Summer 2016 Restaurant Roundup

Downtown continues to add new places to drink and eat. The outdoor seating options coming in the next few months will make you start wishing for Fall. (if the current heat hasn’t already done that)

For a complete list of eats, drinks, and coffees in and around downtown, make sure to bookmark the DT Eats page. Try something new!

  • Starting on Fayetteville Street, Eschelon Experiences has opened The Haymaker, pictured above, in Charter Square. The menu has fancy cockatails, wine, beer, and even champagne on draft.
  • Again from Eschelon, Bare Bones, a ribs and burger restaurant in the PNC Tower, is close to opening. Follow them on their Facebook page.
  • Carroll’s Kitchen plans to be open in August. The non-profit restaurant that aims to provide job training to women facing homelessness will be located in the former Square Rabbit space on East Martin Street.
  • Living Kitchen, the raw and organic restaurant opening in Charter Square, looks very close. Check out a preview from a few weeks ago on Raleigh Agenda.
  • In Glenwood South, the Gramercy Pharmacy and Market is set to have their grand opening on August 2. The market will include “full service pharmacy, groceries and produce, freshly made sandwiches, household staples and beauty items, as well as a range of beer and wine.” Read more about it on this blog post from the Raleigh Downtown Living Advocates.
  • It looks like Little City Brewing is already making beer. The brewery and market is located in the West at North building, facing Harrington Street, and keeps saying it will open this Summer.

6 pounds of mango ready to go into our Mango IPA! #craftbeer #littlecityral #raleighbeer #raleigh

A photo posted by Little City Brewing (@littlecityral) on

  • Vidrio, the Mediterranean restaurant planned for the corner of Tucker and Glenwood, plans to open soon.
  • With no activity for awhile, the former Benelux Cafe location in City Market has a new restaurant. Cafe Lucarne, with the backing of those behind The Stanbury restaurant, is now open.
  • The same folks want to open something else nearby, in the former Battistella’s space at the corner of Blount and Martin Streets so look out for that later.
  • A gelato shop is opening in the Edison Lofts building, facing Davie Street. Amorino is an international cafe with US locations in Chicago, New York, Vegas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco and soon, Raleigh!
  • James over at the Raleigh Public Record noticed a permit for a new bar on Hargett Street called The Volstead Bar. There’s nothing much outside of that so we’ll keep an eye out for it.
  • The paper is down and 42 and Lawrence is now open in the Skyhouse Apartment tower. The organic coffee bar and juice rail is quite a unique experience.
  • On Hillsborough Street, the whiskey bar Dram and Draught might be open as soon as you are reading this as they are very close. The space looks well done and it’s good to see some activity on the old gas station that was empty for many years.

  • The Person Street area got some big news recently as chef Scott Crawford announced a new restaurant for the former Piebird space on Person Street. Crawford and Son will be a 60-seat restaurant serving modern southern food.
  • Nearby, a new speakeasy is planned by Jason Howard, formerly of The Rockford in Glenwood South.
  • Over near Nash Square, Parkside is now hiring.
  • There have been lots of photos of Whiskey Kitchen‘s new outdoor seating. (see below) They plan to open very soon.

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  1. One possible small correction. After linking to the gramercy pharmacy and market story, it said that the grand opening was September 2nd, not August 2nd. I would tend to believe that date since it doesn’t look anywhere near ready to open in a couple of days.

  2. I really am happy to see some of our old building stock being renovated and reused in beautiful ways. Dram and Draught and Whiskey Kitchen especially. I am a big fan of reusing old gas stations. Coffee shops seem to do really well in them. E.g. these in Kansas City and Portland ME respectively
    I hope our business environment finds more ways to utilize these cool old spaces.

  3. @Mark. I completely agree that the use of older buildings enriches our downtown with some beauty that just isn’t replicated by new buildings. I also agree that old gas stations provide a particularly compelling opportunity. Old stations weren’t the land hogs that they are today and provide a nice balance of indoor and outdoor spaces that are usually on neighborhood corners like Dram & Draught. The station across the street from D&D is another site I’d like to see developed similarly. The intersection of Boylan and Hillsborough is a unique location that could act like a de facto entrance to DT as one heads west on Hillsborough.

  4. That indoor/outdoor balance is so desirable, that many retrofits and new spaces are installing roll up doors to simulate that feel. That a gas station was built to be two separate spaces…work space and customer service space, seems to provide natural areas for say the ordering/counter area, and then the sitting, dining hall area. I almost forgot that Cocoa Cinnamon in Durham is pulling this off nicely as well. Also, Gringo in Raleigh and the Station are old gas stations as well…FWIW 404 Hillsborough is a former gas station as well, though configured in an different (I think older) manner (the outline of the pump island is still visible as concrete fill), and while cheerleading that project takes place (if it even is a project), we should be cognitive of what we’d be losing as well.

  5. According to the “Gayborhood Raleigh” blog (, something’s planned for the old Borough/Hadley’s spot called “The District”. They are touting that they’ll be a hub for the Warehouse District and will have cross-promotional specials with other businesses in the area.

  6. TBJ is reporting that the Edison Office tower beside Skyhouse has been sold to Highwoods to develop it into a tower. It appears that Beacon Partners and Batson-Cook could never get their tower out of the ground (go figure) so better to sell the land while prices were high. Highwoods has a much better chance of getting this property off the ground. Details are private on TBJ to subscribers. So, if anyone out there is, it would be nice if you could summarize the details.

