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.

Spring 2016 Restaurant Roundup

Raleigh Raw on West Hargett Street

Raleigh Raw on West Hargett Street

I’m excited to share a new addition to my seasonal updates. Leading up to each restaurant roundup, there is extensive note taking going on behind the scenes. Now, my notes are yours!

You should already be familiar with the DT Eats page but now I have DT Tips. The page tries to consolidate every upcoming, talked about, and gossiped item out there when it comes to eating and drinking in downtown Raleigh.

You can dive into the Tips list here. A few more tweaks are in the works but it’s basically ready to share at this point.

Now that that is out of the way, let’s dive into our latest updates.

  • Starting in the Warehouse District, the former Brewmaster’s space at the corner of Martin and Dawson Street will become Parkside, a southern farm-to-fork restaurant.
  • There’s progress being made at Whiskey Kitchen.
  • Mentioned back in March, the Hibernian Company wants to open a food and market hall in a warehouse along West Street. (former Buckhead Saloon, former former Jillian’s space)
  • The upcoming brewpub Oak and Dagger, located in the former Tyler’s space at Seaboard Station, has opened their bottle shop. The pub is still being worked on but they are brewing their own beer now. You can follow their progress on their Facebook page.
  • Brewerks Cafe and Bakery is coming to the former home of Quality Grocery in the Oakwood neighborhood.
  • Pelagic Beer and Wine is planning to move a few doors down to the corner of Pace and Person Street.
  • Provenance is now open in the Skyhouse Raleigh tower.
  • According to eatRaleigh, the house at the corner of Person and Hargett will become The House, a bar and bottle shop with some bar food.
  • Progress continues on Dram and Draught, the pub in the former gas station at Hillsborough and Boylan. You can follow the progress on their Facebook page.
  • Hadley’s is now open in the former home of The Borough in the Dawson building.
  • In Glenwood South, Harry’s Guitar Shop will become 616 Glenwood, a night club owned by Dan Lovenheim who also owns a few other bars on the street.
  • Along Peace Street, the former Mr. Pizza and Salad is now TLC Wings and Grill. This is the second location after first opening in Pineville, NC.
  • Mentioned in a post about West Street, The Cardinal will be a bar and lounge on North West Street.
  • The former home of Duel Lounge in the Creamery Building is now The Milkbar.
  • Blue Mango has changed their name to Indio.
  • Raleigh Roadhouse, a live music and barbecue restaurant, has opened in the 510 Glenwood building.
  • Since our last restaurant roundup, the 222 Glenwood building has seen a lot of action. The space where Bruegger’s Bagels used to be was turned into International Breakfast and Burger by the owner of next-door Sushi O. That only lasted a few weeks. In what seemed like no time at all, the place reopened into China O, an authentic Szechuan and Chinese restaurant.
  • Tobacco Road Sports Cafe is relocating to the Raleigh Electric Powerhouse, where Natty Greene’s used to be, on Jones Street.
  • On Fayetteville Street, the former home of Zinda in the PNC Plaza is going to be a new concept from Eschelon Experiences. Bare Bones will have a menu of comfort foods like house-ground burgers and ribs. They will also throw in some beer, pool tables, and shuffleboard.
  • The TBJ has a first look into Living Kitchen, the raw and organic restaurant being worked on in Charter Square.
  • Also in Charter Square, the b.good is now open.
  • Carroll’s Kitchen will be opening in the former Square Rabbit space at the corner of Martin and Wilmington Streets. The non-profit restaurant has a mission to help homeless women, “empowering them with job training, life skills, and even housing,” their website says. It’s a great cause and they are always looking for volunteers.
  • Isaac Hunter’s Tavern is back on Fayetteville Street, this time at 414 Fayetteville where Common 414 used to be.
  • The Twisted Mango in the Progress Energy building has closed and changed over to San Lorenzo Bistro and Bar.
  • Raleigh Raw (pictured above) has opened their juice bar and cafe on Hargett Street.
  • Local Icon Hospitality has opened their latest spot, Virgil’s Original Taqueria, on Salisbury Street.

Food Hall and Market in the works for Warehouse District

Former Buckhead Saloon space.

Empty warehouse at 117 South West Street.

This week, the folks at the Hibernian Company announced plans for a food hall and market in an empty warehouse on West Street. This space was formerly the short-lived Buckhead Saloon but was really made popular when Jillian’s was in there for (I think??) over ten years.

There’s no name for the spot yet but the new market will house a variety of food vendors, a food court, and event space across the 21,000 square feet of warehouse. The group is hoping to open in Spring of 2017.

