Wilmington Street is going through a huge transformation right now, and the Wilmoore Café is another great addition to what is surely becoming THE good food destination in downtown Raleigh. Check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wilmoorecafe.
I had the most productive lunch break today. The plan was to run to Target to purchase birthday presents for my kids’ friends (that I completely forgot about), but instead I stopped by the Books Are Fun book fair at RBC Plaza in downtown Raleigh. They had some really neat stuff, not just books. I was able to purchase three birthday presents and some items for myself for under $60. The best part of my purchase is that a portion of the proceeds from the book sale will benefit the North Carolina Tornado victims! If you need to pick up a Father’s Day gift or a birthday present for someone special, head over to RBC Plaza (on the corner of Fayetteville and Martin Streets) today until 4:00 PM and tomorrow (Wednesday) from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
RBC Plaza Condos at 4:45 PM
There’s a phrase that real estate agents use to describe condo living: Lock it and leave it. Condo owners can just lock the door and go. And when they return, it will be exactly the way they left it. That is not always the case for single-family homeowners. When they return from being away for a while, the grass will be taller, there may be storm debris in the yard that needs to be cleaned up, and the list goes on and on.
As condo owners at downtown Raleigh’s tallest building, RBC Plaza, Bill and Cristi Heffelfinger know the benefits of downtown living.
“My wife and I were, mostly, raised in the country. We lived in several nice neighborhoods, but never really felt a sense of community until we moved to downtown Raleigh. We've lived downtown for a little more than four years, and are amazed at the sense of community that exists. We always see people we know and take time chat.”The ability to walk to an array of entertainment venues continues to draw people to live downtown. Raleigh features a wonderful performing arts center, several great art galleries, unique eating establishments, and a vibrant schedule of street and park events that draw a diverse crowd. “There is truly something for everybody. If you're bored, you're not trying hard enough,” said Bill Heffelfinger.
|Pool at RBC Plaza|
If you are considering a move to downtown Raleigh, here are some helpful tips from the Heffelfingers:
- Embrace the downsizing. Purge, purge, purge. Condo living is right-sized for life, so it forces you to reconsider what's really important to you. The rest of it is just extra baggage.
- Attend City sponsored events when you can.
- Shop local. Make every effort to support your local businesses. You'd be surprised what you can find downtown or within a short (and very nice) walk.
|Winners of the RBC Plaza Retail Design Competition|
The competition kicked off on March 18, 2011, by challenging 14 students to design a vacant, 2,200-square-foot retail space in downtown Raleigh’s tallest building, RBC Plaza. After conducting a survey of the office customers and condo residents in the building, the students were given the task of creating an affordable boutique that catered to both men and women.
Inspired by Raleigh’s reputation as the “City of Oaks”, Danielle and Lauren named their boutique Akorn. Their design was the only one to feature a mezzanine level and it incorporated a real oak tree in the center of the first floor.
The public was invited to vote for their winning design on Thursday, April 28, in the retail space at RBC Plaza. The winning team was selected based on public opinion as well as input from a five-person judging panel consisting of real estate and design experts.
“Working with an existing space and the many challenges it presents has been an incredible design experience for the students,” said Dr. Martha Burpitt, professor of human environmental sciences and Interior Design program coordinator, Meredith College. “Researching who the target market will be, the location and merchandise offered were the basis for the overriding concept, store name and store design. The students had a great experience with this design challenge.”
|Students Concepting and Taking Measurements|
I am amazed by the talent of these students. You could clearly see the amount of time and research that went into developing their concept, and I appreciate that most of the teams embraced the technology available to them. Talking with several of the students during the award ceremony, they appreciated having a real-life space to design instead of a concept presented to them in the classroom setting, which is often the case. It was a great learning experience for the students and certainly a highlight for their resume as most of them will be graduating this weekend and seeking employment.
|Many of the beloved oak trees uprooted around the city|
As you see it approaching, you are just hoping and praying that we'll all be safe and come out of it unscathed. Sadly, that was not the case for some. In the following days since the storm, I have heard tremendous stories of survival and have witnessed random acts of kindness within the community.
|Progress Energy Center for Performing Art|
|Damage and debris|
Neighbors are helping each other sift through the rubble that was once their home, and volunteers are walking through neighborhoods offering to help clean up debris. We are very lucky to live in such a wonderful place with amazing, resilient people. Over the next several months, probably even years, people will be working to put their lives back together. There are many people in need of clothing, food, and help removing storm debris. Anything you can contribute will make a difference. When you go to bed tonight please keep those families that have suffered such great loss in your thoughts and prayers. Reflect on how lucky you are to be alive and hug your loved ones just a little bit tighter; I know I will.
If you are interested in helping out in the tornado recovery, please visit the following links.
Triangle Red Cross
United Way Triangle
As a foodie, I thought it would be appropriate to have the inaugural blog highlight one of my new favorite eating establishments. Located at 16 West Martin Street, just one block from RBC Plaza, Capital Club 16 offers diners wonderful food at a reasonable price, now what’s better than that! When you step into the restaurant you feel as if you have gone back in time. The walls are adorned with old photos, vintage wallcoverings, and fresh cut flowers delicately placed on each table (and in the restrooms).
After enjoying lunch with some friends, I did some research on Capital Club 16 and discovered that there was a good reason the menu featured classic German dishes and why I felt like I was in New York in the 1930s. The bar and back bar in the restaurant were made from salvaged pieces of mahogany and oak from New York City’s historic Luchow’s restaurant, which was founded by August Luchow, a German immigrant. Many prominent members of the entertainment industry frequented Luchow’s. In fact, Judy Garland held her post-concert party there after her legendary Carnegie Hall concert.
The chairs at Capital Club 16 came from Times Square’s Horn & Hardart, one of Manhattan’s last automat restaurants. Okay, I've never heard of the term automat restaurant, so I Googled it and found out that it is what we now refer to as a fast-food restaurant where you walk up to the counter and place your order. The owner, who is from Southern Pines, has thrown in some pieces from the great state of North Carolina by making the bar top and wooden tables from century-old reclaimed wood from mills and Neuse River docks.
A few things come to mind when I think back to that yummy lunch, such as their fresh, flavorful main dishes, their hand-sliced rosemary-seasoned French fries and their chocolate bread pudding. (We were celebrating a birthday, so of course had to get dessert!) My friends and I LOVED this little bit of heaven, featuring a subtly sweet rich, chocolate sauce drizzled over the top, and creamy homemade vanilla ice cream on the side that was just to die for!
Capital Club 16 offers lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. The bar is open late, so pull up a stool and maybe, just maybe the ghost of Judy Garland will pull one up next to you.
Capital Club 16 Hours of Operation:
M 11:30am - 2:30pm
T 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5 - 10pm
W 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5 - 10pm
TH 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5 - 11pm
F 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5 - 11pm
SU BRUNCH 11am - 4pm
Bar Open Late Night