Cold Krispy Kreme Closes

On Friday, on the cusp of Raleigh’s biggest tourism weekend in history, the Krispy Kreme location at City Plaza closed. The site, which only sold room temperature, unfresh doughnuts, was reported to stay open thru the All-Star weekend. However when the biggest fans of flat round things were swarming, KK folded, passing up one last opportunity to make money in a city-subsidized facility. The Peace/Person location will remain open.

Like we couldn’t see this one coming from a mile away. The appeal of Krispy Kreme lies in their hot, fresh product. The greasy, room temperature product has never been appealing, and was set for failure in City Plaza from the getgo. Had the chain focused on delivering hot, glazed doughnuts instead of variety at that site, there was ample opportunity for success. I still adamantly feel that a small, Hot Doughnuts Now stand in the RBC Center would be a booming success.

So what is next for this site? Success in City Plaza will not come from sales during special events. There aren’t many of these kinds of events and the plaza is not interesting enough to be the hangout the city was hoping it would be. It is the business that can attract a steady stream of customers from lunch thru the afternoon that will make it. For sure, the easiest slam dunk is a good, basic, hamburger or taco stand. This facility is essentially a food truck, so the aim should be to serve quick food that is good. Only Burger or Char-Grill would do well in this site because good burgers sell; period. Another idea is a taco stand featuring good ingredients. Chubbys and Los Cuates could handle the job. Food from Fonda Y Birrieria Jalisco would be even better (just get a better name!). The beauty of a taco stand is that it would attract tons of traffic during non-peak hours. There are many like me who could eat a good taco appetizer at any hour of the day.

Raleigh now sits in a position similar, but on a smaller scale, to Atlanta’s once the Olympics was over. The long-awaited event has passed, and it is time for the City to get back to making Fayetteville Street a “sustainable” destination for residents on every day of the year. There still is important work to be done.


Time Warner Rolling Out Whole-House DVR

Samsung_h3272 While Raleigh was awash in NHL festivities, most may have missed one of the true, life-changing exhibits at the NHL Fan Fair. It appears that the reign of terror by Scientific Atlanta’s cable boxes may be coming to an end.

While Time Warner Cable’s demonstration of Samsung’s active-shutter 3D technology was impressive, it was the presence of the Samsung SMT-H3272 (.PDF) that was most exciting. The device is a tru2way multi-room DVR that will allow customers to share recorded content among all TV’s in the house. The unit has 500GB of storage, which is about 4X to 6X the storage of the currently deployed DVRs by TWC.

Users will likely be excited, too, by the group functionality of the SMT-H3272. If a second unit is added to the house, the cumulative amount of shared storage and tuners goes to 1 TB GB and 4, respectively. As many as 8 of these devices can be used for a total of 4TB GB (1,000 hours of HD, 4,000 hours of SD) and 16 simultaneous tuners (watch/record 16 channels at the same time).

Users will not have to add tuners and storage to extend the experience throughout the house, however. A more inexpensive thin client will also be available, offering simple extension of recorded TV. (Tuner support in the clients was not mentioned, however I surmise that each will have 1 tuner, much like a current standard cable box).

Because the entire system works on MOCA technology, no additional wiring is needed. It works with existing coax cabling (that black wire connected to your TV).

The system will not support 30 second commercial skipping or offloading of content, but will support OnDemand services, Look Back, Caller ID, and other existing features.

The Whole-House DVR system is currently available as part of the SignatureHome package, stand-alone rollout is anticipated in mid February. Pricing is not available, but nobody will be sad to see the phase-out of the Scientific Atlanta 8300HDC, the worst consumer electronics device ever brought to market.


Late Night Eats

If you have been to a “Starve Dana” party or the equivalent, no doubt you know what it is like to seek food toward the end of the night in Raleigh. Here are some of the best options for late night eating on a Friday or Saturday night. They fall into two main districts:

Downtown Raleigh

  • Buku – (11pm full, Late Night 2am kitchen)
  • Sitti – (Midnight kitchen)
  • Humble Pie – (Midnight kitchen)
  • Raleigh Times – (2am kitchen)
  • Market – 11pm
  • Busy Bee – (2am kitchen)
  • Jibarra – (11pm kitchen)
  • The Pit – 11pm
  • Sauced Pizza – 3am
  • The Diner – 24h

North Hills

  • Coquette – 11pm – (919) 789-0606
  • Vivace – ~10:30p – (919) 787-7747
  • Mura – 11pm
  • Ruth’s Chris – 11pm
  • Sparians – 2am (bar menu)
  • Midtown ~11p

Also of note: bars will close at 2am as per N.C. State Law.


