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Beth Y

Downtown Raleigh retail updates

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It is hard to get a feel for how big the Creedmoor location is since there is so much "stuff" everywhere dividing the restaurant seating area. Sunrise's wood panneling better go away, but I hope "Express" does not mean carry out and/or lunch only!

The Village Draft House expansion has been obvious for a while, with a "the grease trap is in the back" sign on the window there. It would be nice if there was a downtown expansion mentioned with Clayton/Cleveland, but a smoke-free dining area (Village DH is bad, Harrison's is worse) is a ok alternative.

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Who? And what did they deny??

I called Dos Taquitos and asked,"Are you opening a restaurant downtown, on Wilmington St?" "NO".

Thanks a lot. Get back to decorating. I can't believe the fire marshall passes that place.

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^Haha thats funny - I guess someone just snuck in there a put a sign up, right? Jeeze, why deny something that has been announced in the paper and a sign has been put in the store?

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This article talks about at least one tear down of a four story building next to the Shearton in the future with a taller building to replace it. Land prices are soaring.

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That's a great article. F Street could use more restaurants. When I stayed a few weeks back I did note one was under construction but there was very few offerings especially on a Sunday afternoon.

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I was there on Saturday afternoon and it was dead as a doornail-honestly it looked like a ghost town. There was a homeless person on the bench in front of WTVD and a family looking for McDonald's-thats about it. The people I was with commented on how great the architecture was but it was embarassing taking people down there.

Cooper's BBQ was crowded though and actually quite good.

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When I was there on Sunday it was pretty much a ghost town as well. Hopefully more retail and restaurants will help pick up pedesterian traffic.

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I was there on Saturday afternoon and it was dead as a doornail-honestly it looked like a ghost town. There was a homeless person on the bench in front of WTVD and a family looking for McDonald's-thats about it. The people I was with commented on how great the architecture was but it was embarassing taking people down there.

Cooper's BBQ was crowded though and actually quite good.

Dan, I think I saw the same dude. It was my first time there since the opening (ditto on the architecture comment). The area has been business-oriented for so long, it'll take the transition some time. However, the potential is there and hopefully additonal restaurants, etc. will follow to "jazz" things up. Got my fingers crossed on this one as we surely need it.

Raleigh & Durham have loads of potential downtown. Both could use a sizeable park (especially Durham) and other amenities.

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The "mid-August" ice cream shop across from Wachovia is still not opened. Several businesses still don't open on the weekends. I want to do some kind of campaign with flyers stating "if you were open on Saturday, you would have had my buisness", but I don't know if that would be considered vandalism...

It is nice to see real estate speculators selling out, but I hope it isn't just to other speculators who have no actual plan for their property. Time will tell.

Most of the weekend activity still centers around Moore Square, Glenwood South, and the museums north of the capitol. Hopefully that will change when stores start coming on line, but I'm not a psychic, just an optimist.

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So, within the next month or so we should have the following opening on Fayetteville Street:

Yancys!

Big Easy

Ice Cream Shop

Bickett Gallery

That other art gallery

The Mint

Am I missing anything? We need a couple of bars down there. I read somewhere the Capital Room is going to expand.

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I've noticed that Port City Java has been open the last few Saturday afternoons when I've passed by. Also, the Capital Room has started serving lunch on Saturdays, so this is a small step in the right direction to get some non M-F, 9 to 5 activity started on Fay St.

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Be patient, everyone. July 29th was "Day one" for the new Fayetteville Street. Very few investors, restauranteurs, or retailers have much of an imagination to see past a construction zone. Now that the street is finished, RWO was a success, and some new places and threatening to open...the progress of the street will proceed beyond the bricks and mortar. RBC will break ground next month, and as the article says, 114 Fayetteville was finally sold (long story there), but hopefully the new owner will get the renovation underway. There has been some reception by a couple of first-floor office users to "move up" into higher floors, but the market and potential user types will largely encourage that transition. We must make it beyond the next few months, as the period between RWO and new businesses opening is an intimidating one - especially for the street's reputation. Please frequent those businesses who do decide to expand their hours (both on Fayetteville Street and in emerging activity centers like Sosta Cafe on Davie), since they have short memories and will need constant assurance of the decision to stay open. Do so and others will begin to follow.

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*Good* businesses like Times Bar don't need constant assurance because they already do brisk business. The last time I walked around downtown, Wild Ginger (in PE II, closest to City Market) was open but not too busy. Sosta and Pharos were closed. With closed shops (including Iatria) and the empty corner location, it feels like *everything* is closed in the building, even if that is not the case. Having a good "anchor" in PE II will hopefully help.

