Fall 2016 Restaurant Roundup

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New eats are tasty but what can also be exciting, to me anyway, are reasons to revisit some places as they are doing new things or new folks are bringing a new twist on it. This season’s update shows a lot of new concepts in old places, hopefully bringing you back in for a fresh take.

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

  • Kicking things off are new brews from Oak and Dagger. The pub is now opened, shown at the top of this post, in the former Tyler’s space in Seaboard Station. In addition to their already running bottle shop, the brewery has a small menu of eats and lots of space for large parties.
  • Sort of near the Person Street area, Brewerks, a cafe and bakery in the former Quality Grocery space, is now open.
  • Scott Crawford’s new restaurant, Crawford and Son, in the former Piebird space was on schedule to be completed by the end of October. The place seems to be close to opening and you can subscribe to updates on their website.
  • In the Warehouse District, Parkside is now open on the corner of Martin and Dawson. They are open for lunch and dinner every day.
  • The Morgan Street Food Hall has a running website and is taking applications for those interested in setting up inside. It was reported that Ed Mitchell is bringing Que to the location as one of the first ones to sign up.
  • In Moore Square, Empire Eats was chosen to run the food kiosk in the upcoming Moore Square redesign. Called Square Burger, they will be serving burgers with (wait for it) square patties on potato buns.
  • City Market Sushi is planning to open in November. Located in the former Troy Mezze space, the folks behind the new restaurant want to offer a more casual, and less expensive, approach to sushi.
  • Amorino, the gelato shop coming to The Edison Lofts, is still being worked on. Last I saw, it looked like there is a lot of work to be done.
  • The Outpost will be a tiki-themed bar located in the house at the corner of Hargett and Person. In addition to their casual atmosphere, the space will reach out to non-profits looking for space for events. They should open very soon.
  • Even though Niall Hanley is busy with the Morgan Street Food Hall, he’s working on a new concept for the basement under Caffé Luna. Named Watts & Ward, you’ll enter the 6,000 square foot bar from the steps facing Blount Street under the Montague Building.
  • Raleighwood Provisions is a new project from those behind Bittersweet. Located in The Edison Lofts, the shop will sell a wide variety of high-quality, local foods. The plan is to open before the end-of-year and you can follow them on Instagram.
  • The new restaurant in the former Battistella’s space will be called Royale and hopes to open by the end-of-year.
  • On Hillsborough Street, Dram and Draught is now open, serving beers and whiskey out of the old Esso gas station.
  • The District, going in the former Hadley’s space in The Dawson, is now hiring. They will serve “asian-inspired cuisine with a southern influence” and hope to be open mid-November.
  • In Glenwood South, Vidrio, the Mediterranean restaurant for the corner of Tucker and Glenwood Avenue, is now hiring.
  • In the West at North building, Little City Brewery is now open.
  • Remember the Tobacco Road Sports Cafe? Well, they were supposed to be open sometime soon but still no update on their new location in Powerhouse Plaza where Natty Greene’s used to be. They were doing some hiring about a month ago so hopefully it’s any day now.
  • On Fayetteville Street, Bare Bones is now open and serving up beer, burgers, and ribs. The new restaurant from Eschelon Experiences is located in the PNC Tower where Zinda was formerly located.
  • Nearby, Carroll’s Kitchen, the non-profit restaurant with a mission to help homeless women, is now open at the corner of Martin and Wilmington Streets.
  • Living Kitchen, the raw and organic restaurant, has now opened in Charter Square.
  • Wahlburgers, a burger chain started by actors Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, is coming to The Hudson where The Oxford was formerly located. It’ll be the first in North Carolina.
  • Bolt Bistro is changing concepts. In a month or so, the place should reopen as Pizza La Stella, serving pizza to Fayetteville Street patrons.
  • The London Bridge Pub is adding a kitchen. With their expansion into the next door space, they have plans to add a small menu and build from there. The food should start cooking in mid-November.
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  1. I am VERY EXCITED about the Food Hall! I think that will be such a great addition to down town! Every time I go to NYC, San Fran, Boston, etc.. I go to places like this and Imagine one in Raleigh – and now we will have something similar. This is great!

