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ncwebguy

Downtown Raleigh nightlife

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Pulled this out from the Southend Brewery closing thread....

I think the breakdown at godowntownraleigh.com is ok. But I think Fayetville Street and Moore Square, Depot and Warehouse, and Glenwood South and Powerhouse should be the big three "districts".

Seaboard/North Blount and Person, Five Points, Cameron Village, and Hillsborough Street could foster smaller neighborhood districts catering to nearby residents -- Peace College/Oakwood/Mordecai, Hayes Barton/Five Points, Cameron Village, and NC State/University Park.

In the 70s/80s, Cameron Village and Hillsborough Street used to be the main nightlife areas. For better or worse, this could be the future of Glenwood South/Powerhouse -- residential towers and some bars/restaurants, but more shops to meet the needs of residents and not just the party crowd.

The closing of Jillians and Southend is the first signs of a "shakeout" but were the closings due to lack of demand for options in the area, or bad concepts? Like "The Warehouse/Cellar" before it, could Jillians have done better if it was a Chuck E Cheese/Adventure Landing "family fun center" by day (giving something to do during daylight hours downtow) and "sports bar/whatever" by night?

Walking Fayetville Street in the last year and a half has not been pleasurable, but that will change in just over a week. Nothing new will be there right away (other than the WTVD studio) and in that time the Hallmark store closed. If there isn't a party, there really isn't a reason to go other than Capitol square and the museums. It is hard to provide things to the crowds that go there since the state government owns all the land near the state history and natural science museums. And Exploris is pretty self-contained with its gift shop/cafe.

What districts should be geared more toward nightlife and which ones should give up on such ambitions? What other options are viable and where should they go?

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I can say that you can pretty much forget about the Capital (incl Blount St) district (north of Morgan St, east of Dawson St/Capital Blvd, south of Peace St, and west of Person St) having any significant late-night nightlife... the govt complex for the reason you mentioned, but also the Blount St redevelopment will have some restrictions on what kind of retail that can occur there out of respect for the historic character of the neighborhood. I believe it will be mostly small shops and restaurants open until 9-10pm or so.

So, then you have Moore Square, Fay St, Depot/Warehouse, and Glenwood South as the true nightlife destinations and so called "18-hour" live/work/play activity areas.

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I guess I didn't say anything about the viability of all these areas co-existing at once...

No, I don't think in the short term they can (esp with Fay St coming online soon), but I can say that I was over at Tir Na Nog on a Saturday night after DT Live and as I made my way west I passed Times Bar, Raleigh Music Hall, Borough, F Saucer, Napper Tandys, Blue Martini, Mosaic (new Moroccan bar opposite 518 West), Amras, Hibernian, Stoolpigeons, April & George ... I was fairly stunned that they all had a good crowds. This was a warm night, good weather, and a lots of ppl were DT for DT Live, but still it was impressive. In the long term, I think Raleigh will do fine as many more condo projects (future customers) come online.

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X-actly. And by word of mouth... exp. you live downtown and attend the grand opening of Amras or Yancey then you tell your friend who lives in North Raleigh who then tells their friend in Apex and before you know it you're headed downtown to party.

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I guess I didn't say anything about the viability of all these areas co-existing at once...

...................., but I can say that I was over at Tir Na Nog on a Saturday night after DT Live and as I made my way west I passed Times Bar, Raleigh Music Hall, Borough, F Saucer, Napper Tandys, Blue Martini, Mosaic (new Moroccan bar opposite 518 West), Amras, Hibernian, Stoolpigeons, April & George ...

Damn, now that is a Pub Crawl !!!!!!!!

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:rofl:

I didn't actually have a drink at each of those places. I doubt I would have made it all the way home. :P

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Oooooo now Mosaic sounds interesting. Anyone been in it yet?

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I've been a couple times, a friend of mine works there. Its a really cool place, very relaxed, ecclectic crowd.

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Mosaic is a cool place. I love the feel... cool bulding and location, dim lights, a bit of dancing when it's crowded, Moroccan theme, good wine, diverse crowd, bartenders are friendly, nice artwork ( :D ).

A definite :thumbsup: from me.