  7. Was just going to post about that. Can’t find any details since I’mnot a subscriber. Also, the food hall by Flying Saucer was having work done when I ran by last night

  8. Anybody know what happened to the apt/condo project where Brother’s Pizza used to be on Hillsborough? That crane hasn’t moved an inch in months.

    Also, glad to hear that news about Edison!

  9. I will say that subscriptions to news orgs help pay for that reporting so asking folks to summarize subscriber content because you don’t want to pay for it undermines the ability for reporters to get that content in the first place. Internet ads generate a tiny fraction of what print ads used to make for local news orgs (national one have much larger readership and can survive a little easier though still struggle). Raleigh Public Record struggle mightily with a free model. I know the details will leak out pretty easily within a few hours and this will all be public knowledge soon enough, but still a little disappointing to see.

  10. On the city council agenda today was for the city to lease the 12th floor at 421 Fayetteville St. for 7 years !

  11. @Eric, thank you! That sounds like good news. Ever since the completely lackluster Edison Apartments (a waste of space, in my opinion), I had huge doubts that they would bring anything substantial to the Edison office building lot. I feel like having the owners of the tallest building in Raleigh in control of the lot right next door can only be good news, because I doubt they would mind building something as tall or even taller than PNC! That would be such a prime spot for something massive, too. @ImposterJeff, do YOU have a $100 subscription to the TBJ? Please.

  12. @Will, I have read that it is a dispute between the owner and contractor that started over claimed damages (lost rental income) having to do with a longer construction period than the owner wanted. Sounds like a poorly worded contract to me. Also notice that the tower crane moves a little tiny bit every day….I understand that this meets the minimum work requirement per day in the contact (standard language and interpretation of that language I am told)

  13. While I am always glad to see more commercial space come to DT Raleigh, it’s a bit disappointing that it might come with three tall buildings in a line from PNC to Skyhouse. I’d rather see taller buildings developed to kick start other parts of DT.
    Let’s expand the commercial district of our DT instead of cramming into the small footprint of our existing CBD.

  14. @John,

    Do you see those things as mutually exclusive? I think we can all agree that more density on Wilmington is a good thing and still root for high rises on Hillsborough, Dawson, etc. If we get something good on the N&O site, Martin St. will be one of the most urban in the city.

  15. Yeah, that seems silly to bemoan a potential skyscraper because it’s not in a different location that the builder doesn’t own. Plenty of other projects can still be built.

  16. @Mark Thanks! Hadn’t noticed any changes, it just looks like the same skeleton of studs that was there a year ago.

  17. Hey other Jeff, happy to use another handle (not a frequent commenter here so wasn’t aware how it’d appear) , but don’t appreciate the name calling. Feel free to disagree with my comment, but please do so without stooping to name calling and nastiness.

  18. Unfortunately, the N&O version of this article included this: “We have that Edison site under contract, but really there are no immediate plans for us to build a tower,” said Highwoods spokesman Brendan Maiorana. “At some point in the future we hope we’ll be able to build a project there.”

    Hopefully, they’re downplaying their plans for the site, but it doesn’t sound like anything is happening in the near future. Still, it’s good to see it moving out of a dead-end situation.

  19. No more copy and pasting articles, people. You’re making my site look bad. From now on, please link to articles and any quotes will not be approved.

  20. Completley unrelated to this thread, but I heard a local business owner mention that Target is looking to possibly build a store on Hillsborough St.

  21. They paid 7.7 million for 0.7 acres it seems to be saying. That means you’ll either see a very tall building (not likely given all the new office space in the pipeline) or this corner will remain undeveloped for a very long time….me thinks…

  22. @orluz, if Target were to build it would be where existing buildings stand, across from NCSU. They have reached out to some of the business owners but there is nothing formal from what I’m hearing.

  23. It’s a shame that Sandreuter didn’t just sell off all the land he owned. Now we’re stuck with the stick built piece of…. for at least my lifetime.

    Just my two cents, but stick built buildings in downtown should be illegal.

  24. I got some additional information this morning regarding Target, it looks like they are interested in the spot where The Alley is, it’s a very tiny spot so not exactly sure how they could fit a Target there. Also, The Alley still has a lease through the next 5-8 years according to the business owner I spoke with…

  25. Considering the types of investors involved @ the 404 site, a Target at the bottom of that building makes good sense.

  26. In the DC area, Target has at least 2 multi floor “city style” stores. Columbia Heights and Mosaic (Fairfax). Combined with other stores, it takes up about 1 to 2 city blocks.

  27. First time poster here but I’ve been reading for a while now. I had a friend contact the alley yesterday about buying a parking spot in their garage for this coming school year. Their response was that they were selling month by month passes and could probably provide parking until December but they didn’t know about their future after this semester.

  28. A 21,000 sqft “Target Express” is part of the Carolina Square development on Franklin St in Chapel Hill. Bowling alley building is about 20,000 sqft. per level.

  29. Using the parking garage under the Alley for a Target Express is one thing, but if say the whole building were torn down an replaced with a Target….well…pitchforks! At some point selling your soul to the next corporate shill that comes knocking isn’t improving the City at all…

  30. If I were Target and wanted something near State, I’d look at the FedEx/Gumby’s site. Bonus is after 5 and weekend parking at Brooks Ave lot. Better visability from new roundabout and bus stop too. I’m bias tho: I want to keep the Alley, bowling PE at State is a right of passage.

  31. Amen. Hillsbourough street desperately needed a makeover but not a complete “rip and replace” with chain stores and cookie cutter cheaply built apartment buildings.

    Will Mitch’s Tavern be next if the Alley goes?

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