Transfer Co. Food Hall and Olde East

definitely not going to be smaller, just will have less BS - absolutely classier and higher quality! They are focusing more on curating concepts, rather than just having a bunch of random little kitchens filling up the space. For instance, the bagel shop will be a collaboration between Jubala and Bolted Bread, so you can get coffee and a bagel in one place, made by two already-thriving local businesses. Transfer’s kitchens will be bigger and allow for more creativity. The section @GucciLittlePig mentioned that was closed off is also huge and will house Burial, the new Videri chocolate factory, and something else I can’t remember. This will definitely be the more unique food hall vs Morgan street’s very generic/“throw s*** on a wall and see what sticks” appeal. The Saxaphaw General store will be a completely new building on the south side of the warehouse, adding even more space and activating the outdoor area between the store and Food Hall proper. It’s going to be miles and miles above Morgan St when fully finished.


The quality of the vendors will definitely be top notch. The only thing that disappoints me is that it’s basically more of the same but ‘playing it safe brings better returns’.

What is “more of the same” about it to you? Genuine question- because I think it’s one of the most unique projects going on downtown, right now!

Cool, thanks fellas. That was the gist I got, but not having been inside yet (but peered in a lot ha) I wasn’t sure.
At risk of rankling somebody, it seems like Morgan St is aimed at people just experiencing downtown as visitors, seeing the kids while heading to Florida, or a quick lunch for office workers, while Transfer is aimed at residents with ownership stake downtown and are familiar with the brands there. I would personally be eating at Morgan when nearby and just need a bite, and Transfer is a place I would make plans to go to. I am glad they are turning out different…the niches served are different and they are therefore not angled to put each other out of business.


Besides the newly announced Ara restaurant, the burrito place, (and maybe credit to Chhote’s since we have an unusually limited Indian scene in DTR) everything else we already have in DTR is some form or fashion. Bagels, chocolate, bread, beer, oysters, Argentinian style- empanadas, falafel/Middle Eastern, American candies and sweets.

We have a very poor lack of different Asian, European, and African cuisines–but a ton of sushi joints/westernized pan-Asian fusion.

But overall, Transfer Co. - Olde East, given that it is still a business, has made the best decisions regarding this project it can make given the project’s resources. I’m glad I live next to this food hall, I’ll be there daily in my pj’s in the morning.


The biggest challenge that Transfer has is its location outside of the downtown element boundary. Getting people to think of anything east of Moore Square as a part of downtown to explore is certainly changing, but its nearly exclusive residential immediate neighborhood works against it. This is especially true since much of it is single family homes.
While it is equally convenient to the very core of downtown as MSFH, the perception is that it is not. Commercially, downtown is heavily weighted to its west side, and that difference is only accelerating over time with the massive investment in downtown’s west side districts.

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Is the honeymoon period already over for Morgan Street? Yes, there may not be as many “trendy” vendors but it’s a great place for aspiring restauranteurs and food truck owners to get started. If they fail, new vendors come in. If they succeed, maybe they graduate to larger spaces (hopefully) downtown.


Yes I think the honeymoon period is over. I hope they are successful because they add a lot to downtown. I think they’re going to continue to be popular.

Any idea of the price point at Transfer? Frankly, I think that MSFH is a mostly overpriced.

Yeah that’s a big disappointment. Kiosk food at full brick and mortar prices. Those Curry in a Hurry prices are what I pay for elegant sit down with a full menu.

Transfer prices will be high but the quality is higher than Morgan.

If I am going to pay some of those prices, I’m walking around the corner to 5 Star while it’s still there!


I’ll be very interested to see how the commercial element develops around Transfer Co. It looks like there are some empty lots that could support small commercial and we could also see houses converted to commercial uses. I can’t imagine this block will be the end of it.

As-is, Carlton Place has commercial spaces, the Pink Building block is used by Liz Kelly, there are two 1940’s era small commercial buildings nearby (one with a mysterious art gallery in the front that is never open), a few others further south and especially along Blount, the Ice House block which includes a somewhat modern era church building up for sale, and the tattoo place next to Person Pointe is being redeveloped. Plus there are several legacy commercial lots where convenience stores were torn down that have mixed use zoning like this one

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Just checked the UDO zoning. Properties on the block north of Transfer are OX-3-DE (essentially mixed use), and everything to the east, save for the immediately adjacent townhouses already under development, is zoned residential. The OX-3-DE properties have the most opportunity, but that area is also currently/mostly single family houses.

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I think if we could get legit, thriving mixed use all the way to East Street I’d be super happy. There are a few spots even further east, like the Martin St open air drug shopping center (not really that bad anymore…since the crips were kicked out) the old brick laundry-mat at Hargett/State and a few things closer to Chavis but they don’t do much to interrupt the carpet of single family homes between East and Tarboro.

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I agree. I think that the goal with the zoning is to fade the edges of the downtown experience into the residential neighborhoods, but no further. This very edge of the fade is where Transfer resides. Neighborhood retail centers will certainly pop up along certain corridors beyond that , but your assessment about them is correct. Along more major corridors, expect more community nodes of activity that range in scale depending on their location and nature of their surroundings.

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Apparently Che Empenadas and Local Seafood are going to be open starting tonight. I’m not sure what time, but I saw it on the internet…

The soft opening will be tonight Thursday 12/20 from 6pm -10pm
Favorite quote from the article “and yet-to-be revealed smokehouse” assuming a new BBQ restaurant. .

I was told the BBQ restaurant will be Longleaf Swine.