Rally for Raleigh, North Carolina

Customers stop into Fox Liquor as soon as it opens every afternoon.

In the South, cities tend to expand outward instead of upward. Raleigh surely fell victim to that trend. In the past few years, however, the capital city of North Carolina has seen a welcomed and vibrant rebirth in food and arts culture. Raleigh’s go-to destinations now encompass the areas around the capital building. Fayetteville, Salisbury and Wilmington streets now boast the coolest destinations and tend to be jam-packed full of patrons night after night.

With the influx of new restaurants, a new light has been shed on age-old standards. Mo’s Diner isn’t a diner at all, but a house converted into a high-end and down-home restaurant with service in each of its three dining rooms. Despite the new taste for the gourmet, the surrounding area still offers plenty of inexpensive options. The Mecca Restaurant is a third-generation, family-run mainstay, open since 1930 and serving Southern cooking late into the night. And for a real bargain, head down to Cooper’s BBQ for a local lunch counter experience and a barbecue that has been ranked as one of the top in the country. 

When it comes to bars, Raleigh’s scene is mainly underground — literally. The Foundation Lounge is subterranean, featuring unheard of concoctions and an unmatched selection of whiskeys. For a louder and grittier experience, head to Neptune, whose basement bar features classic arcade games and rock deejays.

Restaurant rebirth

Spearheading the downtown restaurant rebirth is chef/owner Ashley Christensen, who began by revamping Poole’s Diner in 2007. Featuring an ever-changing menu of locally-grown ingredients, this “diner” takes no reservations, has a line out the door and quickly became the standard and redefinition of local flavor. Just last year, Christensen opened three new establishments, all right next to each other on S. Wilmington Street. Beasley’s Chicken + Honey is a sleek chicken and waffles spot. Chuck is a meaty cafeteria-styled restaurant. And Fox Liquor raises the bar on cocktails and mixology in the South. Many of the spirits and cocktails featured were previously unavailable and unheard of down in the area.

If you go

Poole’s Diner
426 S. McDowell St.
www.poolesdowntowndiner.com
   
Beasley’s Chicken + Honey
237 S. Wilmington St.
www.ac-restaurants.com/beasleys
   
Chuck
237 S. Wilmington St.
www.ac-restaurants.com/chucks

Fox Liquor
237 S. Wilmington St.
www.ac-restaurants.com/fox
   
Mo’s Diner
306 E. Hargett St.
www.mosdiner.net
   
The Mecca Restaurant
13 E. Martin St.
www.mecca-restaurant.com

Cooper’s BBQ
109 E. Davie St.
www.clydecooperbbq.com
   
Foundation Lounge

213 Fayetteville St.
www.foundationnc.com
   
Neptune
14 W. Martin St.
www.neptunesparlour.com

The roots of a cool fest

Raleigh also has grown exponentially in terms of entertainment. New venues have sprouted up and all participate in the yearly Hopscotch Festival. Currently in its third year, national and international acts now join the regional talent that the Hopscotch festival prides itself on. Much like South by Southwest in its infancy, Hopscotch could become the Southeast’s hottest ticket. This year Yo La Tengo, The Roots and The Jesus and Mary Chain headline the festival, while more than 175 other bands fill out the three-day, 15-venue festival. Visit www.hopscotchmusicfest.com for info.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.