Properties collaboration restaurant in the old Riviera space.
  • Natty Greene’s Pub & Brewery (based out of Greensboro)
  • Noir – Bar and lounge on Glenwood South.
  • Edelweiss Cafe – German cuisine.

Noir is opening next to Solas. The now hiring sign claims it will open in the summer of this year.

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    None right now. Must be a new project.


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  1. This is a fun list to check out. Boylan Bridge has to be one of the coolest places that has hit in a while (and I think there have been some good ones). Sitting outside having a beer looking at the view of downtown is really great. Good food and service too.

    OK, does anybody ANYBODY know the deal with Remedy Diner not having any burger choices? They carry a friggin’ hot dog for christ’s sake, but no burgers? Not even a turkey burger? What am I missing?

  2. Anybody know what happened to the Tyler’s Taproom that was supposed to be opening in Seaboard Station this year? Is that still happening or was it ever going to?

  3. I thought about listing Tyler’s on the coming soon list but decided not too. Their website still lists it as coming to downtown Raleigh but I have not heard or seen anything to convince me it is really going to happen. Hopefully, I am wrong.

  4. And don’t forget about Cashmere, which is slated to open in the former April & George (and more recently just The George) location next to Sullivan’s Steakhouse. And what is the latest on Taverna Agora, Bentley’s, and the Carolina Ale House, which were reportedly planning to open at the Morgan Keegan building in Glenwood South??

  5. i thought the pita place was NOT closing? wasn’t this misinformation a few months back or have they actually closed after claiming it was a bad rumor?

  6. It is indeed closed. Last I walked by it, the name was scratched off the glass door and the tables are cleared out.

  7. I regret never trying Champa but from what I can see, Thaiphoon is really sweeping downtown Thai fans’ off their feet, so I’m guessing they couldn’t compare.

    I think I read on another blog someone is already trying to put something in Fayetteville Street Tavern’s spot. Don’t know what yet.
    The upper blocks of Fayetteville Street are still struggling from what I can see. Only thing you see open evenings anymore is Crema…and I’m surprised they’re holding on when you consider the lack of walk-in traffic that way.

  8. What? American Pita Grill is closed? Last time I passed by there – last Friday, if I am remember well – it was open. Or was I seeing ghosts? I wasn’t a frequent customer, but it will be missed. I think I will go by there today because I am very curious, not that I do not trust you, Leo… You live too close to that place not to know, but I must see it with my own two eyes :LOL:

    BTW, I’ve had good experiences at the Remedy Diner and I recommend it. I also want to try the Busy Bee place, so please feel free to give some feedback on your experiences and any recommendations you may have about the menu items. On a more positive note, I am glad to see new places filling the empty spaces. I surely hope they all succeed, along with the existing businesses.

  9. Not surprised that Enoteca Vin closed. When my wife and I went we found poor service, unfriendly servers, average food all at a relatively steep price. We have lots of great restaurant choices in Raleigh now – the bar has been raised too high for mediocre places to survive.

  10. Heres my take: Jibarra: Good food, decent service – I will go back. Boylan Bridge Brewpub: decent food, at the very best, decent service and the beer options seem to be minimal (at least on my few visits). Foundation is the best bar in Raleigh IMO. I love the space, the specialty drinks. The busy bee is cool. One of the specialty drinks I had was horrendous though (something with Rosemary). Instead of muddled rosemary, it was like they put an entire rosemary bush in it and “muddled” it until it fell apart. I couldn’t drink it until I asked for it to be strained and then ti still tasted horrible. Their service is slow as well.

    Sitti is stil my favorite restaurant downtown that is relatively new.

    I am looking forward to Gravy, checking out Noir and any other place that opens up. Throw Natty Greens in that list as well.

  11. Boylan Bridge will do well because of its uniqueness. But you have to brace yourself for horrible service each time you go. The girl that waited on us last time barely spoke, it was a disaster. Thank goodness for the nice view.

  12. Tony: Yeah that is the one of the few reasons I go there. The beers they brew aren’t that good- so I am glad they are at least getting in other brews now, so the view is what will help them survive.

  13. Leo, you are right… America Pita Grill is closed :( Let’s hope that something decent goes there. I love burgers and gyros, but we need something fresh… Something that doesn’t compete with Crema Morning/Raleigh Times and Carolina Cafe. Maybe a pizza place ;)

  14. I too love Jibarra and Sitti as far as the “newer” places go. (I guess Thaiphoon isn’t “new” anymore…but still gotta mention it!)
    Jibarra’s strengths is its unique dishes…stuff you cannot find at other Mexican or Latin restaurants. My only disappointment with them is that they charge a whole lot more for their ceviche than Red Room does for the same amount and quality. (At least Red Room throws in some plantain and yucca chips with theirs.)

  15. I feel like I saw a sign taped to Champa’s window saying it was reopening on May 26 (today?). Any one else see this sign? Is it true?

  16. Re: Champa – it wasn’t great, but I can’t say Thaiphoon did it in, either. It’s a different crowd along F’ville Street at lunch, as opposed to Glenwood South (though I suppose the R-Line closes that gap some). I still lament the loss of the old China Court, which was the only cheap & convenient Chinese food downtown.

    Re: Natty Greene’s – hello, what what? Where is this going? The one in Greensboro is terrific, but there’s nothing on their website…

    Re: Tyler’s – still moving forward from what I hear.

  17. Eric, Natty Greene’s is planned to open in the Powerhouse Plaza warehouse, where Prime Only used to be.

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