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dmccall

Times Bar Fun

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We went to the Times Bar last night and had a good time. Located on Hargett (diagonally across Fayetteville St from the Wachovia tower), the Times bar gives a hint of what nightlife around Fayetteville Street will be like in a matter of months. The interior reminds you that you're in an understated old building. Brick and beige walls with hard wood floors, and black and white historical photos on the wall nicely understate the buildng's charm, but give a comfortable feel much like 42nd St. Oyster Bar in Raleigh and Spanky's in Chapel Hill. The bottled beer selection is fine, but doesn't blow you over.

More interesting were the people we bumped into. First, Chris (my Raleighing cohort) and I met the mayor and rah rah-ed about how well everything is going downtown. He said a few interesting things. When Fayetteville St. is completed, both sides of Wilmington and Salisbury Streets will have free, 1-2 Hr curbside parking 24hrs a day. This will really help because there is limited non-deck parking space near the Times at night. He also seems very confident that Plensa's City Square will sail through and be done. He is as irritated as all of us that so many complaints from Smithfield (for instance) are being voiced. "Who cares what they think about it! This is RALEIGH!," he said. Nice. :) He didn't sound so optimistic about the chandeliers. Someone else walked up then and I couldn't get more out of him than that.

Ashley Christensen was working her tail off, so we didn't really try to distract her too much.

Later we talked to Greg Hatum and thanked him for giving us so much material to write about (at Raleighing) and for all the great things he has done so far. BoylanHeights was right that Stephen Jacobs is the firm he's using for the Lafayette. impressive! We asked him to cantilever the building to the NW as much as possible so as to block out the Marriott. He got a good solid laugh out of that.

He seemed most excited (forgive me if I don't have the details right) that the next step for "the parking deck" got approved so it will move on to the IBM stage (or whatever 3-letter acronym RFP?? something whatever). I can't remember the streets he said. I was confused and asked,"The one under the Marriott?" and he said No the one at blahblahblah streets. I THINK he said Davie in there, but I also thought Salisbury was in there, too. Was he referring to the one diagonally across from Nash Square where this deck currently is?? He also said that The Kitchen, the next venture with him and Ashley Christensen (in the old Heilig-Levine building), will be "soul food" and open probably at the end of the year. Good for them. Her track record with Vin and Nana's Chophouse are excellent.

I asked him what he thought was "the spark" that got all of this going and he doesn't really think that any one thing did it. He said he told Meeker back when he won the first time that downtown needs a "cheerleader" more than anything else.

Hatum introduced us to his "girlfriend", Samantha Thompson-Smith. We were excited to finally meet her and reminded her that her vacating the Saturday Retailing column was one of the big inspirations of starting Raleighing. That Retailing column is boring now, and I don't really dig Samantha's froo froo fashion features on Monday, being a guy who wears khakis or jeans every day :P . I will say that her photo in the N&O doesn't do her justice. :wub: rrrrrrrooooww!!

Chris talked to Thomas Crowder and thanked him for fighting the Marriott. I don't know what transpired, but I felt the need to drop another name :D

Interesting crowd there and we had a great time.

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Thanks for the story. I almost went last night, but something else came up last minute. It would have been great to talk to the mayor about downtown stuff. I'm kinda disappointed that he didn't seem to enthused about the chandeliers - but if i had to choose between Plensa's project and the chandeliers, I would have to go with the former.

Raleigh Times really looks awesome (at least from the outside when you walk/drive by). Very classy looking place from what I can tell. Did Hatem make any mention as to when he thought the Lafayette may break ground?

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I think the parking deck thing is on Davie, I remember seeing something on the news this week about a new parking deck with retail space... I went to Raleigh Times Friday, but now I wish I had gone last night too! I loved the place and can't wait to go back (especially when they have a full menu). My friend is coming to town from New York in two weeks, he grew up in Raleigh in the 60's, and delivered the Times, so he is pretty stoked about checking the place out too. The Heilig-Levine place sounds like it is going to be really nice as well. I was walking by the other day and stuck my head in to check out the courtyard, and it was very cool. I love stuff like that, and I think it will add a lot to the downtown scene, it really is a unique space. Thanks for the gossip, it has been so slow on here for the past two weeks, it is nice to have something interesting to read. :D

PS that is too bad about the chandeliers... I still have my fingers crossed, but it is not looking good I guess. I really thought they would have been very cool. Maybe they can be modified enough to please more people. I think it is important to have something at the intersections... and it will be such a waste of a wonderful gift to the city. Will the donors do something else if the chandeliers do not get the green light ? (no pun intended haha)

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No word on Lafayette ground breaking. I didn't want him to feel like I was interviewing him, so I just kinda let him talk.

