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What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Your guide to Raleigh's First Friday

Posted July 30
Updated August 4

— It only happens once a month, but First Friday is a great way to see and experience downtown Raleigh. The next First Friday event is Aug. 1.

Events run from 6-9 p.m., unless otherwise noted, and involve tons of galleries, restaurants and other venues in downtown Raleigh. 

All places participating in First Friday will have flags outside.

Our Best Bets for this month's First Friday: 

View sizzling summer art at the Tipping Paint Gallery's Dog Days of Summer opening reception. Admission is free, hours are 6-9 p.m.

On the second night of this year's Raleigh MIX, participating venues will have live music and special drinks featuring a secret ingredient.

Enjoy an evening of short sci-fi films at the Museum of Natural Sciences. The showing of rare 16mm-film versions of science fiction short stories by Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke is free and starts at 7 p.m.

There are so many more First Friday events, we had to make a list of them all. Browse through the listings below:

Food and drink (All First Friday deals are 6-9 p.m. unless otherwise noted) 

The Architect Bar - Featuring local artists, live music and drink specials

The Big Easy - Buy one Taste of Louisiana, get one free

Bolt Bistro & Bar - Chef-created $5 appetizer and select specialty $5 cocktails

Boylan Bridge Brewpub - $5 select appetizers during First Friday hours and $5 select cocktails

buku - $15 wine flights featuring a different wine region of the world each month

Busy Bee Cafe - $3 craft tap

Cafe de los Muertos - Special changes monthly

Caffe Luna - Free bottle of San Pellegrino with purchase of two entrees

Capital Club 16 - Half price select appetizers from 5-7 p.m.

Centro - $2 off all tequila flights and live music from 7-9 p.m.

Crema on Fayetteville - Free cone with purchase of ice cream

Cupcake Shoppe - Buy one get one

Dickey's Barbecue Pit -  Free dessert with purchase of barbecue meat plate and drink or one free Kid's Meal (12 and under) per paid adult meal of equal or greater value

Donato's Pizza - $5 off a second large pizza

Dos Taquitos Xoco - Free queso dip with the purchase of an entree and kids eat free if they dress like Frida Kahlo

Five Star - $5 appetizers and $5 glasses of wine

Irregardless Cafe - Half price bottles of Irregardless' fine house wine

Jose and Sons - Half-price select appetizers from 5-7 p.m. and live music from 7-10 p.m.

Kimbap - Special entree features and buy one, get one half price appetizers all evening (open 5:30-10 p.m.)

Mo's Diner - Half price wine by the bottle and nightly features

The Oxford - Whiskey flights, artist feature from 6-9 p.m. and music feature from 10 a.m.-2 a.m.

Paddy O'Beers - Special selection of $4 crafts and drafts

Posta Tuscan Grille - Half price appetizer with purchase of a bartender's specialty cocktail

The Remedy Diner - $5 glasses of house wine

Rum Runners - Free admission until 11 p.m., half off all shots, $3 beer special and $6 double Long Islands

Sono - $2 edamame from 5-7 p.m. and a $7 feature cocktail

Square Rabbit - Buy one dessert, get one of equal or lesser value for free

Tir na nOg Irish Pub - $1.25 off all craft bottles, $4.50 Fireball shots, and half off appetizers from 4-6 p.m.

Tuscan Blu - 10 percent off any wine purchase

Woody's at City Market - Half price appetizers and wings from 4:30-6:30 p.m.; 20 percent off appetizers from 6:30-9:30 p.m.;  $2.50 PBR Tallboys; tequila shot specials and $5 Jagerbombs (open until 2 a.m.) 

