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Downtown Raleigh retail updates


Beth Y

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To me, it seems that if all the retail that has been on Glenwood South over the last few years was there *at the same time*, it could have had the makings of a district. There are a decent number of residents nearby already, but there doesn't seem to be a store that would cater to all of them -- residents of 510, Paramount, Quorum, Glenwood-Brooklyn, and Glenwood Towers are different markets. Grandma doesn't need a $100 pair of shoes or anything from Harry's guitar shop (which could be a little more sidewalk-friendly itself). Is that market so trained to go to Cameron Village that nothing can exist outside it?

Glenwood's chicken and egg scenario where the chicken is only producing certain eggs, which in turn attract similar eggs. Will the addition of 222 Glenwood and West at North's retail space (and residents) make it so retail might have a chance there? Or do the high rents and past failures make it a bar/coffee/restaurant only area?

It is sad that rent has increased so quickly in Glenwod South as to make it difficult for collection of small business to get a foothold and make a go of it. I do wonder how not only Fireflly, but that shoe store that used to be on Glenwood around the corner from Mosaic that had maybe 10 shoes on display, paid the rent month after month. And the light fixture, bicycle, skateboard, and camera stores near the Peace/West intersectoin have done ok. They don't compliment each other at all, but have been around for at least 10+ years. What are they doing "right" that everyone else isn't? If rent is cheap enough there, then maybe there could be more retail along West, and leave Glenwood to the bars and restaurants? On-street parking is an issue though, since there few cross streets in that area.

The block with Glenwood Towers and 510/Pine State Creamery creates a dead block that has no sidewalk presence, other than Red Room. They could rennovate the red brick pine state building, and fill the void at the south end of 510, but the Glenwood Tower parking lot would be difficult to overcome. Same with the building with Cody's, Sushi Blues, and Zelly and Ritz. Why were they allowed to put *parking* in front even though there is plenty of parking in the back??? The Hibernian to Dive Bar area could be nice with a little infill here and there, especially across from 222.

Seaboard Station/Logans could be a retail destination, but it seems "landlocked" and can't grow any bigger than it is. 111 will add some space, but will that be enough to maintian a district?

City Market/Palladium/Edison/Lincoln Theater area/Site 1/Hargett could be something, and tie to F Street, but that's a big if. There has been a clothing store on Hargett for years (baggio?) that I don't know how it survives, but I'm glad it does. Same for the Native American store, the instrument shop, etc. Some chains could bulk up the offerings in this area, but at what cost? And will they even want to be part of downtown?

In the warehouse district, White Rabbit has made a go of it by itself for years. And the Goodwill store doesn't seem to be affected by rent pressure. There was a record store in the warehouse district (four-four records?), but it was mostly a base for DJs I think. The only other retail was the iron fence and garden sculputre shop near White Collar Crime, but that's gone too. The street level condos in the Dawson (other than the Borough) have been empty. Are they too small? Too expensive? Or are they too isolated as well? The Hue will add retail space, but will it only get more bars and food service places? The Hillsborough Street corridor from Glenwood to the Clarion was fixed up but never got traction either despite having plenty of storefront windows. The bridge expansion killed Innovations, and the rest of that block is up for sale, making Marsh Woodwinds move and the lawnmower shop question its future.

Retail might be too "ahead of its time", but when will it be "time"? Is there anything the city and/or Downtown Raleigh Alliance can do to improve this? Or are they happy with the status quo? Is there a storefront zoning option with limits on the number of restaurants?

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Next to Amras. I took some pics last friday...will try to post soon. Rob.....I stuck my face up to the window and only see one small display case and some countertop glass containers.....probably more than just cupcakes....the name seems to imply it, but the space looks awfully limited. They put a nice chunk of change into fixing up the space so I hope the business model can pay the rent and capital invested....maybe they will cater too or something like Peche de Chocolate in City Market does? I talked to the owner once wondering how he paid his rent selling candy and he said they provided lots of high end candy to special events etc.

I just went there today. The owner (dark haired woman) is very nice, and the selection is pretty good. It's not Sprinkles in L.A. or anything but not too shabby, either. I bet the reason why the display area is so limited (and yes, there are just cupcakes but they had some good coffee as well) is that they probably plan to do most of their business catering. Grab yourself a red velvet and enjoy!

It's open til 8 Tuesday through Thursday and til 11 Friday and Saturday. They're closed Sunday and Monday.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mr. Saleh of Neomonde died on Saturday. Don't worry, though, the sons will continue the business. This may be the end, though, of the story about them opening in the Heilig-Levine (or whatever) building at Hargett and Wilmington St.

In a related story, I heard that another middle-easterner is interested in opening a Mediterranean restaurant in the base of 222 Glenwood, next to 518 West....

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Helig-Levin storefront has a "leased" sign in it, as does one of other Empire storefronts around the corner on Hargett.

They have done a lot of work on the back, adding fire escapes, etc.

Work is still somewhat slow going on the Raleigh Furniture building as well, but that is not as close to being open any time soon.

I hope the Exploristore/cafe survives the Exploris/Playspace merger, but haven't seen anything to make me think one way or the other yet. I *hate* that the bigger cafe is still hidden back by the IMAX theater, instead of being prominent on the corner, or either the frontage on Hargett or Blount.

There is a "coming soon" sign for the cafe in Palladium Plaza near City Market.

And as mentioned in the Seaboard thread, Tookies is now open there from 6 am till midnight.

