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May
14

Maybe the Foxes Are Sending “Triangle” a Message

RTP_DogFor five decades now the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area has been termed “The Triangle”, and for good reason. As three cities/towns hosted the most important academic, medical and business centers, it was only natural to focus on the three entities. While we expected infill in The Triangle, we perhaps didn’t see our grown concentrations morph the area into a different shape; a red fox.

The area’s satellite imagery reveals much growth from Chapel Hill and Carrboro toward Raleigh, but Raleigh’s growth has been along outward spokes to the northeast, southeast, and southwest. According to the figure, Umstead park appears like a saddle on the little fox, and Jordan Lake looks like a long line of droll from Carrboro/Chapel Hill, the mouth of the dog.

While I’m not assigning any character traits to communities based on this morphology, the shape does spur some interesting questions such as:

  • Why hasn’t Creedmoor Road/hwy 50 seen any retail development?
  • Why has the Apex/Garner axis been kept so rural?
  • Why has the Durham/Wake Forest axis been kept so rural?

Maybe these little red foxes that are invading our cities are simply a calling; the new mascots for the area. Instead of “The Triangle”, we could be called “The Fox”. The airport code could be changed to “FOX”. The 10 o’clock news could be the Fox News Hour….oh wait.

Jun
19

Harris Teeter (not Publix) Coming to Creedmoor

HarrisTeeterCreedmoor

One of the sites speculated to be the landing place for a Publix store will, in fact, be a Harris Teeter. Plans for The Point at Creedmoor (pdf) have been submitted to the City, and will be reviewed at tomorrow’s Appearance Commission meeting. On Page 6 of the Creedmoor Shops document show elevations with signage for Harris Teeter, specifically.

The center will sit in an acute triangular-shaped piece of land on the SE corner of Creedmoor and Millbrook Roads. Long ago the site contained a small gas station and store with a single car porte cochere. Ever since the widening of Millbrook Road, however, the plot has sat undeveloped. Joining the 50,000 sq ft Harris Teeter across the parking lot will be 6,000 square feet of retail space with its back to the intersection. It is an arrangement similar to that at Whole Foods in North Raleigh.

Not only am I disappointed that the store will not be Publix, I am disappointed that this development will be another soulless development crammed into a major intersection corner. Given the renderings, the development won’t carry any sense of character to differentiate itself from any other one of these we can find in any other instance of American suburbia. With arteries lined with forgettable developments, there is no reason to believe that Creedmoor won’t eventually follow down the path of other corridors in Raleigh that used to be nice.

Apr
18

H&M Coming to Triangle Town Center

Amanda Jones Hoyle at TBJ is reporting that Triangle Town Center has added H&M to its store listing, tagged as “coming soon”. She said that no officials have confirmed this. Take that, Durham!

Dec
13

Vesuvio’s Coming to Peachtree Market

Vesuvios_logoVesuvio’s a casual Italian restaurant based in Roxboro, is set to open the newest restaurant in North Raleigh’s Peachtree Market. The restaurant will take the space formerly occupied by Bear Rock Café, Atlanta Bread Co., and CD Superstore. It difficult to tell if the menu (.pdf) will feature low-cost items such as pizza, stromboli, hot subs, etc or if the focus will be on nice dinner entrees. We’ll see in the spring!

Oct
05

Twongo Deal Features Raleigh best Mexican

jaliscoToday’s Twongo deal features Raleigh’s best Mexican restaurant with the worst name, Fonda y Birrieria Jalisco. The deal is a $20 gift certificate for $11 (currently). This is a great deal as FBJ has the areas best birria as well as the best al pastor items. Located in the Wal-Mart parking lot off of Rock & Roll Blvd (New Hope Church Rd.), FBJ is not to be missed!

Jul
12

Weinbergs Bringing Deli Back to North Ridge

weinbergBack in the 80’s or so, Horowitz Deli was a great find in North Raleigh’s North Ridge Shopping Center. It was good enough that even the transplants liked it. If you miss Horowitz’s then you are in luck. Brothers Rick and Gary Weinberg are teaming to resurrect the concept the fall with Weinberg’s The Delicatessen. Rick was the original manager of the North Ridge Horwitz’s location (the other location was at MacGregor Village) and Neil Horwitz will be a consultant for the project. Construction on the space begins this week.

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Jun
16

Capri’s Tasting Dinner Menu

A friend went to the tasting menu night at Capri last night and raved. That veal course looks very compelling, for sure! Hopefully they’ll do this again this summer.

Capri is in Sutton Square, next to the Fresh Market.

Capri

Apr
07

Downtown Parking Fees On the Way?

Earlier this week news outlets reported that the City of Raleigh is going to seek more parking revenues as a way to cover a larger than anticipated revenue shortfall for The City. Not only will Raleigh go after unpaid parking fines, but will also consider selling ad space in parking decks and ending the practice of free parking during nights and weekends.

"The city’s not making enough off parking and it’s obvious people don’t like paying for tickets. That’s the issue," said City Council member Mary Ann Baldwin.

During the last decade and a half downtown Raleigh has undergone an enormous resurgence that went along with a $2 billion investment from the private and public sectors. In the late 90’s we started to see Raleigh most interesting new restaurants appearing in downtown instead of in the suburbs. Popular bars in the suburbs began to fade as a bustling nightlife emerged in downtown Raleigh. In fact, almost every single interesting restaurant to open in the last 10 years has been in downtown Raleigh.