  2. Thanks for the comprehensive list! I’m going to need a second job and a second stomach to visit all those places!

    I ran by Tobacco Road last night and they do have some type of new sign above the door with their name on it, which didn’t seem to be there a couple weeks ago. The inside is getting worked on but still seems quite unfinished. Not sure why they closed the other location so long before they were ready to open the new one.

  3. Sure we all know it’s there, but no listing for Whiskey Kitchen? They opened right about when Dram and Parkside did…

  4. Checked out Little City Brewing this evening. Well done new spot. cool place to hang out. nice adult establishment ‘refuge’ from the cheese of Glenwood south.

  5. I’ll comment *hand raised*. Cheese isn’t the right word in my mind but I see Glenwood as a plumage filled, maelstrom of vodka/red bull drinking people who know all the words to every club song in existence. The bars are predictably back lit with 20 kinds of vodka and do 95% of their business on Friday and Saturday. That’s fine….it is what it is. I am more of an Americana/Indy/Bluegrass music guy that sits in a dark corner of a quiet bar in clothes that may not have been washed for a few days and also like a good “refuge”. A tangential observation of mine I’d like to share is a Raleigh wide one…I prefer my bars to be scattered around the area and retail to exist in strips. Raleigh has the tight strips of nightlife on Glenwood and now Fayetteville (I know Warehouse Dist and others exist too…no need to correct me) and retail is very scattered about. In the late 90’s I had hoped Glenwood would be more like say Burnside St in Portland Oregon but instead it’s more like Adams Morgan. But then Rocky Top Five started turning their restaurants into clubs at night and created the club strip we have now. I hope that the clubs hogging the strips don’t undermine retail success in the long run….to me, it has been an issue to date. But anyway, this is just a broad stroke set of thoughts that are my own and not meant to ruffle feathers or create any argument….cheers.

  6. @uncle Jesse
    I stopped in little city brewing last night for the soft opening. Although it is a very well done space complete with thick leather bar stools and USB / AC outlets, I found it wildly predictable and uninteresting. I came to the realization last night that we need a new definition of trendy, because the hanging incandescent bulb, running bond white tile, 90° only angle brass/chrome railings is so overplayed that it’s become a cliche.

    It was cool when Ashley Christensen did it 10 years ago because it was different. I had a friend say last week “this is what I don’t like about Raleigh, I can’t even go to a meatball shop without feeling underdressed” [of oak city meatball]

    We need more curves in new establishments! Take that literally and metaphorically. Everything is becoming so square.

    What are your favorite dive spots that still have quality food, drink, and as a bonus music?

  7. What’s happening in Glenwood South is an evolution and it will continue. Energy of the weekend crowd begot housing. Housing begot restaurants. Restaurants begot more daily foot traffic. Now the foot traffic is in the infancy stage of driving retail. In my opinion, Glenwood South is nearing a tipping point where it will transform into becoming a 7 day a week, self contained urban neighborhood. i expect Kane’s Smokey Hollow project to be the next major catalyst to that end. Along with the food hall & The Dillon, I can also imagine a de facto unification of Glenwood South and the Warehouse District occurring via West St.
    It seems to me that people in DT Raleigh like to hate on Glenwood South in much the same way that Durhamites like to disparage Raleigh. The reality is that Glenwood South is the city’s DT District that has been leading the others in the transformation process, especially in housing. I fully expect the success of the district to price-out the smaller independent bars/nightclubs over time as rents and property values rise to the point that are no longer justified by revenues from just a weekend crowd. At that time, we will lament that Glenwood South has lost all of its “cool” independent night spots.

