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ncbrian's Achievements


Whistle-Stop (3/14)



  1. Morning breaking over God's Acre cemetary in Old Salem
  2. A shot from the Heavy Rebel Weekender event from last weekend
  3. It will take time and a good stretch of good economic development in Winston-Salem but I think eventually, all of those infill lots downtown will be put to good use and downtown will return to something like its former glory.
  4. Hanberry's on Trade St has closed. In its place is Gotham Park Home, a furnishings and crafts store.
  5. Would not hurt to have one downtown though I would prefer a Wendy's instead. Would do quite well if located near the bus terminal for people to grab and go something on their trips. It probably will not affect other businesses downtown as the people who would normally get something at McDonalds probably would not get something a lot better for a bit more money and lot more fresher. On the other hand, people may actually get breakfast there as there is a real lack of breakfast options downtown so getting a Bacon Egg Cheese biscuit will be a real choice for many people.
  6. The old Towne Jeweller's store on 4th and and Cherry is becoming Towne Markets. From a posted sign on the door, I gather that it will be like a boutique type of store where different vendors have a portion of the floor space but there will be a central cash register for all of the sales. There will a display for an artist, an antique food dealer, a speciality food dealer, an arts & crafts store and perhaps a bit more later on. It will be a nice addition but I wonder about its success as the facade of the store is not very inviting and this is the kind of store that will rely heavily on casual pedistrian traffic. You could walk right past it without knowing it existed. Let's hope that is taken in account on the renovation through the addition of a large street-level window display.
  7. Well for the Ben and Jerry's ice cream place, I did not vote for the downtown location. As much as I would want more retail downtown, these kind of places rely heavily on being a destination type of retail and given some of the barriers currently in place for viable downtown retail, it may be premature to do so for such a place downtown. As for the other locations and their viability, in a cross post on another board, I gave my views of the vote choices: Stratford Road area - heavily built up road means it will be difficult to access from the road unless within a shopping center, Thruway centre already has Baskin Robbins and on the other side of the street, Blue Ridge ice cream is there. Miller Street/Cloverdale Avenue - Mayberry's is an old standby with a decidely older clientile. Fair bit of commerical development that draws heavily on the hospital. Hanes Mall Boulevard - heavily built up with quite a few ice cream establishments (Moola's, Carvel etc...).Not much open space available except at Little Shoppes development. Downtown - no other retail draw in the area, residence levels currently low, large weekday worker population, limited street parking; may fit in with the Arts District culture but is there enough business? Southeast Gateway - new development with large resident areas around it. large education section from Salem College, NCSA, WSSU. Tourists from Old Salem and development will draw people from the YMCA. Robinhood Road/Peacehaven area - large commerical area with no known similar businesses. Residential areas abound. University Parkway/Hanes Mill Road area - somewhat off the beaten track and unlikely to draw in people from other parts of the city unless located next to the new theatre. Given all of that, my choice in the site selection would be the SouthEast gateway as there is quite a lot of business potential in the area with high foot traffic and it will gain the prestige of being located in a new upscale development.
  8. I was wondering: are there any supermarkets on the east side of Hwy 52 in the downtown area. To the best of my knowledge, there are supermarkets in the Stratford/Miller St area, Peters Creek Parkway and up on University but I do not know anything about the section of downtown on the other side of 52.
  9. I agree; Old Salem is just about right where it should be. The re-enactors provide a nice semblance of what life was like then without veering into Williamsburg-type of place. Ironically enough this makes it more real than having scores of people walking around in some sort of fossilised outdoor museum. A hotel tower in this area is the last thing it needs though having a hotel in the nearby Gateway development would work as it would also be within walking distance of the NCSA.
  10. Continuing this sub-thread about downtown coffe shops, Scott Sexton has a column out talking just about that in the Journal. The lede:
  11. Which brings up the question on what sort of retail, non-food, would be viable downtown. Arts and Crafts work well on Trade St but what would entice people to come downtown to shop? Getting back to restaurants again, there was an announcement early this year that a casual dining sort of resturant with a California feel would go into the vacated space at the southwest corner of Marshall and Fourth, the old United Way offices. Haven't heard anything about it since the announcement but then again would an additional casual dining resturant work downtown? Within a stone's thrown away you have Foothills, Camel Cafe, Cat's Corner, Bistro 420, Mellow Mushroom, the hotel cafe and Dudleys on the Park all serving similar foods. The Downtown Thai is a good alternative so what would work well there? Before it closed, Kabab's Indian cuisine seemed to draw a good steady crowd. Vegeterarin restuarant may have some success too. WS Prime is good high end steak place, could we do well with another? My preference which I have mentioned before is that downtown needs a seafood restaurant first and foremost.
  12. So the Cheesecake cafe touted for the street level retail space is not going to happen? The Quiznos shop will be a good addition when you consider that there is a lack of fast food retail downtown. Tokyo Sapphiro's takeout and some of the other sandwich shops cover part of the market but there is ample capacity for more and the location is far enough from the Subway on Main St so as not to take business away from there. If they are open late in the evenings, they could get a fair bit of trade from the hotels. As for the coffee shop, we are not lacking for coffee downtown. While I would prefer local indigenous retail stores downtown to foster a sense of community and identity, these franchises do provide a bit of stability for downtown. Notice also that much of the latest announcements(Marshall McGreatys, Skippys, Downtown Billards renovations etc..) have been around the Marshall and Fourth St area which ties into the Twin City Quarter project around the hotels/convention center. Hopefully when the One Vista Place and the Civic Plaza projects are completed on the south side of Fourth St from Cherry to Liberty, then we will have a solid downtown core.
  13. It is a pretty much an unremarkable building indistinguishable from any building you would see in any industrial park. It is on the sunken side of 1st street and is pretty easy to miss if you drive past it. I concur that it would be nice to tear down the building. There are some surface parking lots surrounding the building and then there is that hollow behind it that goes under Business 40 and stuck in the middle of the hollow is a steel column supporting a billboard. It is not a desireable location by any stretch. In fact, I am probably of the mind to contour the land, plant some trees there and make it an extension of the strollway. The office buildings on Cherry and 1st can be much better locations for the current building's tenants. On a side note, walking past the One Vista Place development, I see that the work crews are gutting the interiors now. It probably will be a while before they start tearing down the buildings but at least there is progress.
  14. That is unusual for a prospective business to be booted out after all of the announcements and preliminary construction. My guess is that it is probably a personal dispute but we should find out soon enough what the cause is.
  15. Does anybody have a list of the bars, cafes, restaurants and similar places in the Burke St area? I would probably define the area as including 4th street from Broad St to where 1st St meets up with Hawthorne, essentially most of the West End thus including places like the Filling Station and West Cafe but not places along West End Blvd. Also, I see that I now have reached Whistle-Stop ranking. How many more posts before the next level?
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