Person Street Prowl
BY DEBBIE MOOSE
For decades, going to Raleigh’s North Person Street meant visiting the Krispy Kreme. If you left its fragrant confines, there wasn’t much else around.
Now the blossoming of downtown Raleigh has spread to this area bordering Historic Oakwood. You can make a day or a night of it here – and still cap your trip with a fresh, hot doughnut.
Bars, shops, restaurants and an upscale market serve residents of Oakwood and Mordecai and people from the growing number of condos in the neighborhood.
The district struggled for some time, despite the presence of Cajun and Italian markets and the recently closed Piebird restaurant.
“Demand and redevelopment began happening about the same time,” says developer John Holmes. “You had well-established neighborhoods and new projects.”
Holmes redeveloped the run-down Person Street Plaza, which has turned into a center of activity. Holmes and chef Scott Crawford, who cooked at Herons at the Umstead Hotel in Cary for many years, worked together on Standard Foods, a restaurant and market in the space, which opened this fall.
Here’s a road map for your Person Street prowl.
Standard Foods Restaurant + Grocery, 205 E. Franklin St. in Person Street Plaza
Crawford’s much anticipated restaurant offers the kind of creative, locally sourced menu you’d expect from him, along with an inventive bunch of bartenders. Besides getting produce from City Farm next door, the restaurant has its own garden in the back, where a brick barbecue grill will be used for cooking over wood. There are plans to host private parties in the outdoor space.
The Grocery offers selected local and regional products from small farmers and producers, such as Carolina Ground flour from Asheville and cream-top milk from Ran-Lew in Snow Camp. Deborah Brown, a farmer herself and the market’s farm liaison, says the Grocery is both a pantry for the restaurant and a way to showcase the work of small producers. You can also pop in there to get a rib-eye to cook for dinner plus house-made charcuterie for the appetizer. Information: standard-foods.com.
Person Street Bar, 805 N. Person St. in Person Street Plaza
The bar opened in 2014 as a private club (it doesn’t offer food). It serves artisan cocktails using such things as lavender and oak bitters in a contemporary wood-and-metal environment. You can catch football or soccer on the big TV. Rumor has it that the bar is a favorite late-night hangout for restaurant folks; you might catch local chefs there. Information: person-street.com.
Yellow Dog Bread Co., 219 E. Franklin St. in Person Street Plaza
This light-filled corner bakery, which opened two years ago, is a favorite of locals who look forward to the likes of croissants, pecan sticky buns and crostini. It serves locally roasted coffee drinks. The handful of tables fill quickly on weekends. Information: facebook.com/yellowdogbread.
City Farm, 800 N. Blount St. next to Person Street Plaza
The 1.3-acre plot was established in 2012 as one of Raleigh’s early urban farms. Besides growing beautiful organic produce for sale during farm-stand hours Saturdays 9 a.m.-noon, the nonprofit farm offers fun events and educational classes throughout the year. Some events are held in conjunction with the Piedmont Picnic Project. Information: raleighcityfarm.org.
Wine Authorities, 211 E. Franklin St. in Person Street Plaza
This Durham wine shop opened its second location – and first Raleigh shop – here just over a year ago. It has become a spot to pick a glass of wine from the bottles in the Enomatic dispenser, settle in with a plate of cheese and charcuterie, and feel like you’re on a Paris boulevard. The bottle selection spans the globe. Wine tastings are held every Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., as well as classes. Information: wineauthorities.com.
William & Company, 616 N. Person St.
With brick walls and colorful stuffed sofas, William & Company looks like a bar where you could spend a comfortably pleasant evening. And there are certainly comfortably pleasant things to sip on. The drink menu at this bar, which opened in April, changes with the seasons, but brings things like nectarine Old Fashioneds and basil gimlets. It generally doesn’t serve food, though chicken tamales may appear on weekend nights. Information: facebook.com/WillcoBar.
The Station, 701 N. Person St.
With expansive outdoor seating to accommodate Raleigh’s fascination with alfresco dining, this restaurant was once a gas station. Hibernian owner Niall Hanley opened the spot in 2013. The menu ranges widely, through bacon bloody marys at Sunday brunch, burger specials on Mondays, and pickled beet and goat cheese salad. Information: stationraleigh.com.
The Pharmacy Cafe at Person Street Pharmacy, 702 N. Person St.
The drugstore has been open for more than 100 years, and for most of that time the lunch counter was as Old Raleigh as oak trees. Earlier this year, former Market chef Chad McIntyre took it over and revamped the menu. Then a few weeks ago, the cafe changed again. Green Planet Catering is running it with the company’s executive chef, Patrick Cowden. Look for more changes – possibly an expanded breakfast menu and New York-style deli sandwiches. Hopefully, it will still be a great place to get a milkshake. Information: facebook.com/ThePharmacyCafeRaleigh.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, 549 N. Person St.
The one, the only … Look for the glow of the big, red “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign and get a simple glazed orb of goodness right off the line. There are other offerings for those with more exotic tastes. Take in a show while you’re there by either watching the cooking conveyor belt or the variety of people hanging out in this 24-hour spot. Information: krispykreme.com.
THE SHOPS OF NORTH PERSON STREET
The North Person-Franklin Street corridor doesn’t just draw the foodies. A number of small shops have opened there, giving the district a nice balance for patrons.
Edge of Urge, 215-110 E. Franklin St. in Person Street Plaza
Opened by Jessie Williams early this year, the cozy shop features an eclectic collection of local and handmade items, including clothing, jewelry, handbags and home accessories. Williams, who has another location in Wilmington that opened in 2002, also mentors young designers. Information: edgeofurge.com.
Lumina Clothing Co., 215-120 E. Franklin St. in Person Street Plaza
This men’s clothing store originally opened on Martin Street in downtown Raleigh in 2012, but moved to the Person Street Plaza in late 2014. They sell classic menswear designed in-house. Information: luminaclothing.com.
Gather, 715 N. Person St.
Gather first opened as a gift shop, coffee shop and co-working space on Chatham Street in Cary in 2013, but owner Michelle Smith moved it to Person Street this month. In the new location, Gather is primarily a gift shop offering local and handmade goods. They will also offer arts and crafts classes. Information: shop.gathergoodsco.com.
Oak City Cycling Project, 212 E. Franklin St.
This local independent cycling shop moved into the Person-Franklin corridor in May 2012, and its laid-back, collaborative business model has made it a vital part of the cycling – and North Person Street – community. Information: oakcitycycling.com.
So and So Books, 704 N. Person St.
This small independent bookstore, located in front of the In Situ Studio, opened in May 2013. The store displays work by local authors and hosts reading clubs and author events, stocking everything from poetry to prize-winning novels and children’s books. Information: facebook.com/soandsobooks.
Nicole’s Studio & Art Gallery, 719 N. Person St.
A mainstay of the North Person-Franklin Street corridor, Nicole’s Studio & Art Gallery was opened by Nicole Kennedy in 2000. The store underwent an expansion in 2011, resulting in a beautiful new gallery space that sells paintings by Raleigh artists and serves thousands of clients with art classes and framing services. Information: nicolestudio.com.