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Downtown Raleigh business growing

Posted September 30, 2008
Updated October 1, 2008

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— Despite tough economic times, some downtown businesses are thriving.

Gauray Patel, owner of the Japanese sushi restaurant Sono, at 319 Fayetteville St., has plans for another restaurant downtown. Sono opened about eight months ago, and Patel is expanding to open The Oxford Gastropub in the place previously occupied by Yancy’s restaurant.

“We are doing some cosmetic changes, giving it a more British pub feel to it,” Patel said.

According to the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, 32 new businesses have opened in the district this year. A total of 15 businesses have closed.

The latest business to close its doors was upscale restaurant Prime Only. The owner of the restaurant, off of Glenwood Avenue, blamed tough economic times for the closure.

“We never want to hear about the closing of any business in downtown,” Downtown Raleigh Alliance economic development manager Paul Reimel said.

Reimel said it is common for businesses to come and go, but with the new convention center and other revitalization efforts, there are more businesses coming than going


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  • chadstermac Oct 1, 2008

    i hate when people bash downtown raleigh, saying downtown is a joke, yes it is not as big as major cities, or offer as much RIGHT NOW, but it really has a great start...compare it to just 10 years ago. The condos are high,yes, and there is a lot of them, but businesses will not come there unless there are people living there to support it.There are several great places in downtown that will rival a lot of major cities. Also real estate is so high there because of the access to RTP where the average salary there is well above the national average,and has made several lists on best places to live, and work. So you think its a joke, move to DC and deal with their crime a traffic.

  • Spittin Dat Knowledge Oct 1, 2008

    I miss Yancy's restaurant .. they had really good food ..

  • ncwebguy Oct 1, 2008

    As usual, misinformation and stupidity run rampant.

    For the mathematically challenged, 32 minus 15 is 17. That means there has been a gain of 17 businesses downtown, which is the definition of growth.

    As for Prime Only, the downtown location lasted longer than its North Raleigh counterpart off Leesville Road. Does that mean North Raleigh is worse off than downtown? No, but it does point to the fact that places with bad customer service see less repeat business and eventually fail.

    Southend Brewery was in the same space a few years ago and also failed due to horrible customer service, not location. Maybe they should go across Jones to 42nd Street and see how to treat customers.

    Several shops downtown -- TazMart and CapCity Grocery have everything CVS does other than prescriptions, Stitch sells handbags, etc., Father and Sons and Stuff have items on consignment, and there are several clothing stores on Hargett and Wilmington Street.

    J.Betski's = German food for lunch.

  • Garnerwolf1 Oct 1, 2008

    As a native, I would agree with your whole "Move" philosphy!

  • greentara Oct 1, 2008

    Downtown Raleigh is joke anyway. Hurray I get to choose an overpriced condo and have no where to walk for groceries or park my car safely. at those prices I can live in luxury in a real community or move to a city with a real downtown. Oh I know the solution!!! Lets's move all our historic buildings out of the way and build MORE stupid condos, brill Raleigh, just brill. I think our founding father, you know the one who's grave is PAVED over with a parking lot, just threw up in his grave. Maybe you could make a new restaurant there....

  • greentara Oct 1, 2008

    I have to agree about Prime Only's service. Acted like they were doing you a favor, to even say hello. Not a fan of the 'steak' side menu. Hated the whole sit on one side have this menu, sit here have that menu, sit in owner's favorite's side do whatever you want. Huh? who wants a lecture about it, when you innocently enquire why? cool building though.

  • Garnerwolf1 Oct 1, 2008

    emulsion: don't follow your post. Do you know which restaurant I was referring to as closing?

    subway: do you understand irony?

  • Jeremiah Oct 1, 2008

    you can see that downtown is growing if you walk around

  • solly93 Oct 1, 2008

    emulsion - "Bad food and terrible service caused them to close. That was a north Raleigh type restaurant."

    I don't follow your meaning. Are you saying all North Raleigh restaurants have bad food and terrible service or that people in North Raleigh accept the practice?
    Being a North Raleighite myself, I think food quality and service varies from place to place and is on par with any other area I have been in the triangle.

  • Southern Fried Yankee Oct 1, 2008

    Great....a faux British pub........and how will this differ from Napper Tandy's or Tir Na Nog? Oh, right....THEY are "Irish"....What's next, "Scotch food"?

    We have Japanese, Thai, Mexican, Italian, pubfood, cajun, etal. downtown now

    How about a good lunchtime German restaurant? Ja?