Historic City Market


I remember when it was a brewery – there would be live bands on the cobblestones and they sold beer out of the back door and people would bring chairs and watch their kids dance – it was one of the few fun places to take your kids in Raleigh back in the day.

I “heard” years ago that the owners are more or less having a temper tantrum / hissy fit and letting it sit empty for spite … absolutely no proof of course - total hearsay - but it is prime real estate and it’s not being adequately used – why?


If that’s true, maybe it’s because they want to tear it down and use the land more profitably?


Raleigh’s suffers not wanting to develop easterly due to “reasons”. I would say Downtown Raleigh most extreme eastern side should be Tarboro St.

Until East DTR has apartment blocks like the Lincoln Apartments going up in droves I think Moore Square area development will continue to suffer.


I think the parking lot is being severely underused. Yes, it’s useful for parking, but it could be sacrificed for a greater purpose: a City Market expansion.

Here’s a quick sketch of my vision for the block:

Blue represents new buildings, which would vary in design and generally keep with the historic theme of the area. I’d like to see a number of small spaces, as well as one or two slightly larger businesses.

Green represents circulation and access. The existing passage at the end of Wolfe St. would be the main access point for the expansion, in combination with a new access closer to Davie St. The new “street” parallel to Person St. and Blake St. would be pedestrian only, and paved with cobblestones to keep the historic sense of the area. There would be space here for outdoor seating and some landscaping. String lights would of course be present.

Finally, I’d like to see the two buildings facing Moore Square renovated and reused. The old house could be a museum or antique store, and the smaller building at the corner (which appears to have been a bank or service station in a past life) could be an ice cream stand (I have a vision for something along the lines of Va Da Vie Gelato at Park Road Shopping Center in Charlotte). Between the two buildings would be some sort of “gateway” or marked entrance to the Market.

I’d love to see others’ ideas for this block. What would you do?


That looks good I would just move the historic house and old horse station somewhere else and excavate up to 4 underground floors of parking. Maybe the new buildings can be around 3 to 4 floors with the top floor being an urban greenhouse where micro-greens and herbs can be grown to sell locally and open to the public as a learning experience. Designate the entire block as open-container zone as well.


Word was that the guy from Wed Pics who owns the taco bike was trying to buy that land from the city and do a taco thing. While the guy from Gingos was also wanting it, but ironically not for tacos…for a 24 hour biscuit joint.

Whatever happened to those plans? Anyone?


Since they missed the food hall boat, I’d like to see them partner with ArtSpace for an artisan market.

Or make it a German beer hall like Philly’s Frankford Hall: https://www.visitphilly.com/things-to-do/food-drink/frankford-hall/


Love the idea! I think the middle building shown on S Person would do well with 4-5 floors for a boutique hotel above the street level retail. Something like Lorien Hotel in Old Town Alexandria


Nothing against Stone’s Warehouse, but if Saxapahaw General Store had ended up in the main City Market hall, it’d have been better for everyone all around. City and General Store.


I live across the street from City Market (henceforth = CM) and know most of the shop/restaurant owners and can pass along what I’ve learned from them.

  1. The lights that are strung across the buildings that the CM ownership is taking credit for - the individual business owners had to beg, steal, borrow to get CM ownership to put them up. But, yes, the certainly helped what would otherwise be a very dark area into a potentially nice place.
  2. The original brewery was Greenshields. After the fire, he wanted to reopen but the new CM ownership didn’t allow it, so he bailed.
  3. CM ownership is notorious for: stealing ideas, not being friendly to the individual owners, etc.
  4. and personally, I approached CM owners about a “hypothetical” business in Market Hall. I didn’t want to give too much information away since they did have a reputation of stealing ideas. They wouldn’t even entertain the idea of losing the event spaces. My business idea would have been very close to what some of you guys have thrown out there. Alas, it will never be.

Maybe CM will get some new owners one day. Until then, it will remain a quaint area with some nice restaurants, but never living up to its potential.