  8. @uncle jesse – yes, I do agree with you there.. but I also agree with most everything @john532 has said as well. Although there are places such as alchemy.. you also have places similar to that in other areas of town as well. I keep hoping that place will eventually go out. Another place I am worried about is the planned “club” in the old harry’s guitar shop. I really really hope that plan doesn’t go through.

    But outside of that, there is definitely many more good things to say about Glenwood South than bad. I hope that one day Glenwood Towers either move out or they build around it .. because that is such a key location to all the surround businesses and restaurants.

    @John532 – don’t forget about the One Glenwood building. I think that will be a huge addition to Glenwood South and connecting to the warehouse district as well. Its really the center connecting point between Glenwood South, the Warehouse District, West Street, and Hillsborough going into the downtown district as well as NC State.

    All in all, I feel like Glenwood South is doing great and going in the right direction (with a few things that should be replaced :) ). And is really one of the center points of downtown Raleigh.

    The Raleigh Beer Garden … on Glenwood South.. is truely unique and has the most beers on tap in the entire WORLD… the entire WORLD.

    Sorry.. I could keep going on and on.

  9. @Bob: Agreed. everything that happens between the two district along the Hillsborough/Morgan corridor is going to be a catalyst and connector. That said, One Glenwood is unfortunately at a dead end of Glenwood while West Street actually connects the two districts along a path of significant transformative development that includes the restored Devereux Meadows Park on the north end and Union Station on the south end with Smokey Hollow, The Food Hall and The Dillon in between. All of these projects have the ability to spawn additional development on their periphery; it will happen.
    @uncle jesse: Agreed, Alchemy is the worst. I look forward to it running its course and going away. At some point, a developer is likely to assemble the property between Raleigh Beer Garden and Hampton Inn and Suites. It’s just too valuable of a location with Smokey Hollow going up just to its east.
    As it stands now, I still believe that Glenwood South has the most short term potential and momentum of all the DT Districts to become an urban neighborhood in a way that we all want. Its high density housing stock alone is arguably out in front of the other districts and more is on the way.

  10. What do you all think would help the restaurants at the bottom of 222 on Glenwood?

    Just from what I have seen.. it appears they haven’t been as successful as other parts of Glenwood. Do you think its location? Appearance? The restaurant choice?

    Tobacco Road seems to be successful, since they are moving to a new location around the corner and Sushi O seems to be successful. But I have no idea how Indio survives. I never see anyone there. Crisp didn’t last long at all. I now finally see people at China O, but have also heard they allow the overflow from Sushi O to go there. There used to be a froyo and brueggers.. but have both gone out.

    Just curious about the thoughts on this. Because I have always though it could use a bit of a face lift on that first level to make itself stand out a bit more. Or maybe if anything were to ever go in across the street.. that would help. But I am excited to see what will be next in the Tobacco road space.. as well as what may go in next to Devolve. Speaking of – I think Devolve is awesome! They bring such a great, unique, fun and inviting experience to glenwood. They have done a great job so far and happy they there!

  11. I’m not sure if you include Demo’s Pizza as part of 222 Glenwood (it’s right next to Sushi/China O) but it’s damn good and pretty busy late at night!

  12. @Bob148, I think it’s several things going on there. First, its not a brand spanking new location anymore, some cache has been lost to newer spaces and parts of town. Also some of the business’s didn’t reflect what Glenwood was really used for by the City…Brueggers and Dunkin both moved in a day 1 thinking this was a cozy neighborly strip…it is not that. As some of you have pointed out, with the housing density increasing around there, maybe now is the time for those sorts of places as it perhaps starts to transition out of being primarily a nightlife strip. We’ll see. Also, even though I love sidewalk facing businesses, the sidewalk is mighty thin there….I never really liked all the elbows that brushed me when I was sitting outside there. It’s also sort of dangling on the south end of the street as the only new building…were it say, in the Glenwood towers block, it’d be square in the center of things on Glenwood and as such would be in the catbird seat for commanding lease rates. Also, 222 (and Hue, same developer) both cheaped the hell out on design…I mean these two buildings are completely awful…tiny windows, crappy stucco/EIFS exterior, concrete slab balconies. I have read forums from back when it was built that said much worse about the design…its only redeeming aspect is the fact it IS residential over retail, but beyond that part of the form it needs help…maybe some ground floor sprucing IS in order now that I think about it….

