One person’s attic is another person’s treasure. You never know what you will find or what special piece will have you reminiscing about your family until you join the treasure hunt downtown in a full-fledged antique search for one-of-a-kind collectables. All are in walking distance of one another, but you may want to drive a large truck or SUV to pack up your new dear to your heart riches at the end of the day. Tea sets, quilts, vintage clothing and jewelry and furniture are a few of the items that you can find on your trek through the district and here is where to find them:
- The Antique and Gift Mall is located at 123 Hay Street and is a good stop for furniture and decorative items for your home. Also, those hard to find lamps and lampshades are easy to find here as well as an excellent assortment of ornaments and figurines.
- J&D Antiques at 242 Hay Street has a wide selection of furniture and other collectables. Make sure to look in the jewelry cases for exceptional custom jewelry and pay attention to the shelves on the wall for various patterned dishes.
- Yankee Antiques and Reproductions is tucked away on Burgess Street, just behind J&D Antiques. This warm and inviting store features beautiful furniture and knick knacks as well as homemade candles and soaps.
- The Cotton Exchange at 226 Donaldson Street is somewhere you can spend an entire afternoon. There is something in every nook and cranny in this 7000 square foot antiques mall with more than 20 vendors sharing their unique collections and wares and on 4th Fridays, there are free rides around downtown on the Cotton Exchange Express so do not miss the train!
- The Livery, another collection of independent vendors set up like the Cotton Exchange, is located at 147 Maxwell Street and has a fantastic selection of art work, furniture, quilts and much more. Inventory is constantly changing so check back often to see the new pieces offered.
After you have finished your antiquing adventure, share a lunch at McDuff’s Tea Room and Emporium at 114 Gillespie Street. With tea served in old-fashioned cups, old fashioned recipes and a showroom with tea sets to purchase, this is the perfect locale to finish the day. And, of course, that is not your cup of tea; there are a variety of restaurants and other shops around to suit any interest. This is Downtown Fayetteville, after all!
Most are familiar with the larger events we have downtown, but did you know that downtown hosts events almost every weekend, if not 2-3 events a weekend? Our downtown area is quite the entertainment district along with our fabulous restaurants, cute shops and museums. In case you are new to the area or just to downtown, here is a run-down of those larger favorites that get better year after year:
International Folk Festival
This colorful festival incorporates our community’s rich heritage and is designed to highlight all countries represented in the Fayetteville area. Every September, Hay Street lights up with the brilliant pageantry and color with the Parade of Nations followed by live entertainment, authentic cuisine at the International Café, unique arts and crafts, a children’s area and more. This year’s dates are Friday, Sept. 24 to Sunday, Sept. 26 so mark your calendars now! Visit www.theartscouncil.com/international-folk-festival for more information including volunteer opportunities.
4th Friday is a celebration of the arts in beautiful downtown Fayetteville. 4th Friday has expanded this year to include Arts Alive at 4th Friday, sponsored by the Arts Council, hosting live entertainment stages, art booths with professional artists displaying their art for sale and artists demonstrating their craft on Franklin and Maxwell streets. The Downtown Alliance organizes the rest and merchants and restaurant owners around the district open their doors and feature specials, artists, music and much more! For more information, visit www.theartscouncil.com.
This award-winning festival shows up in the Top 20 events in the Southeast on a regular basis and for good reason. More than 200,000 people make their way downtown every Spring for the amazing music stages, the food vendors lining the promenade of Festival Park, the street vendors with all kinds of arts, crafts and more down Ray Avenue and Hay Street and the other events taking place over the entire City during the weekend. This year, musical acts included the Gin Blossoms, Soul Asylum, Joe Nichols and quite a few local favorites on the Festival Park stage and on the Rock Shop stage. Find out more including the two other events hosted by the Dogwood Festival: Historic Hauntings and the New Year’s Eve Party in the Park complete with a dogwood drop at www.faydogwoodfestival.com.