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I hope the Exploristore/cafe survives the Exploris/Playspace merger, but haven't seen anything to make me think one way or the other yet. I *hate* that the bigger cafe is still hidden back by the IMAX theater, instead of being prominent on the corner, or either the frontage on Hargett or Blount.

Yeah, I agree it wasn't a great decision to stick the larger cafe back with the Imax, instead of having it at the street level. (And then the theatre's concession stand is smaller than a linen closet. Smart. :rolleyes: ) Of course in an ideal world the Imax itself would have faced the street...or at least the box office window doing so. Way too hidden.

I think the giftshop will do ok with the changes...I'd imagine the addition of Playspace in the merger would at least increase foot traffic and visibility. Parents bringing kids for activities may stop by to buy a holiday gift or two on their way thru.

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^^last three^^

Hallmark is a classic example of a great building hidden behind a modern diarhea encrustation.....it has huge wooden beams inside and the typically sweet pressed tin ceiling which I hope they preserve....it also has a cool window arrangement facing out the back that must have looked out onto a more open courtyard in days past as opposed to the barely accessible alley there new.

Dos Taquitos is looking nice and Fayetteville St Taveren extension is looking good....thats what the building looked like in 1926....wonder if the 15 story residential tower is still going in....the center of the building is open to the sky....

Empire has certainly made 'Hargett the target'...there are alot of store fronts there....coupled with all the dilapidated stuff on Wilminton, the buildings here could support a shopping district of decent proportion...not to discount the current retailers on Wilmington...they have hung on when no others would dare....the properties just need cleaned up...

I had no idea there was another cafe at Exploris...I kinda let the space try to talk me into coming to check it out, and I never felt like I really wanted to check it out......IMAX should absolutely have its box office facing outward....I almost feel like I am trespassing when I just venture over to see whats playing....

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Ed Mitchell from Wilson is going to open a high class barbacue joint in one of Hatem's buildings.

http://www.wilsondaily.com/LocalNews/Story...itchell_s_BBQ__

For the uninitiated, Ed Mitchell formerly operated Mitchell's BBQ on US 301 in Wilson. This new place should be a good draw for people that like barbecue (or pulled pork as my in-laws say).

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In the next 90 days, he said he and partner Greg Hatem, a Raleigh/Durham downtown developer, plan to open a gourmet restaurant with all ABC permits in downtown Raleigh, in a historic building about two blocks from the Convention Center. Barbecue and other pork entrees will be the menu's headliners.

I love BBQ. Any ideas as to where this will be?

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Could this be going into the former Est Est Est space at Hargett and Salsibury? The paper is off the windows, and it already was upfit for a kitchen and bar space. Or maybe Nana's Chophouse could be reconfigured for this project? I hope not, but how well has it been doing lately? Or maybe the Chophouse will move to the Hargett/Wilmington area. Poole's is closer than "two blocks away", so that might not be the location, but who knows?

Hargett/Wilmington is more than two blocks away, but gourmet bbq would be nice to see in the Heilig/Levine space as well.

In other "two blocks from the CC" news, the Depot that aren't Ess are *still* not open, depsite the "grand opening" party with Uncle Cracker a month or so ago. The barsare close to being built, and there is a mechnaical bull visible from the window, but it looked like they were still a few weeks from opening.

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what ever happened to the Neomonde downtown rumor? Did that fall through?

The rumor was they would take the space in Empire's Helig-Levine Bldg right at the corner of Wilmington & Hargett St. FWIW, that space has a leased sign in front. I believe someone posted that the owner of the existing Neomonde may have passed away... basically no one knows yet. The Waraji and other retail plans probably fall through half the time and we never know about it.

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There is now...at least from the N&O. They confirmed today Waraji is moving into the old Est Est Est. http://www.newsobserver.com/business/nc/st...ory/704698.html

Awesome!!! :wub: I will be a regular customer so long as they can duplicate their excellent quailty/service in the new lcoation. Waraji is definitely a cut above Blues & the one over at Two Progress on Davie St.

Another piece of good news. Dos Taquitos is schduled to open it's doors at 106 S Wilmington St (just S of the Capitol) next Monday!

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Dos Taquitos has an awesome feel inside...ala Raleigh Times with exposed brick and such. Also one of Empires buildings on Hargett (the one without a leased sign) has a very cool 100 year oldish counter top sitting in pieces to be used....reminds me of a turn of the century drug store counter or soda fountain counter. SInce the space does not seem to be leased yet I am not sure if the counter is staying in it or going next door to the leased space...windows are covered there so I can't see whats going on......fyi to fellow nose-to-window gawkers....

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I drove by Dos Tacquitos last night and was suprised that the paper was off and the tables and chairs were already in place. I wanted to back up to get a better look, but someone was close behind me. Will have to get in there next week before everyone else finds it.

The unleased/staging area in the Empire block has been busy for a while. The corner is still pretty empty but is (alegedly) leased.

It is good to see Waraji rumor confirmed as well!

I wonder where the gourmet/BBQ place will go. I don't think it will be "The Mint" on Fayetville Street, though I haven't been by there in a while.

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As of today, Dos Taquitos is open for business, and they are open for dinner Thur-Sat 5:30-10pm. I didn't catch their lunch hours, but I think they are open Mon-Sat.

Yay! :yahoo: If only I had known about this earlier, that is where we would have gone to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday...too late to change the plans now, since it's today! Am I reading correctly that they will only be open for dinner Thur-Sat??

So glad to hear about Waraji opening a downtown location as well!

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