  13. @Mark Hubbard, I couldn’t agree more on all your points and would like to pile onto them. The experience of being there doesn’t hold up to the experiences along the rest of the street. There is absolutely nothing charming about the building or being on that stretch of sidewalk. I remember when the building was first introduced and the renderings were sketchy and textural in style. Now I know why; they were covering up the sins of the design with something that would present the building as warm and fuzzy.
    I think that having practically all restaurants as the “retail” element of the mixed use is the mistake. It was also a mistake for the residents to be sitting directly on top of the restaurants. The building should have sandwiched the parking between the retail and the residents like they did at West.
    I don’t know if it would be too loud there or not given the proximity to residents but I’d love to see the former Tobacco Road become an upscale bowling alley.

  14. Just saw on RaleighAgenda that both 510 Tavern and Raleigh Road House are both closing on Glenwood

  15. Those $6 Bud Light specials at 510 Tavern didn’t bode well for it’s survival…
    The more I think about it, if 222 Glenwood was actually across from 510 on the Glenwood Towers lot, it would probably help both properties out with some critical mass. As it is, both properties are obviously struggling to retain tenants…

  16. I agree – and have thought that for a long time. Anyone know of any plans of Glenwood Towers moving to another location possibly? That is such a prime location with so many possibilities.

  17. Since Bogarts and the RedRoom closed at 510, nothing in those spaces has worked. I liked both of them and miss them dearly. There is enough critical mass in the immediate hood to make businesses work. Lots of people live within a block or two. Clearly, the death of them has to be related to the massive Carolina Ale House next door. How does one compete with a huge chain while trying to be something similar? The restaurant business is tough. You have to find the right niche and making yourself a tavern when you are essentially sandwiched between the Carolina Ale House and Beer Garden with the largest selection of on-tap beer in the WORLD doesn’t seem like a sound business model.
    The Italian concept that was there a short while was a bomb (pun intended). I tried it and wanted it to work but it was terrible. That said, I think that the strip could support a good Italian (not pizza) joint. I also think that something like a Neomonde would work in the 510 or 222 building.

  18. I bet if Glenwood Towers moved location.. and they put in some sort of retail facility with business and/or residential on top… that would help that area out in a big way. Imagine if they took down Glenwood towers.. and built a building that had the first several floors of retail… a few chains.. urban outfitters… crate and barrel.. etc.. and other local retail.. then business/residential on top of that. That would be amazing. Perfect place for it!

  19. I also miss Red Room. That and Frazier’s were my two favorite restaurants, which I visited before I even moved here. The reason the replacement restaurants don’t work is because they suck at being restaurants. It’s like the owners keep thinking they want a trashy bar/club for the weekend nights, but want to capitalize on the restaurant part the rest of the week. But as an afterthought. No one wants to eat crappy expensive food in a crappy club for Wednesday dinner. The reason Beer Garden and Ale House do well is like any other restaurant: they’re a destination in and of themselves. Glenwood South needs some more quality destinations, whether they are bars, restaurants, retail, or whatever. Otherwise these revolving door businesses will continue.

  20. @Bob148, I agree about Glenwood Towers. That block is a perfect location for a significant retail project, especially some destination shopping. My wish in addition to the two you mentioned could choose from the following: Apple Store, Lucky Strike (bowling), Sephora, Gap, Zara, Urban Outfitters, and H&M.
    Since this is a food topic, it could also include Cheesecake Factory.