My understanding is that there is wiring in place at the intersections for some "artistic lighting". Progress Energy is footing the bill for them, so if this design doesn't fly, I'm sure something else ELECTRIC will be in place. Maybe we'll be back to glass acorns??? :wacko:

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He seemed most excited (forgive me if I don't have the details right) that the next step for "the parking deck" got approved so it will move on to the IBM stage (or whatever 3-letter acronym RFP?? something whatever). I can't remember the streets he said. I was confused and asked,"The one under the Marriott?" and he said No the one at blahblahblah streets. I THINK he said Davie in there, but I also thought Salisbury was in there, too. Was he referring to the one diagonally across from Nash Square where this deck currently is?? He also said that The Kitchen, the next venture with him and Ashley Christensen (in the old Heilig-Levine building), will be "soul food" and open probably at the end of the year. Good for them. Her track record with Vin and Nana's Chophouse are excellent.

Interesting crowd there and we had a great time.

Hatem is partnering with the County on the deck at Davie and Dawson (near Kings). What I read in the N&O was that the deck will sit back a little bit, have retail facing both Davie and Dawson, and have condos priced around 200/sqft rising up above the retail. This deck will serve as parking for the Wake County Complex while the tear down of the old Wake County deck takes place a few years from now (2009ish). All told, Wake Countny will end up with two parking decks, one where the current one is (with retail I believe) and the one I just talked about. Hatem, if I remember, right, will be working on at least the residential portion of this.

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Thanks y'all. Which is correct

  • they will tear down the former Warehouse Restaurant, King's, and Poole's in order for this project to front all 4 blocks

  • the project just going on the NW corner of land

  • the project replaces the Warehouse only on the SW corner

  • other!

:blink:

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Thanks y'all. Which is correct
  • they will tear down the former Warehouse Restaurant, King's, and Poole's in order for this project to front all 4 blocks

  • the project just going on the NW corner of land

  • the project replaces the Warehouse only on the SW corner

  • other!

:blink:

I always assumed it would be only at the SW corner of the intersection since the County has owned this land sicne the 1950's or so. You sound like you know otherwise though.

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I always assumed it would be only at the SW corner of the intersection since the County has owned this land sicne the 1950's or so. You sound like you know otherwise though.

I really don't know anything other than what the article said. I'm just confused on this. I like the Pooles/Kings row and don't want to see it go. The SW corner was the Button South/Warehouse, though. Right?

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I was also in The Times Bar on Saturday night. When I first walked in, I thought I was underdressed but realized there was group of people who looked like they had come from a function at the front of the bar section. That group included some successful local business owners in the city who hold some positions in orgs in the community. I also saw Crowder there in the corner looking "dapper" in his suit. (I am not a Crowder fan and would vote him out if I could) I also saw Hatem several times talking to people. The parking seemed tight on the street but there is a deck (First Union/Wachovia Deck) right there with free parking and plenty of it so no excuse there about no parking.

I thought The Times bar was really cool and a well-needed establishment to DT. The building is old and maintains that character. It is a little odd in that there is a lot of bar and what looks like little eating area, but I could have missed some of the area as I did not venture around. I did see Ashley Christensen and she was working hard and the food I saw looked very good.

As a long term Raleighite, it reminded me of the positive things about Raleigh. It is hard to put in words but what people who come here say Raleigh has......"a certain vibe about it." They include.... An old building redone and has character that has not been torn down. Cool smart sophisticated educated people not acting arrogant, or "look at me".... just there to have a good time. An interesting mix of people and a good beer selection (not sure what I drank since someone else bought it). Nightlife like this and the future of more of it is why I live and will die here.

The SW corner was the Button South/Warehouse, though. Right?

LOL..........I forgot about the "Button South" !!!!!!!!!!!!

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I wanted to go this weekend, but figured it would be too crowded, and I'm not the hobnobbing type. Maybe some night this week, so I can have the place to myself! Morning Times should open soon in the old Dakota Grill space next door, since it is shaing its kitchen with Times Bar.