Winter 2016 Restaurant Roundup


Peaking through the window at Provenance

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

  • We’ll start in Glenwood South where Lou Moshakos’s Mediterranean restaurant, called Vidrio, is still being worked on. I saw that they planned for an early 2016 opening so perhaps they will announce an opening soon. It’ll be located at the corner of Tucker Street and Glenwood, underneath the Carolina Ale House.
  • Work continues on the brewery and market concept, called Little City Brewing and Provisions Company, coming to the West building. The new restaurant is located at the corner of West and Harrington and is being done by those behind The Level Up Kitchen and Linus and Pepper’s.
  • more. kitchen & bar has now opened on West Street in the former Mantra location.
  • The second location of My Way Tavern is now open where Ciago’s was formerly located on St. Mary’s Street.
  • Crisp Bar and Restaurant is now open in the 222 Building. They took over the two spaces where Zaky and Tutti Frutti used to be.
  • In the 510 building, Big Boom closed but quickly reopened as the 510 Tavern.
  • Café Helios has reopened under new ownership and with new style. It’s located in the same building along Glenwood.
  • Napper Tandy’s has changed over to Tremor Bar and Grill
  • Babylon has sort of split inside of themselves between two new menus that is worth mentioning. Inside, there will be Moroccan style food and outside, a menu with more casual Mediterranean dishes will be served. Expect this to be official in the next month or two.
  • Dram and Draught on Hillsborough Street got their permits recently to continue working on the new pub. You can follow their progress through their Facebook page.
  • Jumping over to Fayetteville Street, there isn’t much work taking place for Haymaker, a bar in the Charter Square south tower.
  • The other space inside Charter Square will be a B Good restaurant which looks to be in the middle of their construction phase.
  • Plans for a taco shop called Virgil’s Original Taqueria will be coming to Salisbury Street in the building where The Level Up Kitchen and Linus and Pepper’s is located.
  • ZPizza has added self-pour beer taps.
  • Raleigh Raw wants to open up a cafe at 7 West Hargett Street and according to their recently completed Kickstarter they should open this month. (if on schedule) The new cafe will offer “healthy grab and go food, local organic coffee, kombucha and smoothies.”
  • The Hive was closed but quickly turned over to become Mash and Lauter, a Belgian beer bar, that is now open.
  • Pizza Guerra is planned for the space next to Fox Lounge. If you ever went to Bella Mia in Cary, this place is by the same folks.
  • Near Moore Square, Provenance has removed the paper window coverings and could open very soon. They are located in the Skyhouse Apartments building.
  • Nearby in the same building, the Larry’s Beans shop and Oak City Market, run by Taz, are still being worked on.
  • Tir Na Nog has closed but out of it the folks behind Bida Manda plan to open Plenty. This will incorporate a mix of uses including a Brewery, Dim Sum, florist shop and bookstore. We hope to see some of the doors open this summer.
  • I heard that Rum Runners serves food now. The menu was made by Brian Battistella whose restaurant nearby was closed recently.
  • According to a line in the posted permit in the former Zydeco space, a bakery could be being worked on here. There’s still a lot of work to be done in this space.
  • Over in the warehouse district, the art and wine bar called Vita Vite is now open.
  • A night club called Venū has opened at the end of West Street.
  • The Borough has closed and will become Hadley’s, a 1920s-inspired restaurant. This is by the same folks behind Dram and Draught.
  • Heading north, a brewpub called Oak & Dagger Public House is planned to take over the former Tyler’s space in Seaboard Station. In addition to the pub, the bottle shop will also be reopened.
  • Until then, you can go to Pelagic Beer and Wine for your bottle needs. They opened recently on Pace Street.

Sidewalk Seating Ordinance Survey Results

This is a cross-post from the Raleigh Downtown Living Advocates. I helped put together a member survey to get an idea of what people thought about the currently under trial outdoor dining ordinance.


During the month of October, the DLA conducted a survey that tried to get an idea of how things are going with the new sidewalk seating ordinance. DLA members were asked a few questions about how the levels of noise have changed recently and how they felt about the new ordinance.

The trial period for these new outdoor seating rules is almost over and we wanted to get the results over to the Raleigh City Council for consideration. Here are some key takeaways:

  • 14-17% believe that noise levels have decreased compared to 83-86% who believe the noise has either stayed the same, increased or are not sure.
  • 64% do not support the new ordinance compared to 16% that support it in its current form. The remaining 20% would support with minor changes.
  • 72% of residents who live within the borders of downtown do not support the ordinance.
  • 38% of Fayetteville Street District residents support the ordinance in its current form, compared to only 9% of those that live in Glenwood South.
  • 33% of residents who are over the age of 55 support the new ordinance, compared to 12% of those 55 or younger.