Zinda - Free appetizer with purchase of two entrees, artist features

Other venues (All First Friday times are 6-9 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Alter Ego Hair & Nails, 119 E Hargett St., Suite 200 
What? Salon that specializes in hair care and exhibits art
Special: Monthly art exhibits and periodic music, dance performances, special events and product or tool specials

Atomic Salon, 905 W Morgan St. (Hours 7-10 p.m.)
What? 
The Triangle’s only rock-n-roll vintage hair salon
Special: Art exhibits on First Fridays

Capitol Smoke, 215 W Martin St.
What? 
Glass art from national and local artists, wall art, and the finest imported cigars
Special: 10 percent off wall art and 25 percent off cigars

City Gallery at Vintage Church, 117 S West St.
What? Vintage Church's gallery hosts art exhibitions, serves artists, and loves Raleigh

City Market, 200 E Martin St.
What? Houses multiple First Friday venues
Special: Live music from March-November

Clark Patterson Lee, 415 Hillsborough St., Suite 101 (Hours 6-9 p.m.)
What? Full-service architecture, engineering, interior design, master plans and art gallery
Special: Free architectural advice during First Fridays

City of Raleigh Museum, 220 Fayetteville St.
What? City history museum featuring receptions and rotating art exhibits

Contemporary Art Museum, 409 W Martin St.
Special: First Friday admission is free. Programs include after-hours access to galleries, hands-on activities at the creation station, music by local DJs, food trucks and a cash bar.

Deco Raleigh, 19 W Hargett St., Suite 108
What? A collection of unique and local decorative items
Special: Refreshments, entertainment and artist meet-and-greet

Downtown Dental, 205 Fayetteville St., Suite 100
What? Dental office hosting art exhibits and receptions with light hors d'oeuvres

Feelgoodz, 206 S Wilmington St.
What? Natural, comfortable, and ethical footwear
Special: Changes monthly

HagerSmith Design, 300 S Dawson St.
What? Architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, historic preservation and art gallery

High Cotton, 19 W Hargett St.
What? 100 percent cotton bow ties and apparel for gentlemen, handmade in North Carolina
Special: Free gift with purchase

HQ Raleigh, 310 S Harrington St.
What? Shared work space for entrepreneurs featuring work by CAM and Artspace

Klish and Eldreth, PLLC, 304 Glenwood Ave.
What? Intellectual property boutique law firm featuring photography from local artists

LGBT Center of Raleigh, 324 S Harrington St.
What? A safe and welcoming resource center for the LGBT community and friends featuring monthly art exhibits

Lisa Stewart Designs, 300 Blake St., Suite 7
What: Handcrafted leather, fine art and gifts made in Raleigh
Special: Free gift with purchase of $75 or more

Makena Skin Care, 304 Glenwood Ave. Suite 7 
What? A skin care studio featuring local artists on a rotating basis
Special: Book a facial on First Friday and receive $10 off

Marbles Kid Museum (Museum open until 7 p.m.)
Special: Create | Innovate every First Friday night at Marbles as part of downtown Raleigh’s monthly art celebration ($5 per person, members play free)

Moon and Lola, 208 S Wilmington St.
What? Upscale jewelry and accessory boutique
Special: 15 percent off merchandise storewide

The Morning Times, 10 E Hargett St. (Hours 6-11 p.m.)
What? Coffeehouse and gallery serving single origin coffees, house-baked pastries, and sandwiches
Special: Drink specials and an outdoor art market featuring live entertainment

Nora and Nicky's Designer Resale, 19 W Hargett St., Suite 104
What?
Luxury and designer consignment specializing in high-end labels
Special:
15 percent off any single item

Nuvonivo, 111 E Hargett St.
What? Trendy fashion for babies and kids
Special: Changes monthly

Oak City Coffee Roastery, 615 W Hargett St.
What? An independent coffee shop in downtown Raleigh
Special: $2 off select coffees

Oak City Cycling Project, 212 E Franklin St.
What? Independent bike shop selling new and used steel bike frames and fun
Special: 10 percent off t-shirts and free high fives

Ornamentea, 509 N West St.
What? Fine beads and jewelry making supplies
Special: Free jewelry project from 6-8 p.m. 