  21. Jeff you nailed it. I’ve complained a lot about the many attempts to be a fancy restaurant by day, and bumping club at night. Solas is exhibit A in my book. In what world do expensive restaurant goers and clubbers (even 20 dollar vodka shot types) equal overlapping clientele. I know they are trying to create revenue streams at all hours but, the clubs always chase away the restaurant people. Imagine Second Empire or Sullivans turing club at night. Fail.
    RE: retail, John, I think those places would do good in Glenwood. Maybe Apple would be an even bette fit in say the rehabbed Julius Lewis hardware building in 224 Fayetteville two doors south of Briggs (featured here on 8/24/16). It’s upfit already looks like an Apple Store.
    My personal thought on the next chain retail step downtown, is an American Apparel. Simple. Wider range of people would shop there (not quite as niche as Urban Outfitters or H&M which I think of as younger target audience). Plus AA requires a smaller footprint and looks for cool rehabbed historic spaces…224 Fayetteville would also support an AA well as would the Boylan Pearce space. Apple at 224 and American Apparel in Boylan Pearce? I’m rambling a lot now, but maybe Raleigh Denim needs a Fayetteville Street presence now too? This is recent, but it feels like the Art of Style moving to Hargett St just tipped the retail mindset downtown to “normal and expected: from “must be aware and seeking it out specifically”

  22. Although I would love to see a new apple store on Glenwood South – I think the best location would probably be in the warehouse district near Union Station. If not there.. then a replacement of Glenwood Towers with retail first several floors including an Apple store would be great!

  23. Is there any indication Glenwood Towers will ever be demolished? I feel like that’s a ton of people to move. Also, are they government owned or just government subsidised? If someone else owns the building, they probably get a hefty paycheck each month. Not sure how much they could sell the land for. That being said, I would love to see it go!

  24. Question: Do y’all actually *WANT* an Apple store downtown? Or do you just think it will help bring more local, independent retail. Because that can happen without an Apple store….

  25. I personally like a mix of retail. Both big box stores such as apple and local retail. I believe when you have just local retail the price of items tends to be higher. And when you have a mix there is price competition. I also like the items you can get from both big box and retail. I think an Apple store would be nice because they typically make some really cool stores. The one in San Francisco is by far the most amazing I’ve seen. I also think it would attract traffic to the area to shop there and its surround area.. where you can have some local as well.

  26. @bob148 – I definitely agree with all of that, just didn’t know if everyone here actually WANTED an Apple store or just thought it’d be cool/a way to bring more local retail in. I agree there needs to be big box retail to help attract shoppers, so that the mom n pop shops can then thrive, but unfortunately in this city I could only imagine some big box stores coming in, and then retail space rents going even higher, pushing the little guys out and turning Raleigh into Corporate Hell. I have very little faith in City Council to do anything about it, too.

  27. I WANT one. I hate going to the mall. Plus it isn’t supplanting the local mom and pop Apple store because there isn’t one. I want it on it’s own merit too, not as a way to make a different something happen.
    Also, Glenwood Towers is owned by the Raleigh Housing Authority. They do look for opportunities to make money so they can help more people, so if they could make enough money selling this to say double the number of units they could offer somewhere else close by, I believe they’d do it. Some units adjacent to Dix Park might be nice, say by Fuller Heights neighborhood or something or along Centennial Pkwy. Getting old folks walking out and about in the park is healthy and relaxing. The Park would/should be well served by public transit and the farmers market is close by as well.

  28. @Jeff – Property ownership can easily be determined using Wake County’s IMAPs website. Glenwood Towers is owned by the Raleigh Housing Authority so probably not going away anytime soon.

    The Sir Walter, on the other hand, is privately owned but rents rooms under section 8. The current HUD contact expires in 2020. I think the hotel is still up for sale?

  29. I see very few Glenwood Towers residents walking but I see them zipping around on their rascal scooters.

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