The majority of responses show that residents feel that noise levels have stayed the same.

The Fayetteville Street and Glenwood South districts were the two main areas under discussion throughout the draft of the new ordinance. Below is the breakdown of support between the two districts.

  • Glenwood South responses: 76
  • Fayetteville Street responses: 17

For the entire survey results, download them here.

Fall 2015 Restaurant Roundup

Future home of Dram and Draught

Future home of Dram and Draught.

Before we dive into this season’s restaurant roundup, I just want to point out that this is my 1,000th blog post here on The Raleigh Connoisseur!

I want to thank everyone who has participated in some way with the blog. Those who’ve read, commented, those I’ve met, and emailed with have all kept the conversations going about downtown Raleigh and fueled the energy to keep this thing chugging.

On towards post #2,000!

This Fall hasn’t seen as many openings but plans are in place for a big wave of new eats and drinks hopefully in the Spring. Lots of spaces in downtown are still in the early phases of renovation.

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

  • The much-hyped restaurant Standard Foods, with chef Scott Crawford, is finally open in Person Street Plaza. The restaurant serves dinner with lunch hours coming soon. A grocery concept will also be included in the space but that is also still being worked.
  • Nearby, a beer and wine shop with tasting bar is opening on Pace Street. You can follow their progress on their Instagram.
  • Over near the warehouse district, Whiskey Kitchen looks just about the same as it did since the last update.
  • Ashley Christensen’s pizza place, next door to Poole’s Diner, hasn’t seen much movement as the place on McDowell is still pretty bare.
  • Heavy renovation is happening at 313 West Hargett Street for a new wine bar.
  • Bouncing over to City Market, eatRaleigh pretty much updates us on the status, or lack of, of City Market Cafe. I can’t imagine it being to hard to take a space that once was a coffee shop and turning it into a coffee shop so things don’t look good here.
  • Sometimes you can get a sense of a project just by peaking through the windows. The retail spaces at Skyhouse are paper-sealed tight. No big updates about Provenance, the Oak City Market, or the Larry’s Beans Shop.
  • Holly’s on Hargett was bought out and has now been changed to Notte | Urbana. If you haven’t been following, this is the former Mo’s Diner spot.
  • In Glenwood South, the Mediterranean restaurant planned for the ground floor of the Carolina Ale House building is called Vidrio. A few months ago, they said it would open in the Fall so perhaps it’s almost done or coming very soon.
  • Jon Seelbinder, owner of Level Up Restaurant and Barcadium, was planning a boutique market and brewery in the West at North tower. The space on the corner of North and Harrington is being renovated for this and there’s still lots of work to be done here.
  • The website for more., a restaurant from JMR Kitchens, says it plans to open late October. That could mean they are close to opening their doors on West Street.
  • Ciago’s, located on St. Mary’s Street has closed. It will now be the second location for My Way Tavern.
  • Zaky and Tutti Frutti have closed in the 222 Building. Renovations are underway though for a Crisp Salads franchise. I believe this is the same thing as the one at the Crabtree Mall food court.


Coffee and beer bar at Devolve Moto

  • The “adventure lifestyle” shop Devolve Moto is now open and they have a coffee and beer bar.
  • After being empty for quite a few years, the renovated gas station on the 600 block of Hillsborough Street, across the street from Char-Grill, will be a new tavern called Dram and Draught.
  • The Bruegger’s Bagels in the 222 Glenwood building has closed but the owner of next door Sushi O is now working on the space for a new restaurant.
  • Along Fayetteville Street, there hasn’t been much movement on the Eschelon Experiences restaurant planned for Charter Square.
  • Within the same building, a B.good franchise is also planned. This would be the second Raleigh location after North Hills.
  • What started as a pop-up shop, Linus and Pepper’s is now staying on Salisbury Street.
  • Same block, a “trendy taco shop” is also being planned by the same owners.
  • The people behind the dive bar Slim’s have opened another bar called Ruby Deluxe on the 400 block of Fayetteville Street.
  • The lease has been pulled on The Square Rabbit on East Martin Street. Lou Moshakos, owner behind Carolina Ale House, is now working on bakery-concept for the space and something else for the space next door.

Summer 2015 Restaurant Roundup

Rooftop seating at Taverna Agora

Rooftop seating at Taverna Agora

This summer, there have been some big time openings in the downtown Raleigh Eats scene. One of them even puts us in the Guinness Book of World Records.

