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"I think adding The big Easy and Yancey's will help the foot traffic at ight on the street by a large amount"

But aren't they both cajun restuarants? That is worrisome.

I wish Sosta was open on weekends. One of my biggest complaints about the food in this city is that we have great high end restaurants, but there is really no place, like most cities, where you are sitting home on a Saturday and go "let's go to X and get an X" or if you come back in town, you have to stop in. I am from Richmond and can think of many low to middle price places that I love to try to visit when I am there to get dishes/sandwiches I miss when gone. Here...not so much. Times Bar is a great addition and I love the sandwiches at Sosta, but do not work downtown. I also really like the addition of the Borrough, as their burgers are killer, but think that we should have more low to medium priced GOOD restaurants in this city!

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Update on this - Sosta is staying where it is!

I'll add some bigger items in case anyone didn't know....Deco moving around the corner on Salisbury St. Deco Home's space is already occupied by another tenant and in their new space, both stores will

Morgan Street Food Hall is open, I suppose most of you know...but wow was it packed. Holy crap. And Urban Outfitters is about ready to open it appears....the displays are all set up and looking nice.

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"I think adding The big Easy and Yancey's will help the foot traffic at ight on the street by a large amount"

But aren't they both cajun restuarants? That is worrisome.

I wish Sosta was open on weekends. One of my biggest complaints about the food in this city is that we have great high end restaurants, but there is really no place, like most cities, where you are sitting home on a Saturday and go "let's go to X and get an X" or if you come back in town, you have to stop in. I am from Richmond and can think of many low to middle price places that I love to try to visit when I am there to get dishes/sandwiches I miss when gone. Here...not so much. Times Bar is a great addition and I love the sandwiches at Sosta, but do not work downtown. I also really like the addition of the Borrough, as their burgers are killer, but think that we should have more low to medium priced GOOD restaurants in this city!

Agreed!

When my family and I go to visit my sister in eastern VA. We always stop and have lunch somewhere in either the Norfolk/Richmond area. Because depending on which direction we are coming from, it always seems that there are always some nice, new, and interesting mid priced rest. to check out. :)

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Yancey's space to the south of WTVD was originally going to be a banquet facility with catering provided by the restaurant and/or a "lounge"/bar that might offer some late night eats from the mothership restaurant, a low key/down tempo compliment to the main area. The "Cajun invasion" has been in the works for a while, with Yancey's at the Hudson is filling in the Absinthe House space.

Sosta, Pharros, Gandalfos, and the Capital Room are all mid-priced options open on Saturdays. The ice cream shop near American Pita will open soon, and will probably open on weekends. Woodys and the El Rodeo in City Market also fill this niche. I would like the Brass Grill, American Pita, and Cafe Carolina try to make a go of it on Saturdays, but that might not happen until there is more momentum.

Low price options are present, but a bit out of the way. The McDonalds at Wilmington and South is walkable from F Street, but you have to know it is there. Snoopys and Char Grill on the west side of downtown are only a little more expensive than Mickey Ds.

Does anyone know what is going on/in the old Est Est Est corner? Paper has been on the windows for weeks, but there doesn't seem to be much obvious activity.

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Sosta, Pharros, Gandalfos, and the Capital Room are all mid-priced options open on Saturdays. The ice cream shop near American Pita will open soon, and will probably open on weekends. Woodys and the El Rodeo in City Market also fill this niche. I would like the Brass Grill, American Pita, and Cafe Carolina try to make a go of it on Saturdays, but that might not happen until there is more momentum.

I agree there are cheap places downtown, but what I want are cheap places where I want to go as a destination, not just a "place I can eat". I have not eaten at Gandolfo's or Capital Room, but so far, my meals at Pharrohs, American Pita, Brass Grill, and Cafe Carolina were fine for grabbing a bite in the area, but no place that I would say "I am dying for a X sandwich from X restaurant" like I do places back home. And El Rodeo is pretty bad. I love some of the sandwiches at Sosta and have thought of them since visiting, but wish I was downtown during the week more. Maybe just downtown people can keep these restaurants going on weekends, but I doubt it. I do not live downtown, but close to it, but mostly come downtown for bars and high end restaurants. Oh, and Coopers, Times, etc. I would like to come down at night and on weekends for non-highend. I would KILL for a great deli. I have heard good things about Gandolpho's, so there is hope.....

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Oh, Paper Skyscraper is just this atypical, hip gift-ish store with everything from magazines to homewares to toys--the owners have excellent taste. I don't think there's anything like it in Raleigh. Accipter is sorta close, but pretty expensive in my opinon. It's certainly the type of store I'd drive to when I'm in Charlotte. It's the same idea with the restaurants, "I need a gift for so-and-so, let's drive down to so-and-so." A mall alternative rather than a chain store.

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The Morning Times is open starting tomorrow (9/1). Everyone make a point to make it down there for breakfast on Saturday or as soon as you can (if there's a monsoon w/ Ernesto)--and support 'em. Their upstairs gallery and Bickett at Hudson are opening for First Friday tomorrow night.

To enliven the Fayetteville Street area, I would love to see them do these chef demonstrations down by the Hudson or on Moore Square on Saturday mornings. I work in the park, and can't get down there during the weekday. Other morning events would be great as well. If you get people down there, it increases the foot traffic which would encourage Sosta and others to keep longer weekend hours.

