Business

New businesses change downtown Raleigh streetscape

Posted August 11, 2014

— Downtown Raleigh is on pace to eclipse last year's business development in just three quarters. Through Monday, 19 new street-level businesses had opened, one shy of the 20 opened in 2013.

In the second quarter alone, Raleigh added four places to eat: Restaurants DeMo's Pizzeria and Raleigh Sundries and Deli and casual eateries Happy + Hale and Bittersweet Cafe.

Brett Wells is working to add his gourmet hot dog shop, Tasty 8's, to that mix.

"We have the first garage door on Fayetteville Street," he said.

Wells is taking a chance on an idea hatched while he worked as a dentist. 

"I figure that I'm still kind of young, and now is the time in life to take a risk," he said. 

Wells is not alone. 

Another 11 street-level business are slated to open in the third quarter, including a new venture by restaurateur Ashley Christensen called Death and Taxes, a downtown outpost of Shucker’s Oyster Bar and a craft beer and bottle shop called Stag's Head. In all, $375 million in construction is underway in the central business district. 

That's a trend that makes Bill King, of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, smile. 

"They create vibrancy in an area. That's really what's important," King said. "We're trying to make downtown Raleigh into a place where people want to live, work and play."

King said businesses naturally follow the growth of downtown residents. All those people filling up the apartments and condos built over the past decade are a draw for businesses on the cutting edge.

At Arrow, owner Pete Phipps is offering a stepped-up barbershop experience.  

"We want people to have fun when they are having a haircut," he said.

Arrow offers each customer a free beer with their cut. 

The model is such a success that Phipps opened a second shop on Hargett Street just a month ago.

He's high on downtown Raleigh.

"It's clear to everybody that it's going in the right direction," he said. "We just want to ride the wave."

16 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • dwntwnboy2 Aug 12, 2014

    The issue of parking is one that people use to just not come downtown. There is more parking in downtown Raleigh than they need on any given day. There is actually a glut of parking downtown. I've yet to go to a parking deck when it wasn't New Years or 4th of July and seen a full parking deck. The people who complain about the parking aren't the type of people that these businesses cater to anyhow. The safety downtown is safer than Durham or Fayetteville on any given night. Every town has a "bad" part, but Raleigh is pretty safe overall. Have lived downtown for over 20 years and have yet to feel unsafe at any hour of the day or night.

  • btneast Aug 12, 2014

    Also, I don't understand why people keep saying there is nowhere to park. There is a parking deck nearly every block along all of Wilmington Street and three decks in the Glenwood South area.

    Not many people like to park in a deck. People used to an urban environment see it as normal, people used to suburbia prefer to park right out front of their destination, like they do at home. That really isn't possible in any downtown environment unfortunately.

  • DowntownJohn Aug 12, 2014

    View quoted thread



    Not sure what you mean by ""alternatives" and suspicuous [sic] people." I've lived downtown for a few years now and have never felt unsafe wandering all over downtown even late at night. I mean yea, there are some homeless people around who are begging for money, but you just tell them sorry and keep walking and they leave you alone.

    Also, I don't understand why people keep saying there is nowhere to park. There is a parking deck nearly every block along all of Wilmington Street and three decks in the Glenwood South area.

  • proudgrandmomma Aug 12, 2014

    Um, none of this sounds apealling to me and I think I'll stay right here close to home. Last time I went downtown in Raleigh there were so many "alternatives" and suspicuous people. I know I held my purse a little tighter until we got out of there! It is also a ordeal sense there is nowhere to park.

  • btneast Aug 12, 2014

    Is the same ol' stuff. Nothing really worth parking in a deck and walked four blocks to visit

    I guess its good for those that actually live downtown. Parking in a deck and walking at LEAST 4 blocks is not ideal, especially in inclement weather for those coming in for an evening.

  • Anita Woody Aug 12, 2014

    View quoted thread



    I live Downtown, a few are replacing old tenants, but most are moving into new and renovated spaces that have been derelict.

  • lewiskr45 Aug 12, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Considering they are moving into existing, empty spaces, I'd say all of them. But what's wrong with that? They add some jobs, tax revenue, and pull customers to the area, where they can spend money and time at other establishments and possibly return in the future.

  • spiritseeker Aug 12, 2014

    Don't want to be a spoil sport, but how many of these businesses are only replacements for ones that closed up and left?

  • koalumni Aug 12, 2014

    View quoted thread


    You are so right. I have reservations about taking my family downtown after sunset. Sad but true !

  • Frank Downtown Aug 12, 2014

    Is the same ol' stuff. Nothing really worth parking in a deck and walked four blocks to visit.

More...