Historic City Market

I am greatly looking forward to this outdoor seating! There haven’t been many but these “parking-to-people” conversions, hopefully, are resonating with landlords to get them thinking about how better to utilize these spaces.

It’s my dream to see City Market closed to cars and really made into a pedestrian-friendly area. It might require a few things first:

  • More reasons for pedestrians to be there at all times of day. We need more active uses AROUND City Market so people are passing through naturally. Moore Square will help and future developments.
  • Develop the parking lot along Person Street. Again, less cars, more people.
  • The City Market building itself needs an anchor use.

The last one, I think, is most important. It’s a great event space for sure but what could it be to make it a city-wide draw? I’m not sure but I’m hoping one day that I’ll see it.


Market Hall is the dead void that is killing the City Market. Imagine the center of a place of entertainment that is dead 80% of the time discouraging people from exploring the area since it looks abandoned. Boom, that’s the City Market Market Hall. A black hole that occasionally holds a wedding but otherwise keeps the City Market mood dead–encouraging tenants to vacate for more lively areas.

Don’t even get me started on City Market Produce–they’re number one seller is dust and cobweb and overripe fruit on the limited time it’s open but adds to the overall abandon-looking-ness of City Market–besides all the vacated storefronts.

I feel bad every time a new company moves into Blake Street since I know they won’t get the foot traffic they deserve.

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City Market Food Hall.



Hello, y’all!

I’m new to the community, but have frequently lurked dtraleigh.com for years. Glad to finally have a message board area!

Anyways, the point about Market Hall is interesting and spot on. It’s absolutely a “dead void” in the middle on the City Market district, whereas it should be an actively used space, especially with Moore Square expected to become the destination that the City wants it to be after the remodel is complete. A thought I had while reading the thread is that Market Hall would make a fantastic open air market for local artisans or farmers to bring their product to “market.” I visited Charleston last year and was very impressed with their City Market. Raleigh would greatly benefit from such a market, as tourist could mill about and office workers could patron local artisans on their lunch breaks.


What about a city market?



Roanoke turned their City Market building into a food hall before food halls were cool. Each vendor has a storefront facing the sidewalk and outdoor seating plus counter type service facing the center of the building. There was a food court type seating area for all vendors in the interior of the building. I was there several years ago, and the area around the market building was quite lively.


Ironically there used to be a brewery there before I moved to Raleigh, but it had a fire and never reopened. If a good brewery like Raleigh Brewing or Trophy moved in there now, the whole area would be hopping.

It so would and for that reason it won’t happen. It makes too much sense. Someone would have to fight the living daylights out of the leadership of City Market before they do something positive like that. City Market is prime downtown retail–yet I can count five empty store fronts. You can only blame City Market leadership for this. MOFU Shoppe might be a godsend to the City Market. A fresh vision.

I quickly put this together. In Orange, City of Raleigh-owned property. The purple is Artspace. The blue is “HAKAN MARKET PARTNERS INC” with a mailing address in California.

If a passionate local group could get it, perhaps that might invigorate more creative uses and a solid partnership with the city and Artspace.


I would be so great if someone local with a vested interest in the community could somehow get it!

On City Market’s history page, it says this about the current owners:

In the 1990s, Joe Hakan and his son Michael, purchased and upgraded the downtown collection of shops and restaurants. They illuminated the market’s rooflines and under their direction City Market flourished again.

I’d say “flourished” is a bit of an exaggeration…Their directory page seems purposely disorganized (and not updated) so you don’t realize how many spaces are actually vacant.


So City Produce space is City of Raleigh owned? What happens when the old man retires? City Produce can still be City Produce but a bit more modernize to fit the needs and wants of the locals. Focus on local heirloom crops with a tidy selection of cheap non-organic produce for those that want that.

  1. Instead of tossing away the ripe vegetables that remain have a ‘sustainability’ juice bar that uses that produce.

  2. A pick-n-toss salad station: pick the produce, have a worker cut it up in front of you. A yuppie like me would love that.

  3. Refrigerated section that showcases NC-made cheeses and such with an option to order a cheese platter.

  4. Use the parking lot on the side as a shaded/tabled section where people can side down to eat their salads and cheese platters.

If I only had the money and time. :frowning:


Redevelopment in City Market is going to have to wait for Moore Square and the Bus station to be refurbished. It’s the “bad” side of downtown and everyone knows it, despite how well Bida Manda is doing.

The area also needs major work on drainage. The crown of the road floods in even a moderate rain.

Maybe Greg Hatem could buy into it?

Hatem will have the restaurant in the park, so I doubt he’d be interested in the property.

Weaver street market really really really wanted to be in the market, but the current owner did not want to play ball, so they ended up over on Harrington / West.

Just a heads up to anybody holding out hope that the current owners can be talked through.

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The bus station just had a multi-million dollar refurbishment.

Leo, where is that initial picture from? What is context to that project?

In the former Zydeco space (“behind” Mofu Shoppe) a new restaurant is coming together and I heard that part (all?) of the parking lot is being converted into outdoor seating for it.

I can’t remember where I saw it, but I thought the outdoor seating would be shared by multiple restaurants.

The two new food halls coming to Raleigh are fulfilling what City Market could have been. The lack of vision by its leadership has left one of Raleigh’s jewels to have its true potential languish unfulfilled for decades.