A Native’s Guide to Visiting Raleigh

rbc-010421[1] While the NHL has prepared a fantastic week of hockey-related activities for this year’s All-Star Game, it also is a great time to take in some of the local experience that has made the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) one of the best places to live in America. The food, architecture, and entertainment events here are more than enough to handle, certainly in a weekend. We’re a lot cooler than you think. We just don’t talk about it.

The Triangle experience is unique, but in a subtle way. We don’t have a expressly tourist district. We don’t have centuries-old ethnic customs. Rather, the Triangle is a great place to raise a family and live a normal life.

When the Hartford Whalers moved to Raleigh, the team was adopted at a moderate rate. However the playoff series in 2001 against the New Jersey Devils cemented this team in many Triangle residents’ hearts. The team’s popularity grew in the ensuing years until 2006 when the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup. Ever since the Canes have been a universal success, and found their way into the hearts of even the area’s most die-hard college basketball fans.

The tradition of college basketball runs deep here, and the area has become known in the basketball world as “Tobacco Road”. This is an unfortunate moniker, however, as it so inaccurately paints the Triangle lifestyle picture. The Triangle is about education and tech. The only industrial component to our history lies in Durham’s history in producing tobacco products, but those are days long gone.

Because much of Raleigh’s growth has happened in the last 45 years, there is a strong suburban component here that has been attractive to hundreds of thousands of transplants. While there is plenty of Anywheresville stuff, there is more do to and enjoy than most have the time or money to do. Eat a southern hot dog, some barbecue, and a hot doughnut as you ride around and take in the area that so many people decided to call home.

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Skinner Makes NHL All-Star Team

skinner Congratulations to Hurricane rookie Jeff Skinner who today was added to the NHL All-Star game on Sunday. The 18-year old Skinner is the NHL’s youngest player, but that hasn’t prevented him from raning 38th in points, 62nd in assists, and 27th in goals scored. Skinner had been selected to participate in the Rookie skills competition, but now joins teammates Eric Staal and Cam Ward in Sunday’s activities.


Watson Twins, Amos Lee Coming to Lincoln Theatre

WatsonTwins On Friday, April 22, The Watson Twins will be playing at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre. Amos Lee opens.


Fly Your Canes Flags for NHL

canes With hundreds of top NHL players, executives, and media entering the area, there will be many eyes on this area. Let’s show the rest of the world our pride in the Hurricanes by flying your Hurricanes car flag at all times for the remainder of the week. If you don’t have one, they can be purchased at The Eye in Crabtree Valley’s food court. (The Eye in the RBC center will be converted over to an NHL-only store later this week, and will return to its normal programming next week.)


RDU Terminal 2 Opens Today

The second half of Terminal 2, the replacement for RDU’s 1987-era Terminal C, opens today. The 920,000 square foot completed project will have 36 gates, 13 shops and restaurants, and a central atrium containing an art piece called “Triplet”. The 4th and 5th baggage claim carousels will also open. The project cost approximately $570 million.

The completed project now designates the new terminal with two concourses, C and D (map), though they are technically on the same hallway. The gates that opened in 2008 are on the C concourse, and the gates opening now are on the D concourse. Airports have now gone to new nomenclature with terminals numbered and their concourses distinctly designated with letters.

Terminal 2 is now the host of Air Canada (D5, D9), American Airlines and American Eagle (C17- C18, C20-C25), Continental and Continental Express (D1, D3, D6), Delta and Delta Connection (C1, C3, C7, C9, C14, C15), Frontier (C25), United and United Express (D5, D9), and US Airways and US Airways Express (D10-D13). The following airlines remain in Terminal 1, the one that should have been replaced: AirTran, JetBlue, and Southwest Airlines.

