If there’s one thing we love more than dogs.. it’s supporting the local non-profits who help to care and find homes for our furry friends in need! So we got to thinking.. how can we use our #boxcarbowows features and contests to give back to these local charities? And that’s where the idea for a…
Whether you’re new to Raleigh, just visiting, or have lived here your whole life – there is one area whose charm, history and fun activities cannot be overlooked: the Raleigh Warehouse District. Recently listed in Thrillist as one of “12 Neighborhoods Across America that are About to Get Crazy Popular” the Raleigh Warehouse District is the hidden gem that just keeps shining brighter. Located near downtown Raleigh, this six-block area includes popular streets such as W Hargett St, W Davie St, W Morgan St and S Dawson St – and we just-so-happen to be located smack-dab in the middle of this downtown Raleigh scene!
The Raleigh Warehouse District is characterized by its red brick buildings and old industrial spaces, while at the same time continuously expanding and attracting new and exciting business ventures, fun shops, restaurants, bars and breweries to explore. The aging brick of the past is intermingled with tons of local art and unique architecture for a delightfully eclectic feel that is authentic without being dated. (In other words, it’s endlessly Instagrammable)
History of the Raleigh Warehouse District
While continuously growing today, the Raleigh Warehouse District likes to keep the charm and history of its past at the forefront. It was initially built as an industrial zone because of how close it was to the railroads, a few blocks West of downtown Raleigh. However, many of the factory and warehouse buildings fell out of use in the mid 1950s and were virtually unusable by the late 1970s.
Luckily, the Raleigh Warehouse District caught the eye of some artists, designers and performers in the early 1980s, who decided to turn the old industrial spaces into art galleries, studios and poetry reading spaces. One of these creatives was David Sedaris, renowned author, comedian and radio contributor who often talks of his upbringing in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. From here some nightlife venues joined the area, quickly followed by restaurants, and then more recently by breweries, offices and co-working spaces.
The Raleigh Warehouse District is now a thriving and vibrant area to live, work and play – close to the hustle and bustle of downtown, but with the charming mix of manufacturing and creative spirit from its past.
Raleigh Warehouse District Staples
The Raleigh Warehouse district is becoming a hub for creative eateries, art installations, bars, breweries and business startups, while also being the home to some of Raleigh’s most-loved staples. With such diversity, you’re sure to find something for everyone while spending a day in the area. Here are a few places you’ll definitely want to make sure you check out:
An authentic barbecue joint located in the heart of Raleigh’s Warehouse District, this restaurant serves some of the best southern cooking around. They proudly continue the tradition of serving whole-hog, pit-cooked BBQ featuring all NC-raised pigs, local sourcing and free-range farming practices. From delicious BBQ, to fried chicken, hush puppies, ribs, turkey and even barbecue tofu, The Pit is always on the list of places to try if you want to experience traditional southern cooking.
A delectable chocolate factory, Videri was founded on honesty and gratitude. Owners Sam and Starr live and breath chocolate, and it really shows in their delightful flavors. They make handcrafted bean-to-bar chocolate that supports cacao farmers who are committed to the highest quality beans and sustainable farming practices. Plus, they offer free samples of their chocolates every day!
As soon as you enter our doors, you’ll be whisked back to your childhood as more than 100 classic and modern arcade games shine back at you. With a full bar, tons of craft beer, free weekly tournaments, live music and endless activities, we’ve got the perfect environment for anything from a first date to spending time with your best buds or enjoying some solo hanging and gaming.
CAM Raleigh provides an environment for transformation through educational programs, cultural experiences and bold, non-traditional exhibitions by living artists. They want to inspire visitors into new ways of thinking, seeing and making. The exhibits are always changing and they’re always unique, so it’s a must-see each time you visit.
Our neighbors at Crank Arm Brewing started with the dream of combining the owners two loves: bikes and beer. Focused on quality, Crank Arm delivers delicious, unfiltered craft beers that are surprisingly clear. They never rush their brews, and are always focused on quality, as well as cultivating an active lifestyle in the community. We’re big fans of Crank Arm brews and almost always have at least one Crank Arm creation on our draft menu.
New to the Neighborhood
The iconic Dillon Building was recently transformed into residences, offices & retail – now home to big-name retailers like Urban Outfitters, restaurants like O-Ku Sushi and a much-anticipated downtown grocery – Weaver Street Market – will be opening soon.
Downtown Raleigh’s first official Food Hall opened it’s doors this Summer on Morgan Street, where you can score some good food fast! Grab Curry in a Hurry, fill up on empanadas, boost your mood with Java or Boba Brew – the possibilities seem endless.
Continued Growth with Raleigh Union Station
While the Raleigh Warehouse District is already thriving, the recent completion of the Raleigh Union Station project will continue to help the area blossom even more. Union Station is Raleigh’s new multi-modal passenger train and bus station that replaced the existing Amtrak Station on Cabarrus Street. It is the key component in Wake County’s ongoing mass transit plan to help alleviate traffic as a result of Raleigh’s rapid growth and success.
Raleigh Union Station features four daily round-trip passenger trains between Raleigh and Charlotte that can serve more than 160,000 passengers. It’s goal is to better accommodate current and future demand for intercity passenger rail, commuter rail, buses, taxis, bicycles and other forms of transportation. (It also allows freight trains to bypass the station without stopping, reducing traffic.)
With how vibrant and exciting the Raleigh Warehouse district already is, it will be exciting to see how this new mass transit venue will further the growth and culture of this artsy, industrial area even more.
Download the Bird or Limebike scooter apps for a fast, fun and affordable way to bounce between your favorite Raleigh Warehouse District destinations. There are also several R-Line stops in the neighborhood – the R-Line is a FREE way to get around downtown Raleigh (and just so happens to stop right in front of our doors!). If you don’t feel like driving, keep your eys peeled for a limebike, hitch a ride on a Raleigh Rickshaw, call an Uber or hop an Amtrak into the neighborhood.
However you get here (and get around), be sure to stop in and see us at Boxcar Bar + Arcade for some guaranteed fun! With over 100 arcade-style games, a full bar including 24 craft American drafts, live music, patio bar & more – we’re sure to add something special to your day of adventure in the Raleigh Warehouse Distrcit.