Apparently the City of Raleigh wants to ignore the role of free parking in that renaissance. The introduction of nighttime parking fees is a huge deterrent for restaurant patrons who have an alternative. If this becomes the city’s policy, expect a renaissance of its own in North Raleigh. Downtown parking fees would be a huge boon to restaurateurs in the suburbs.

Increased parking revenues from downtown lots also would be a big boon to McLaurin Parking Company, the company that operates these parking structures. You may also know that company as…the inlaws of Mayor, Charles Meeker.

Nothing lasts forever. Hillsborough Street’s nightlife scene in the 70’s rivaled Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street. North Raleigh saw a ton of great restaurants open in the 80’s. The popularity of downtown in the last 15 years is a delicate thing. If the City of Raleigh wants that momentum to continue, it must proceed with extreme caution. As it is, downtown is not perceived as convenient to where people chose to live, it isn’t perceived as an easy place to park, and it’s wave is nearing the point where we’ve typically seen nightlife/entertainment cycles end in Raleigh’s history.

Mar
31

Raleigh Meat House Location (Possibly) Opening Today

The long-awaited arrival of The Meat House may come today. As of late this morning the store was unsure of their status today, but will definitely be open tomorrow. The Meat House is a New Hampshire-based butcher shop that stocks an impressive array of fresh meats as well as specialty groceries. While it may be a chain, there is a large stock of local foods.

While the fresh meats are impressive, perhaps the best offering at The Meat House is the marinated meats. Swing by and try the burgundy-marinated beef tips.

The Meat House Raleigh location is in Quail Corners Shopping Center, in the former Eckerd’s location. The center is at the intersection of Falls of Neuse and Millbrook roads. The store is open daily from 9am-7pm.

Oct
17

Outdoor Ice Skating to Return

skating Raleigh’s love of ice skating grows each winter, and this year will be no exception with the return of popular outdoor skating rinks.

Raleigh on Ice  will offer families and visitors the opportunity to skate at chopping centers:

  • November 20 through January 2 at North Hills Commons. The event opens during North Hills’ annual Christmas tree lighting event.
  • November 14 thru December 10 at Brier Creek Commons
  • December 13 thru December 26 at Triangle Town Center

Winterfest returns to downtown Raleigh

  • Real ice rink
  • Opening at Winterfest’s grand opening, Saturday, December 4
  • Dates, hours, prices, and policies are still unannounced
Sep
28

Meat House, HomeGoods Coming to Falls Village

meathouse1[1] If the old saying “adversity breeds opportunity” is true, then look no further than Falls Village for an example. Almost three years ago The Fresh Market closed their Falls Village store and moved to the former Harris Teeter space in Sutton Square. The anchor space in Falls Village sat vacant, casting doubt on the center’s viability in its original orientation.

A new tenant is finally on the way for the center, however. HomeGoods will open later this year/early 2011 in the space, complimenting the long-successful TJ Maxx in that center.

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Even better news, however, is the arrival of The Meat House to the center’s outparcel. In the space formerly occupied by Mattress Warehouse, next to Moe’s, The Meat House will open in February. It will be the chain’s second area store and will bring all of the delicious fresh and marinated meats to North Raleigh that Cary has been enjoying all year.

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Now to fill that space where Books-A-Million just closed…

Jun
21

Raleigh Accepting Appearance Award Nominations

The City of Raleigh is accepting nominations for the 2010 Sir Walter Raleigh Awards for Community Appearance. The annual awards recognize outstanding new development, building rehabilitation efforts, and natural resource conservation within the Capital City. The awards program was established in 1983 to commemorate exemplary achievement in enhancing the city’s appearance. More than 200 projects, sites, and individuals have been honored.

Awards are offered in 11 different award categories, including new residential, commercial, or institutional construction, plus historic preservation, sustainable design, and tree and landscape conservation. The award for “Maintained Outstanding Appearance” honors appearance contributions by projects 5 years old or older. The “Individual” award is presented to a citizen who has consistently worked to preserve or improve city appearance.

The deadline for entries for the 2010 Sir Walter Raleigh Awards is Friday, July 9. Nominations for the can be made online at or by completing a printed form available at City government offices. In addition to project information, six or more digital photos of each nominated project or individual, submitted on CD or flash drive, are also required.

An independent jury will meet in July to review the nominations. Award winners will be selected based on specific criteria, including exhibition of a new standard of excellence, awareness of land stewardship, innovation, conservation of natural and/ or historic resources, and exceeding applicable ordinances. The Raleigh City Council will confirm the jury’s selections in August. Awards will be presented in October.

Feb
01

Rey’s Named to Top 50 Most Romantic

reys OpenTable has named Rey’s to its list of 50 Most Romantic Restaurants in America. The restaurant features “fine dining with a French Quarter flair”, and offers some of the best table service in the area. Rey’s is open for dinner nightly, except for Sunday, and is located in the old Ruth’s Chris location on Buck Jones Road.

No other restaurants in North Carolina made the list, although The Melting Pot chain, with locations on Wake Forest Road and at Southpoint in Durham, was named to the list.

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