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

Provenance

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.

222_sidewalk

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.
sidewalk1

  • 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.

title

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.

landp

  • 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

Renovation Near Complete at 501 South Person Street, New Restaurant Planned

The building at 501 South Person Street has been under heavy renovation.

The building at 501 South Person Street has been under heavy renovation.

I love seeing building reuse stories and this one has really piqued my interest.

The building located at the corner of Cabarrus and Person Street is done, or nearly done, with its renovation and the owner, Phuc Tran, wants to put a restaurant here. The blocker from starting work on the restaurant is zoning as the lot is currently zoned for Residential Business (RB) and Mr. Tran wants it to be Downtown Mixed Use. (DX) The DX zoning would allow him to open a restaurant that serves alcohol.

For a great catch-up on the issue, check out the story on the Raleigh Public Record.

Since 1922, the site had been home to a Seventh-day Adventist church. They continued to use the facility until the 1980s, by which time the congregation had outgrown the facilities. After that, it had been the place of worship for other churches, but when the building was damaged by a tornado in 2011, the church was abandoned. Scheduled for demolition, Phuc Tran stepped in and repaired the church.

While the planning commission had voted 8-2 in recommending approval of the rezoning, the central citizens advisory council had voted unanimously in disapproval of the rezoning. A valid statutory protest petition had been filed as well.

Speaking at the meeting, several members of the audience said their primary concern was the selling of alcohol and that litter might become a problem because of the restaurant.

*Downtown Rezoning Divides Neighborhood Residents

Even though the Raleigh Planning Commission voted in favor of the rezoning, the Raleigh City Council still has to approve it. That vote came up recently, on June 2, 2015, and was delayed after some discussion. Here’s the video of it which also includes some great photos of the renovation work and interior of the building.


If the video doesn’t show for you, watch it here.

No vote was made as it was delayed two weeks because city staff needs to determine the validity of the submitted protest petition. The council should discuss it again at their June 16, 2015 meeting.

The residents immediately around the site came out to voice support or concerns about this rezoning request, as you can hear in the video. (lots of comments by the way)

Those for the rezoning want to see Mr. Tran open a restaurant here. Reasons are that it will bring some vitality to the area and possibly raise property values.

Those against do not want restaurant, especially alcohol related, activity nearby and feel it inappropriate to be near college students (Shaw) and young children of the nearby youth centers. Possible trash, smells, and public drunkenness were other reasons to be against the rezoning. There were also worries that if the rezoning was approved and the owner changed later, what holds the new owner to the same promises as the old one?

In my opinion, there are two way to look at this issue. One is to decouple the restaurant opening and the rezoning case. The other is to see them as linked together.

As far as the rezoning goes, the city’s comprehensive plan and unified development ordinance (UDO) have pretty much included this property into the downtown mixed-use (DX) camp. Actually, the proposed rezoning for that entire area is to be downtown mixed-use zoning. You can verify it with this tool by entering in the address.

The case here is that Mr. Tran wants to have the rezoning now so work can get started on the restaurant and not wait until the new UDO rezoning goes into effect. It’s completely consistent with what the city wants already and city staff confirmed that everything is indeed consistent with all policies.

Proposed UDO map around 501 South Person Street.

Proposed UDO map around 501 South Person Street with 501 South Person highlighted. It is surrounded by DX rezoning under the new UDO. Click for larger.

As a rezoning case, this is a no-brainer and the council can point to the adopted policies in order to make a decision. The rezoning should be approved.

One major difference I noticed between those that are for and against the restaurant at 501 South Person is the difference of time each resident has lived in the neighborhood. Those against have decades under their belts of living nearby. Relatively speaking, those for the rezoning are new to the area. I’m generalizing sure but if you watch the video and note the addresses given, the sale dates of the properties of those for the rezoning are less than 15 years compared to those against who claim to have lived in the neighborhood for multiple decades.

I could be wrong but there’s something to this.

East Raleigh doesn’t have experience with a restaurant of this type right in the neighborhood so they have every right to scrutinize. If you look at history, the past few decades have shown very little new businesses in the area so the neighborhood that these residents have grown to love and protect is being challenged by something new.

The new residents most likely came to the area riding on the downtown revitalization wave and of course a new restaurant appeals to them. That is what has been happening around here in case you haven’t noticed.

Another view of the building at 501 South Person Street.

Another view of the building at 501 South Person Street.

My personal opinion is that a renovated one-story building turned neighborhood restaurant is a much better contributor to any neighborhood than an empty lot or future development. The building, which has been now saved, maintains character and honors those that built the neighborhood in the past.

I think whatever the outcome, a lot of good has taken place with the building being saved. The community, new and veteran residents, should come together and work out the concerns in an open communication instead of coming off as rivals during a government meeting.

In the many more decades to come, the building may evolve to serve more than just the new downtown residents as the nearby culture embraces it. I think that’s the first step and is something worth supporting.