In May 2010, the RDU Airport Authority voted to spend an extra $500,000 in order to accelerate construction so the project could be completed before next week’s NHL All-Star game. Let’s hope that all of the media, tourist, and athletes all arrive in Terminal 2.

The terminal is gorgeous. It is the “first major airport to be constructed with wooden struts”, but those really only encompass the fascinating roof. Much stone is used to compliment the wooden tones in the ceiling, and the attention to detail is impressive. While the overall idea was conveyed with Phase I of the building, the true scale of the roof and use of light could not be appreciated until now. Whether it is with carefully placed artwork, mosaic patterns in the terrazzo flooring, or bag hooks at the bathroom sinks, an impressive number of details were considered in constructing the building.

There was one unfortunate oversight, however: the choice of glass for the ticketing area’s South Wall. Apparently the glass did not filter enough light, so an enourmous curtain was created to tone the intensity of the sunlight that hits this wall most of the day. While the giant white curtain is dramatic, it will likely be dirty and unsightly in a few years.

Terminal 2 will truly be an impressive gateway for visitors and prospective business clients who enter this terminal. For those who do not arrive via the terminal, the building will certainly find its place among citizens’ driving tours for out-of-towners (unlike another award-winning facility that recently opened). Hopefully the airport authority can make necessary changes to Terminal 1 in order to bring it up to Terminal 2’s high standards.

If you are interested in visiting the terminal, be sure to park in the “Hourly 2” parking area. The entrance bays are to the far left in the deck’s entrance plaza. Parking is $1/hr. You will not be able to access the concourses without a plane ticket, but the atrium and baggage claim areas can still be appreciated by casual visitors.


Pauly Shore Coming to Goodnights

encinoman On the weekend of August 13, Pauly Shore will make his way to Goodnights in Raleigh.


Katy Perry Coming to RBC Center

katyperry On Tuesday, June 14, Katy Perry will bring her tour to the RBC Center. Perry is apparently a pop singer who is trying to promote her brand new CD, Teenage Dream. Promoters are really hoping that people will give this CD a chance. OK that was sarcasm. This concert will have enormous appeal to small children, though it will not be a G-rated event.

NOTE: Tickets go on sale Saturday, January 29 at Noon at all Ticketmaster outlets.


Interpol Coming to Disco Rodeo

interpol On Wednesday, May 4, the Cat’s Cradle will present Interpol at the Disco Rodeo in Raleigh. Tickets go on sale Friday and are $25 in advance.


Tim Reynolds Coming to Lincoln Theatre

tr3 The unofficial lead guitarist for the Dave Matthews Band, Tim Reynolds, will be bringing his band, TR3, to the Lincoln Theatre on Saturday, March 5. Reynolds is an incredible guitar player, and this is sure to be a treat. Given the sabbatical that the DMB is taking this summer, the creative energies of Reynolds will be interesting to follow over the next few seasons.


Getting My Resume In Order

Every few years or so there is an area coaching change that gets me excited. I like dentistry, but seriously, if I could make over a million dollars coaching an area college basketball team to the NIT every year, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Given the way that N.C. State is playing, I just may get my chance.

Unless Debbie Yow is interested in make a bold statement to assert her power, we are still a couple of months away from slamming the servers at flightaware.com. In the meantime, the most likely chance of success is to hire a not-old coach with a clean record and experience head coaching a smaller school to success. Here are the names of 12 coaches to think about as the season progresses:

  • Randy Bennett (St. Marys-Cal)
  • Mark Turgeon (Texas A&M)
  • Gregg Marshall (Wichita St)
  • Cuonzo Martin (Missouri St)
  • Mark Fox (Georgia)
  • Ken Bone (Wash. St)
  • Fred Hoiberg (Iowa St)
  • Blaine Taylor (ODU)
  • Tad Boyle (Colorado)
  • Chris Mooney (Richmond)
  • Ron Everhart (Duquense)
  • Chris Mack (Xavier)

Yes, I am digging the grave for the team in West Raleigh. Given that they can only lose 4 more ACC games in order to make the tournament, and still have UNC and Duke twice, among others, remaining on their schedule, the chances of Lowe surviving this season with his talented team are slim to none.

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