Raleigh, N.C. — Restaurant owners around Raleigh's City Market say the economic downturn is only one factor fueling a recent drop in business.
Although Fayetteville Street and the growing Glenwood South area are only blocks away, City Market area restaurant owners, including Antwan Harris, said their biggest challenge is letting people know their restaurants exist.
“Everybody pumps up Glenwood South. They’re going to have tons of traffic. I think if they pumped up City Market and maybe added some stores here, I think we’ll be just like Glenwood South,” said Harris, owner of Zydeco Downtown, a Cajun restaurant located at 208 Wolfe St.
“It’s a lot slower than other parts of Raleigh. It has a nice feel, but I definitely think it gets overlooked by other parts of Raleigh,” City Market customer Shariva White said.
Mario Longo, owner of Vic’s Ristorante Italiano at 331 Blake St., said he has seen business decrease by 30 percent over the past year.
“It’s a tough time. The business, it went down. It went down tremendously,” Longo said.
Both owners said the key to increasing business is having events close by to attract the customers to the area.
Raleigh's City Market was established in 1914.