Outdoor Seating Ordinance Changes Being Discussed

Email readers: This blog post has embedded video. Read the post on the blog if you can’t see it.


If the video doesn’t show for you, watch it here.

I’m into this outdoor seating “controversy” and wanted to get some ideas and thoughts out there on the blog.

First, let’s start with some history. If you recall, our downtown’s vibrancy was questioned during a Raleigh City Council meeting in January 2015. Developer Greg Hatem introduced the concerns (watch it in the previous link) and was quoted as saying that downtown Raleigh was “unlivable.” During that discussion, it was mentioned that a group was doing some independent thinking on this and wanted to work with the city to address it. In Hatem’s opinion, noise and disorderly behavior on Fayetteville Street was one of the reasons holding back downtown’s vibrancy.

Now, all of a sudden this is on the consent agenda for the June 2, 2015 council meeting.

3.1 Private Use of Public Spaces Ordinance Update
Marchell Adams-David, City Manager’s Office
Recent discussions of vibrancy within downtown Raleigh and the Fayetteville Street District have revealed a number of issues that need to be addressed. One prevalent issue is the need to re-define Outdoor Dining as currently addressed in the City code. Staff is currently revising the existing Standards for Private Use of Public Spaces (PUPS), originally authorized in 2007. The original intent of an Outdoor Dining Permit was for PUPS areas to be utilized for dining; since that time a number of Outdoor Dining permits have been issued to businesses and private clubs where no associated dining activity occurs.

Revisions to the current Outdoor Dining ordinance include additional clarity, strengthening of enforcement and a means to resolve administration of the ordinance. The two Outdoor Dining ordinances, Sections 9-7007 and 12-2121 of the City code, require a text change for the purpose of revision and modernization.

Recommendation: Authorize a public hearing for June 16, 2015.

Watch the video, it’s short, as City Manager Ruffin Hall explains the ordinance and who it affects. The council did not vote on this and instead moved it to the Law and Public Safety Committee and it’ll be discussed at their June 9 meeting.

The bar owners have definitely come out against this with some that are not affected showing opposition as well. The claim is that the bars spend thousands of dollars on policing and managing their patrons while on the public sidewalks so to not allow it, the city then has to police it. Could there be a liability issue here too? Some think so.

The supporters of this ordinance update argue that the noise levels on Fayetteville Street are already too high and with over 5 new outdoor amplified noise permits recently submitted for Fayetteville Street, the levels will increase. This is a detractor from a vibrant downtown.

I’ve thought about this for a bit and think I’ve formed my opinion on the matter. Like most controversies, both sides may be at an extreme where a compromise should satisfy everyone. Someone shared a photo with me on Twitter that helps the discussion.

That is what a typical Friday or Saturday night looks like in front of a handful of businesses on Fayetteville Street. It’s alive. It’s buzzing. There are people everywhere.

It’s also a side effect of those very large sidewalks we built on “North Carolina’s Main Street.”

Many would agree that having a drink outside is fantastic. I LOVE sitting outside with a beverage. It could be a pint of beer, glass of wine, can of soda, glass of water, it doesn’t matter. Still tastes better outside in my opinion. So remember that drinking outside is fantastic and clearly that is helping businesses thrive on Fayetteville Street.

However, because of our huge sidewalks here and the lack of defined spaces for the public versus a business, the dominant force takes over. The bar patrons are taking over the sidewalks and not allowing the sidewalk to function like a transportation network. You can’t easily walk up and down Fayetteville Street. Forget it when it comes to those in a wheelchair.

I’m not calling anyone out but some do it better than others.

So what’s the middle ground? To disallow businesses from having outdoor seating because they do not serve food shows a lack of understanding of the issue and a failure to work with those owners on an improved solution that benefits everyone. I’d like to think that a vibrant community is one where visitors can flow from place to place with ease.

If you look at the photo embedded above, the problem is the “massing” of people standing outside a bar/restaurant from the front door all the way to the curb. Is this not a safety hazard? How does someone walk through that, especially someone in a wheelchair? What if an emergency happens, won’t this slow down the emergency folks that respond?

A good conversation with bar owners could be around this topic. How can the city and owners create a process to allow a more defined sidewalk seating/entertaining area? The sidewalk must function as transportation just like the street must be clear so vehicles can get through.

We should up our outdoor seating game and let owners set up decorative ropes, umbrellas, awnings, etc. in order to define a space that says, “in this area, you are outside for this bar/restaurant.” That also sends the message that, “being outside of that area, you are not a part of this bar/restaurant, keep moving.”

That’s a much better look than the borderline chaos we have going on with these droves of people congregating outside bars.

The other side of it is enforcement and I expect that to be a big discussion at the committee meeting next week.

Wrapping up, my thinking so far is that defining our public spaces so that there is balance between moving pedestrians (transit network) and outdoor entertainment (drinking. outside. Fantastic!) would benefit everyone without further limitations that the city has to work hard to enforce.