We’ve said it before, and it bears repeating, Glenwood South is Raleigh’s cash cow, and more than ever, the district is on fire—and expanding its footprint. But all of that development arguably has been within and east of Glenwood South’s center. Until now.
Extending the northern bookend of the buzzy district across Peace Street—what used to be your go-to annual auto inspection station is about to be your new go-to hangout destination. In a powerhouse partnership between developers CityPlat and Modalia Capital, in tandem with Local Icon Hospitality Group and Redline Design Group, that primo positioned slice of dirt in DTR is now, well, pay dirt—transforming the .32-acre dead space adjacent to Mellow Mushroom atop Glenwood South into a dynamic social hub.
Enter The Yard, upfitting the original building into a hip bar and small kitchen, surrounded by upward of 20 shipping containers—some multistories—filled with bars and unique food concepts spread among abundant outdoor space with fire pits, games and the like, and playing host to a rotating lot of food trucks. In essence, come early to mid-June, your new spot to meet up, chill out and hang out.
“It’s a great community gathering place,” says CityPlat’s G Patel, who’s been deeply involved in the Raleigh hospitality industry for over two decades. His intention, he says, has always been to bring unique concepts to our market that are pushing the boundaries a bit and really “maximizing the space we have while not overbuilding and overcrowding with a bunch of towers.”
Teaming up with Local Icon founder/owner Jon Seelbinder (think The Merchant, Virgil’s, Little City, to name a few), Patel says, was a no-brainer. “I know the individuals who can make a concept happen… and execute the best vision and use of the space,” he explains. “Jon’s been doing this as long as I have—he wholeheartedly deserves entire credit for really curating this concept and thinking outside the box.” (As well as literally inside the box in this case.)
“All involved parties are in a shared dialogue,” notes Patel—which, he says, “is where the magic happens.” With a longstanding MO of maintaining the essence of Raleigh while simultaneously pushing the envelope, Local Icon is primed to perfectly play out that shared vision. While the details are still being flushed out, Seelbinder and his team are flirting with three or four casual food concepts—tossing around opps from resurrecting their former famed Linus & Peppers sandwiches to a “really slick burger program.”
“Let’s make it vibe with Raleigh, but also make it unique in our way,” says Seelbinder. “Let’s make it elevated, but approachable. Let’s not go so over-the-top that it doesn’t resonate with our drinking community—but let’s do something really cool.”
The Yard no doubt taps into that cool factor. For its part, Redline Design Group is excited to be a part of such a unique opportunity to visually activate one of the most heavily trafficked intersections in DTR—and to “push the envelope through the reuse of old conex containers and convert them into usable structures,” says principal Jason Byrd.
But no matter what, “more than anything, it’ll be a cool outdoor drinking and hangout space,” says Seelbinder. “And I’m just really excited to bring it to Glenwood Avenue.” … And this is not just another Glenwood South bar. “We couldn’t think of a better way to bring folks together,” agrees Byrd. “We hope to see you there.” And they will.