Failed Outdoor Seating Plans Re-visited

I’m not reporting any plans for outdoor seating currently but just bringing up plans that never came to be. Outdoor seating is probably a subject that I could talk about for hours and there are some great opportunities for more in downtown Raleigh.

On a gorgeous day this weekend, I walked up Glenwood South and was reminded of old plans that never came to be. Some of you may remember the news of the parking spaces in front of the building with Sushi Blues and Zely & Ritz that were to become outdoor seating areas. It has been almost two years now and if you look at the picture above, I think we can say that those plans were ditched.

All I heard is that the building’s fire code would not allow them to create the outdoor restaurant space without a hefty renovation. I have not verified this with anyone so take it with a grain of salt. But going with it, it is obvious that the building was never designed with intentions of outdoor seating in mind so it’s a shame we missed this opportunity. I’m all for less parking spaces and more people spaces.

The optimist in me says that one day it could happen. If this property, being on a prime location in Glenwood South, continues to be filled with people and lots of foot traffic then the owners are going to see those empty cars taking up space as a complete waste.

This is just one example where the city can act in favor of the comprehensive plan and do away with the parking requirements for a business in downtown. It was most likely, at one point, the city code that drove the kind of front door parking that is here now If owners in this building decide to do away with the spaces then the city should help make it happen.

Similar Posts:


Comments are disabled here. That's because we're all hanging out on the DTRaleigh Community, an online forum for passionate fans of the Oak City.


  1. It is a shame. Fortunately for Thaiphoon, the side of the building has an excellent patio for dining….though it does face the less-interesting North Street instead of Glenwood.

  2. Leo,

    Agree. I have always believed that the parking is an eyesore and dangerous. I am not a big fan of this location anymore, due to the parking in front. This area should be trees, seating and water features.

    I have not been to Sushi Blues in years (I like their sushi, but not dealing with the inconveniences of cars in and out of that small area. Sushi Blues and the owner of the building NEED to get a clue.

    Any word on the senior citizens building. That is not the place for that building. I thought they were going to be moved and new plans for that property?

  3. I can only hope that some day this corner will be developed into a nice urban section, with outdoor seating and a better urban form. Until then, the owners of the restaurants will have to deal with all the restrictions placed by the City of Raleigh and the Fire Dept. There is massive potential, but changes will not come any time soon, I am afraid.

  4. My understanding is that at the time this building was built, the owner was required to provide parking, hence the spaces in the front. Several years ago the city passed an ordinance that reduced parking space requirements on restaurant/retail owners in Glenwood South. I was at the City Council meeting that adopted these new regulations, and the owner remarked that he would now like to pull the building to the curb, but is faced with a very expensive proposition.

  5. Leo, I’d love to see a blog post about all those “great opportunities for more [seating] in downtown Raleigh” you mentioned. Although maybe not hours and hours worth.

    I’m always so disappointed when I want to go have a few drinks outdoors on a sunny day only to discover that everyone else in all of Raleigh had the same idea–and I end up having to sit inside somewhere!

  6. Now that nobody can smoke indoors, I think you’ll see much more “creative” solutions to outdoor seating all across the state. Unfortunately, most outdoor seating will probably become synonymous with the smoking section.

Comments are closed.