"Sandwiches, salads, and coffee" sounds like Cafe Carolina, which (I think) blew off Raleigh Wide Open.

Sosta will open in the evenings when they get a beer/wine licence. The webiste says they open on Saturdays from 10 to 2:30. I don't know about Gandalfo's coffee selection, but they seem to have sandwiches and salads covered.

I don't know when the Mint and/or Mahler Gallery are scheduled to open, but work is underway.

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Honestly, I think it will take a miracle for F Street to work. To go from absolutely nothing to a bustling street on the weekend just isn't going to happen-I really could not believe how dead it was. There was nothing open at all. Well at least we will have an unobstructed view from the Capital to the PE Center.

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It's not going to take a miracle, its just going to take time. Retail is in it to make money; it doesn't make sense to pay a few of shifts of employees to work on a weekend when you're not sure how much you're going to make off of it. Most places are going to take baby steps, open limited hours and test the waters.

I think once some of the projects with residential components are finished and the convention center/hotel is up we should defintely see an upswing in weekend traffic and retail will be more likely to embrace the weekends.

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I've always thought I'd love to open a Paper Skyscraper (for those of you from Charlotte) type store down there. A real destination shop. I just need a loan and a babysitter :) . Maybe someone else out there has the means and the time. It would be just the thing to pull people in to browse and hang out on a weekend afternoon.

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I got a sneak peak tour of Yancy's and it's going to be extremely nice. It looks like it will be about the same size as the South End Brewery's dining room. Bar is about like the right half of Amra's (but will be on the left). They are really excited about their abilities to have live bands. They'll have an in-house lighting system that can be controlled by some standardized computer system. Bands can bring in a CD with the light show on something like a midi file, and it matches the music. They've spent a fortune putting in a 3ft thick sound-absorbing ceiling, and I have to say that the acoustics will really be nice in there.

They will have what looks like a 15ft wide high-def projection video screen which will either show sports or in-house video production of the band playing. The bar is going to basically glow. They are really excited about this ice covered vodka shot machine they are getting. They'll have a private seating room, too, which looks like it is going to be a tad wider and 20 longer or so than Times Bar's right room. It will also have a high def video screen on the back end.

They plan to open on October 15 and will have seating inside for 255 with 120 outside. They will occupy all of the sidewalk except for a swath through the middle that is reserved for pedestrians. Outdoor servers will work tables with wireless tablets while runners run the food outside. Inside is 7350 sqft. They also have space on the right side of WTVD for a 3500 sqft additional room. Nobody can have a kitchen hood in this space, so I'd be surprised to ever see this space upfitted by a restaurant. (they would have to wheel food down hall from their kitchen on the other side of WTVD)

The food will feature cajun, southwestern, and southern cooking. Chef is Howdy Manning, "who has been at South End for the past 5 years". Before that he was at Allgood Cafe (where Armadillo Grill is now). I have written proportionally about their emphasis placed on facility vs. food. We'll see if the food develops into the restaurant's top feature. It sure looks like they are shooting very high with this place.

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I, of course, am mostly anti chain, but have decided that since F Street has lost its organic feel (except around Hargett and the the 200 block), that a chain in the form of Barnes and Noble ala Georgetown or even like the Cary Towne Center version would substantially increase foot traffic at all hours and serve as a destination. Where to put said B&N? How about the portion of McRorys that fronts F STreet for the Georgetown style store or as part of site 1 for a newer style store like CTC. I believe Crabtree is the next closest chain book store, maybe Borders at Six Forks(Quail Ridge is up on Wade). Books stores make for great urban retail establishments with the newstand component, recent inclusion of coffee shops, easy browsing at lunch, and in Raleigh's case, all these affluent condo owners tend to correlate to more education and hence are more likely to purchase books. I think just one successful mid-size chain retail establishment will break the ice for others.....If I owned say, Gap, I might want to locate in the Boylan Pearce building, a few doors away from a successful B&N which has generated guaranteed foot traffic....then Port City has a reason to stay open later and CVS establishes it traditional evening hours and so on....

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I've always thought I'd love to open a Paper Skyscraper (for those of you from Charlotte) type store down there. A real destination shop. I just need a loan and a babysitter :) . Maybe someone else out there has the means and the time. It would be just the thing to pull people in to browse and hang out on a weekend afternoon.

I'm not from Charlotte, what is a "Paper Skyscraper"? :huh:

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