The Pour House Music Hall, 224 S Blount St.
What? Raleigh's premier live music venue presenting local and international bands nightly
Special: Free admission or 20 percent off admission (when applicable) with mention of First Friday

Raleigh Television Network, 310 W Martin St. (Hours 6-8 p.m.)
What? The city’s digital television network center
Special: Open access to the RTN studio

Raleigh Wine Shop, 126 Glenwood Ave.
What? Fine wine and provisions
Special:
10 percent off of bottle purchases from the WineStation and/or tasting wines to drink on-site or to go

Stitch & Holly Aiken Bags, 20 E Hargett St.
What? Retail showroom of Raleigh handbag designer Holly Aiken
Special: 10 percent off all bags

Triangle Downtowner Magazine, 402 Glenwood Ave.
What? The Triangle's most popular magazine
Special: Enjoy local art, music and drinks

Trinity Gallery, 549 N Blount St.
What? Art in the city for the city, featuring local artists and musicians

VanNess & Fellows Tattoo Boutique and Gallery, 226 E Martin St.
What? A one-of-a-kind art gallery, boutique and custom tattoo studio
Special: 10 percent off all steam punk art

Videri Chocolate Factory, 327 W Davie St., Suite 100
What? Freshly-made chocolate and confections
Special: 10 percent off all chocolate products

The Wine Feed, 602 Glenwood Ave.
What? Wine oasis in a beer town.
Special: 20 percent off wine on tap at our wine bar

Art on display

There are also several art exhibits happening throughout downtown. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has a list of the exhibits and a complete rundown of the galleries and museums participating in First Friday.

311 West Martin Street Gallery & Studios, 311 W Martin St.
What? Gallery featuring 20 working artists and regional artist exhibits monthly

Adam Cave Fine Art, 115 1/2 E Hargett St., Second Floor
What? Upstairs gallery featuring original fine art by over 25 artists

Ann Marie Print Art and Blue Iris Salon, 711 N Person St.
What? Mixed medium original stencil art and unique wax works

Anthony Ulinski, 24 Commerce Pl.
What? Fine art and furniture

ANVIL, 715 N Person St.
What? Premier destination for fine art jewelry, metalwork, locally-made goods, in-house jewelry repair and custom work

Artspace, 201 E Davie St. (Open until 10 p.m.)
What? Visual art center with artist studios, exhibits and educational programs

Blake Street Shops & Studios, 300 Blake St. (Hours 6-10 p.m.)
What? Art galleries, handmade jewelry, body care, leather goods and gifts

BLAM Studios, 301-1 Kinsey St.
What? Working studio environment featuring paintings, mixed media, digital art, B&W photography, a print maker, 3D art, jewelry and poetry

The Carter Building, 12-22 Glenwood Ave. (Hours 6:30-10 p.m.)
What? A collection of art studios, retailers, and service providers

Designbox, 307 W Martin St. (Open until 10 p.m.)
What? Gallery and shop featuring art, design and unique gifts

The Fish Market Student Gallery, 133 Fayetteville St., Alexander Building basement (Hours 7-11 p.m.)
What? Student gallery specializing in work by NC State College of Design students

Flanders Gallery, 302 S West St.
What? Contemporary work by established and emerging artists

Gallery C, 540 N Blount St.
What? Contemporary and historic NC artwork and fine picture framing services

Lee Hansley Gallery, 225 Glenwood Ave. (Open until 10 p.m.)
What? American contemporary art with an emphasis on NC’s art history

Litmus Gallery & Studios, 312 W Cabarrus St.
What? Features local artists and open studios for touring

Local Color Gallery, 22 Glenwood Ave.
What? Co-op of women artists—fine art, glass, functional pottery, sculpture, and jewelry

The Mahler Fine Art, 228 Fayetteville St.
What? A full-service fine art gallery

Nicole's Studio and Art Gallery, 719 N Person St. (Hours 6-8:30 p.m.)
What? Fine art, art workshops, glass art, jewelry, and custom framing

Quercus Studio, 201 S Salisbury St.
What? Jewelry workshop and gallery

Studio R.E.D., 20 Glenwood Ave.
What? Working artist studio and gallery

Tipping Paint Gallery, 311 W Martin St.
What? Art gallery and artist studio—contemporary and traditional art

United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, 410 Glenwood Ave.
What? New location in Glenwood South exhibiting art curated by the Visual Art Exchange

Visual Art Exchange, 309 W Martin St.
What? Creativity incubator and gallery featuring emerging artists and a retail shop

1 Comment

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  • dwntwnboy2 Aug 1, 4:06 p.m.

    DesignBox has a 3D printer display where you can be scanned and turned into your own action figure! Not sure what the cost is, it's along with NCSU design students- $5 for the 3D scan- not sure what the actual printing of yourself would cost, but it's pretty darn cool!!