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Oooooo now Mosaic sounds interesting. Anyone been in it yet?

Good place. Add that to Amra's and 2 good new places. Not the usual young and fun crowd.

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That does it - it's on my list to visit in the very near future! Thanks for the reviews, all.

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I know you guys will think I'm crazy, but I'm going to miss the bumpy unmarked street in front of the Times bar.

Something about heading home after being in a place that makes me feel like not much has changed in 100 years: we still work like dogs, we still want a cold one at day's end with no pretenses. Stepping out onto that uneven surface feeling relaxed makes me understand what horse & carriage must've rolled over, & how many traversed that same place all this time.

I hope the atmosphere and crowd doesn't change with the F street reopening and striped parks. Then again I could be the only weirdo who sees it that way.

*sniff*

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I know you guys will think I'm crazy, but I'm going to miss the bumpy unmarked street in front of the Times bar.

Something about heading home after being in a place that makes me feel like not much has changed in 100 years: we still work like dogs, we still want a cold one at day's end with no pretenses. Stepping out onto that uneven surface feeling relaxed makes me understand what horse & carriage must've rolled over, & how many traversed that same place all this time.

I hope the atmosphere and crowd doesn't change with the F street reopening and striped parks. Then again I could be the only weirdo who sees it that way.

*sniff*

Maybe not that particular thing but I am sure I can be perceived as a wierdo for some of my tangents I slip into.....welcome to the wierdo club :thumbsup: Its an elite club....

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You can still get your bumpy road fix in City Market! Of course you have to go to the bars there (Rum Runners, Woodys, Zydego) which are not the same as Times Bar. Does anyone know why the Greenshileds space is *still* empty two years after the fire? I know it took the old occupants almost a year to figure out they wanted to move, but this is crazy.

I think the white square intersections do a good job of keeping F Street from being one long boring strip of asphalt. Riding the bus on the roughed up Martin Street was *not* pleasant.

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Maybe not that particular thing but I am sure I can be perceived as a wierdo for some of my tangents I slip into.....welcome to the wierdo club :thumbsup: Its an elite club....

Thanks! I'll have to pay closer attention to your tangents. My weirdness is well concealed inside my skull, I'm deceptively normal in appearance. Which explains why you guys only see the weirdo portion of the program. :lol:

You can still get your bumpy road fix in City Market!

That *is* true, ncwebguy. Duly noted.

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Thanks! I'll have to pay closer attention to your tangents. My weirdness is well concealed inside my skull, I'm deceptively normal in appearance. Which explains why you guys only see the weirdo portion of the program. :lol:

That *is* true, ncwebguy. Duly noted.

My typical tangents include:

1) preservation of all pre WWII era buildings...no matter what bank is proposing a hq there

2) restrict building height to about 10 stories or so...skyscrapers and their ensuing parking decks, kill the pedestrian environment of cities

3) bashing of all things that resemble subdivisions, office parks or shopping malls...essentially pro-tree and anti-pavement

4) complete dislike of chain stores of all types, Starbucks, Wal-mart, Ruth Chris, you name it...

5) general dislike of glenwood south post circa 2002......preferred it when Rockford was the main attraction

perhaps these are not tangents but central ideas regarding my perfect urban environment...lots of folks seem to disagree though....

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^Interesting.

1. ALL of them?!? Even you've gotta admit there are a good number of older buildings that are in such bad shape they should just be knocked down and start over again. Drive down Dawson Street between Lane and Jones, look to some boarded-over buildings on your left, and you'll see what I mean. Oh and that old green house where Hillsborough and Ashe meet...it's beyond renovation.

2. I don't agree with that one, unless the parking deck parts become too much of a focal point. I tend to think the taller the building is, the better for pedestrian-focused businesses to survive.

3. Totally agreed!!!

4. complete dislike of MEGA-chains, yes. Smaller chains like Port City Java, Krispy Kreme, etc, have important places in our urban development of downtown Raleigh. Even some big chains too...I'm sure the residents of the Sir Walter Apts are glad to have CVS right nearby, for example.