As far as parking decks go, this topic covers a lot about air space, etc.

I think the Lafayette is in a holding pattern because Hatem want the air rights over the existing deck south of the new CC. But am not sure if this is "the deal" he was talking about.

The Wake County parking deck will at least replace the county owned parking lot and building on the *NE* corner of the block located at the *SW* corner of Davie and McDowell. Some prelimiary plans have shown the deck/shops/condos/aparments structure going south along McDowell all the way to Kings, if not Poole's, the Tire Gallery, and the McDowell/Cabarrus intersection (northwest of the CC). Properties in the way would be bought/condemmed. I don't know if it would take up the whole block, but the old Coca-Cola bottling plant/Button South/Warehouse/Gemini building is crazy underutilized for the location it is in, and the auto repair station won't be missed. This block links the CC area to the depot district, and then Boylan and Glenwood South beyond that. There is no Request For Proposals (RFP) for this project yet, but would be one Hatem is interested in. With Wake County wanting to expand the courthouse, they should get moving on this somewhat quickly.

There is also talk of a parking deck near the RBC building at Martin and Wilmington, which is rumored to have apartments/condos/retail around it as well. Now I really hate not going, so I could figure out what is going on.

The Kitchen has been on the drawing board for months. Although to update that post, the Yanc(e)y's is not going in the Warehouse and is taking the place of Absinthe House.

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dmmcall,

The phrase Hatem referenced is called the "MOU" stage, an acronym for 'Memorandum of Understanding'. It's a formalized, non-binding pre-contract stage that outlines an agreement between parties, in this case; Empire Properties and Wake County regarding their proposal to develop a retail/residential wrapped parking deck at the intersection of McDowell and Cabarrus streets.

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dmmcall,

The phrase Hatem referenced is called the "MOU" stage, an acronym for 'Memorandum of Understanding'. It's a formalized, non-binding pre-contract stage that outlines an agreement between parties, in this case; Empire Properties and Wake County regarding their proposal to develop a retail/residential wrapped parking deck at the intersection of McDowell and Cabarrus streets.

Thanks! (they didn't teach us this in dental school :D )

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Dana,

Thanks for the Times write-up. That is literally two blocks away from me, and I have looked foward to its opening as my new watering hole.

How would you characterize it price- and atmosphere-wise? Is it the kind of place that the 30-somethings figure to haunt, or a younger crowd? Would you necessarily call it upscale, like the kind of place you'd want to be wearing a jacket in?

thanks

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Dana,

Thanks for the Times write-up. That is literally two blocks away from me, and I have looked foward to its opening as my new watering hole.

How would you characterize it price- and atmosphere-wise? Is it the kind of place that the 30-somethings figure to haunt, or a younger crowd? Would you necessarily call it upscale, like the kind of place you'd want to be wearing a jacket in?

thanks

It seemed most like 30-somethingers in casual clothes. There were some there in jackets but they were a bit older and had been at a special function. Definitely not the college crowd.

One thing I forgot to mention is that there aren't any TVs (at least yet), so don't plan on watching the big game there any time soon.

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I went here on wednesday it was pretty good. A little pricey for what you got (esp in regards of the fried pickle and whatever salad a friend of mine got) . But the hamburger was tasty and when I asked for it medium rare it was actaully medium rare which generally doesn't happen. However they should just make the price 1.50 more and make fries come with it, becuase having to order a side of fries with a hamburger is just wierd and possiably unamerican. They had pbr which is aways welcome and where able to split up a pitcher on the bill which was really awesome.

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Raleigh Times has added outdoor seating, for those outdoor seating fanatics out there. Maybe I'll try sitting out there once all the construction is done - right now I'd rather be inside looking at all the old papers and pictures than the orange construction barrels.

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I up for doing another meetup here (I missed the last forum meet, which ended up at the Times). It seems there's lots of folks going there already (Justin, etc.). Maybe some evening soon.

Thoughts?

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I up for doing another meetup here (I missed the last forum meet, which ended up at the Times). It seems there's lots of folks going there already (Justin, etc.). Maybe some evening soon.

Thoughts?

I'd love to get together again, too. I hope that Jojo and BoylanHeights will be there along with everyone else.

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