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

First, here’s a flier for a new pop up sandwich shop, Linus and Pepper’s, that will be open for three weeks on Salisbury Street starting today. It’ll be student run and is backed by Jon Seelbinder (Level Up Kitchen and Barcadium, The Architect) who also is working on other projects in downtown. Read more about it in the N&O.


  • Pictured above is the rooftop seating at the new location for Taverna Agora. The restaurant moved from North Raleigh to 326 Hillsborough Street and that empty, shell of a building is now more lively than ever.
  • Ashley Christensen’s Death and Taxes has finally opened at the corner of Salisbury and Hargett Streets.
  • Christensen has also announced that she is working on a pizza restaurant that will be located next door to Poole’s Diner.
  • Now that the Charter Square south tower is complete, we’re waiting to see what Eschelon Experiences brings to one of the ground-floor spaces in the building.
  • Construction fencing is up where Whiskey Kitchen will go at the corner of McDowell and Martin Streets.
  • Near Person Street, Standard Foods may actually open. At least that’s what they say as they are now hiring.
  • Person Street Pharmacy has finished their makeover with a new cafe.

Rooftop seating at Taverna Agora

Photo of the back patio at the Raleigh Beer Garden a few days before opening.

  • In Glenwood South, Niall Hanley and Cliff Bleszinski have set a Guinness World Record for most beer taps. The Raleigh Beer Garden is now open and has 366 beer taps spread across two floors. The place is huge and should be quite a draw within and outside the city.
  • In 510 Glenwood, Big Boom is now open. The new restaurant is from Vincent Barresi, of Vincent’s Italian Cuisine fame in North Raleigh.
  • JMR Kitchens (Taste, The Oak) is opening up more. on West Street in the former Mantra location. The new restaurant will serve “Italian-inspired small plates.”
  • Near Moore Square, Treat is now open and serves Maple View Farm ice cream.
  • I’m still keeping track of Provenance, planned to open in the Skyhouse Apartments building.
  • The N&O reported that Larry’s Beans is opening up a retail shop in the same building.
  • Still in Skyhouse, Taz is opening up a convenience store (as he does) called Oak City Market.
  • A dive bar called Ruby Deluxe is opening on the 400 block of Fayetteville Street.
  • Renovation work is taking place at 313 West Hargett Street. Twitter chatter says a wine bar is in the works.
  • Zinda has dropped their restaurant concept and is focusing on being an event space and club.

Feedback on Outdoor Dining in Downtown, PUPS

Dear members of the Raleigh City Council,

I want to write to you today with some concerns about the proposed change in hours for outdoor dining in downtown Raleigh. In my opinion, closing down outdoor dining areas earlier will reduce the noise levels a negligible amount to be useful at the expense of economic vitality in our city’s core. There are also other contributors to noise that I feel were not mentioned during the Law and Public Safety meetings on this issue.

What I see missing are the proper metrics that balance noise levels and resident acceptance. How many hours less does it take to get the desired noise levels? What metrics are being used here? I would like the council to discuss this because cutting an hour or two off outdoor dining may reduce noise but not to a level that satisfies the source of the complaints. If reduced hours of operation on outdoor dining must take place, please implement a 6-month trial period here. The trial period could test this rather than putting in place unnecessary restrictions that benefit no one and only restrict local businesses.

From my point of view, noise is the problem trying to be solved and outdoor dining has been pinned as the source of this noise late at night. Due to the thriving nightlife we have, a few others contribute to the noise pollution in downtown also that are not being talked about. Vehicle traffic, food carts, and amplified music are other elements that add to the hum of downtown’s nightlife yet no restrictions on them are being proposed.

From a resident point of view, vehicle traffic, including motorcycles with loud exhausts, trolleypubs with woohing riders, and cars that are all about that bass, have been another noise-related pain point. These contributors only raise the noise level of conversation from outdoor patrons. Food carts with generators and amplified music add to it as well. The relative noise level from outdoor dining is a product of the surrounding environment and this has not been discussed.

An alternative view could be to look at removing noise contributors first before harming local business. Please take a look to see if removing all outdoor amplified noise would help. Please consider closing down certain blocks of Glenwood Avenue and Fayetteville Street every Fri/Sat night, removing vehicles that contribute to the noise. Please work with food carts to provide electrical plug access rather than run loud generators.

After this discussion has taken place and possibly attempted on a 6-month trial basis should we start to talk about limiting the local businesses themselves.

Thank you for taking the time to think about my feedback.

Leo Suarez
208 Freeman Street