5. Eh...I like it now....I see where you're coming from though. As long as the "funky" little places like Rockford survive all the new stuff coming up around it, I'll be happy.

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I'm a chain disliker, too. If I'm traveling though, I have to admit that a chain is a known entity, especially if urgently needed (like the CVS example). Otherwise, I avoid chains and get it online so I can spend my time in the groovier places.

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After a trip to southeast Virginia over the weekend, I appreciate how good we have it here.

There might be some other nightlife that is better, but a drive through Portsmoth and then the ferry to the Norfolk waterfront did not turn up much. The Waterside, a one stop partying center was a collection of "big box bars" -- Jillians, Outback, Hooters, Joe's Crab Shack, BAR Norfolk, Have a Nice Day cafe, and a Rum Runners clone. Beneath that was a food court, a Dollar Zone, and stores that would have been at home in North Hills in its final days as an enclosed mall.

There were several hotels overlooking the water, but they all seemed to have an "empty face" on the waterfront. I know the lobby, etc. would face the street on the other side, but a nice cafe or restaurant waterside would have given some sembelance of life when approaching from the ferry. One block from the water, several parking decks ate up potential street level shopping, restaurants, etc. Not surprisingly, there were few people walking around, despite it being really sunny with highs in the low 80s.

The Old Portsmoth area, which retained its historic character through preservation and low building heights except right on the river, also seemed to lack a pulse. There were people here and there, but it seemed to be a 50/50 vagrant to non-vagrant ratio. Also there were a lot of empty storefronts despite nearby residences, a Children's museum, and a movie theater in the area.

What does this mean for the future of Raleigh? Is it too late to get people living the 'burbs downtown to do anything other than drink or eat? Is every civic project doomed for failure? Will the right things be done for the right reasons?

To some people, Olive Garden is the CVS of Italian food -- a known quantity at a good price and consistent from location to location. Chains can fill holes -- is there any mom and pop discount grocery stores? But can also be "beat" by better independents -- Cup of Joe vs. Starbucks on Hillsborough Street and Helios vs. Starbucks around the corner at Glenwood/Peace. Or go where chains won't -- would Olive Garden put up with the lack of a parking lot the way 518 does?

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^Interesting.

1. ALL of them?!? Even you've gotta admit there are a good number of older buildings that are in such bad shape they should just be knocked down and start over again. Drive down Dawson Street between Lane and Jones, look to some boarded-over buildings on your left, and you'll see what I mean. Oh and that old green house where Hillsborough and Ashe meet...it's beyond renovation.

2. I don't agree with that one, unless the parking deck parts become too much of a focal point. I tend to think the taller the building is, the better for pedestrian-focused businesses to survive.

3. Totally agreed!!!

4. complete dislike of MEGA-chains, yes. Smaller chains like Port City Java, Krispy Kreme, etc, have important places in our urban development of downtown Raleigh. Even some big chains too...I'm sure the residents of the Sir Walter Apts are glad to have CVS right nearby, for example.

5. Eh...I like it now....I see where you're coming from though. As long as the "funky" little places like Rockford survive all the new stuff coming up around it, I'll be happy.

ok a very small number of buildings but not the two you mentioned....the first is the old broom and mattress factory that was a part of the school for the deaf and blind...it was built in 1898 and would make a wonderful 6 condo historic rehab. The Green house was owned by a descendant of the Tucker elite that owned the mansion that stood in front of the Carriage House beside St Marys. Inside the Green house things are still quite sturdy and ornate. If you removed the asbestos siding and replaced a few eaves (and removed my beloved jackpot) it would look quite nice. I like local chains too actually....where is the line crossed that makes me puke?...a Starbucksesque, one on every corner mentality...serve me a good product but don't institutionalize my experience, jeez.....

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The only thing that I wish to change about Raleigh nightlife is the lack of a New Yorkish style night club that specializes in electronic music. To my knowledge, there is nothing like that in this town.

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Electronic music like ambient chillout type music?

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^ Well trance is often mixed with house at places like Legends and CC....but I'm guessing that's not exactly the kind of place you want. LOL :D

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Not so much. Nothing against the crowd either of the two clubs draw, but its just not my scene.

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