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whatever happened to Sbarros? Is that place still around? I use to see it in malls but not anymore. That would be a good place to have on F Street

Sbarros is a chain though. A smaller pizza place would be better. Another NY Pizza (Hillsborough St. and Franklin St. @ UNC) or Lily's Pizza (Glenwood Ave.) would be good.

Starbucks is every where, but there's not one in downtown proper. They're always a draw.

Ice Cream places are always good. The little places are always better than the big names too.

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The closest thing to "destination" around here is my gf's obsession with Elmo's. It would be a good "get" for DT Raleigh, but I don't know what the chances of that are.

As far as unique, Roly Poly is pretty good, but the "no bread sanwich" thing never took off, and they don't serve alcohol. The downtown Dos Taquitos could be a good, cheap taquirtia (sp?) if it sticks to the "express" concept. I like Baja Burrito in Mission Valley more than Moe's, but I don't know if it would move downtown or open a second location there.

For pizza, there are rumors Moonlight is going into Paladium Plaza, but I haven't seen anything official yet. I think they do pizza by the slice, but not like I (heart) NY Pizza's muti-pie display case.

New York Deli was pretty good before the building burned down and became the church activity center. A while ago, Black Dog cafe in City Market (where Rum Runners is now) was pretty good and had a dog-themed gift shop to boot!

An F Street Urban Outfitters, American Apparel,

H&M and/or Old Navy/Gap/Banna Republic could be "destination shopping" even though they are chains. They are probably a year or two out -- Christmas 2008 after the new CC opens?

It is odd that the only "newstands" downtown are the mini-rack in CVS and the newspaper boxes. Magazine racks seem to be only in drug, grocery, discount, and bookstores lately though. I did see the Raleigh Downtowner and Independent in the front window of Morning Times last night... maybe they'll carry other publications as well? If Ernesto isn't too bad, I'll swing my Morning Times tommorow!

It is sad, but Starbucks is a "canary in the coal mine" for some traditional retailers. Starbucks coffee is sold in the Sheraton lobby coffee stand and Exploris gift shop, but there is no Starbucks store. Could Port City Java, Sosta, and Tony's cafe compete? Could Dunkin Donuts expansion in the area lead to an F Street location?

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This is an area near my alma mater called "South Campus". There used to be a slew of bars down there, but the area got rough in the 90's. Many of the better areas were further north on High Street, and in DT Columbus.

They've done this revamp on South Campus with a Boston development firm (threw in an art house cinema, some shops, and a B&N). I know I may catch some for this...but these kind of restaurants scattered with more local places could make for a nice mix. I think you need some hip, local places and also some approachable places that suburbanites might want to check out.

http://www.southcampusgateway.com/director...ants.php?page=0

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Sbarros is a chain though. A smaller pizza place would be better. Another NY Pizza (Hillsborough St. and Franklin St. @ UNC) or Lily's Pizza (Glenwood Ave.) would be good.

Starbucks is every where, but there's not one in downtown proper. They're always a draw.

Ice Cream places are always good. The little places are always better than the big names too.

Sbarros is a chain and we in the South/US think of it as mall food, but I have seen them around the world in very urban locations. Although GUM on Red Square in Moscow is a mall of sorts, there is one there. I have also seen them on the main street in urban St. Petersburg and other places. But is has to be a place where there is a lot of foot traffic and in the US and certain other locations, those are malls.

I would like to see a I love NY Pizza with a small service window for take out and maybe a small window case.

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whatever happened to Sbarros? Is that place still around? I use to see it in malls but not anymore. That would be a good place to have on F Street

Barnes & Noble or Borders is a must!

Folks, really, do we want Cary Town Center downtown? I'll take a place like Lilly's any day of the week over a mall chain.

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Damien,

You are correct - there is a plan to open a starbucks in the ground floor of the Marriott facing F Street. Although many renderings often depict such retailers without actual agreements in place, I am fairly certain that Strabucks will want the location at the doorstep of 400,000+ conventioneers.

The GAP, and other such retailers will not work until the downtown population greatly exceeds 20,000. There are benchmarks for the retail recruitment business, and most folks are noth going to drive past the GAP at their local mall to come to the one downtown. A retailer like Urban Outfitters is more likely, because of their underrepresentation in our market, but we are still a ways off. The first phase of downtown retail will be boutique driven - a store like accipiter or 10,000 villages is MUCH more likely than a Barnes & Noble.

This will take time, folks. It will come in waves - the first wave (which we are still riding) is entertainment and dining oriented. We are doing that pretty well and are fortunate to have generators like the state museums and the performing arts center to build upon. After a large residential boom (we still need another 1000 or so units on top of the 2600 coming), other uses will start emerging. There are catalysts that some communities use to jump start retial growth - incentives, rent abatement, etc. - but those are largely unavialable right now. For a ten-year horizon that may be a good thing, since what we do get will largely be organic and market-driven.

The recent announcements of companies like Cherokee and Stewart are noteworthy. DT Raleigh is struggling to brand itself nationally - the one area most folks can agree upon is innovation. Such companies help to legitimize that brand, which is the promise of an experience for visitors and patrons to downtown.

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