Fayetteville after Five
Fayetteville after Five, sponsored by the Fayetteville Museum of Art, is a terrific, and free, concert series hosted at Festival Park. Starting after work, bring your lawn chairs and beach blankets, grab dinner and beverages and enjoy a great selection of music among friends. There are two more dates left in the 2010 line-up:
- Aug. 19 – Craig Woolard Band
- Sept. 16 – Chairmen of the Board
Mark your calendars! For more information, visit www.fayettevillemuseumart.org.
Downtown is certainly one of the best places to host your events with a captive audience and gorgeous surroundings! If you are interested in hosting an event in the downtown area, contact Erica Brady at 433-1505 for details including permit information.
If there has been any doubt, summer is here. Just look at the outdoor thermometer or walk outside. If you need some quick tips for staying cool downtown, here you go:
- Eating at one of our many air-conditioned restaurants or under a large umbrella on the patio. Keep hydrated and check out the menus of lighter summer fare such as salads, sandwiches and wraps.
- See a movie at the Cameo Theatre. Plush seats and all Hollywood has to offer will greet you at this celebrated cool spot on Hay Street.
- Sundresses and hats! There are cute items at Belle Curve and Kindred Spirits as well as fun bags and other accessories to make keeping cool a little more stylish. Seersucker and hats can be bought for the men at Sunny’s and Leon Sugar’s.
- Ice cream is always a fun treat and what a wonderful way to keep cool in the summer. Horne’s Café and The Chocolate Lady now have scoopable ice cream or you can get frosty beverages at the Green Bean Coffee Shop, Rude Awakening Coffee House or other restaurants.
- To burn off some of those calories from the ice cream, try walking in our heavily shaded parks with beautiful fountains such as Linear Park. The Linear Park trail next to the water is a fun way to get some exercise and stay beneath some shade.
- Come out at night! We have a terrific nightlife scene downtown and something for everyone. Fourth Fridays are especially fun with the addition of Arts Alive at Fourth Friday and the many shops and restaurants open with guest artists and specials.
Staying cool is literally a breeze downtown! And if you don’t mind the heat, try Fayetteville after Five sponsored by the Fayetteville Museum of Art. The museum has selected fantastic bands that will keep you movin’ and shakin’ in Festival Park. Fun for the whole family!
With over twenty new businesses that have opened since January and new condos, this is the time to look at living or opening a business downtown. Several new businesses will be opening this year including Pierro’s Express and Wet Willie’s Daiquiri Bar and Restaurant. There are several small business resource groups that are willing to help with opening up your own business including CEED, The Center for Economic Empowerment and Development, formerly known as The Women’s Center of Fayetteville, located at 230 Hay Street, and the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce in Haymount.
The City of Fayetteville is also committed to Downtown Fayetteville and has designed programs to offer economic incentives for investment in the district. These programs help encourage the restoration of facades through rehabilitation, offer loans for small business owners investing in our community and jobs. Through the City’s Community Development department, three programs are offered including the following:
Facade Improvement Grant Program
This program is designed to promote the revitalization of facades of active, for profit businesses through the rehabilitation of commercial building exteriors and landscapes. This effort benefits Fayetteville by removing blight, expanding the tax base and increasing the economic vitality of Downtown Fayetteville and redevelopment plans areas. An eligible business must be located within the identified boundaries and meet all program requirements. The City of Fayetteville will provide a matching reimbursement grant up to $5,000 for each facade renovated.
Downtown Loan Program
Loans are available from $50,000 to $300,000 for relocating and expanding businesses that wish to construct, acquire or renovate commercial properties in the downtown area. The partnership between the City of Fayetteville and local banks has resulted in an attractive interest rate for qualified applicants and relocating and expanding businesses located in the specified geographic boundaries of the downtown loan area are eligible to apply for the program.
Business Assistance Program
The City of Fayetteville established the Business Assistance program to stimulate small business investments within the city limits, to create new services and retail business to redevelopment areas and to create jobs. The Business Assistance Program provides funding to assist the small business owner with the additional equity needed in order to qualify for primary financing. The City of Fayetteville’s loan works in conjunction with a primary loan from a bank or approved lender.
For more information on these programs, please contact Michelle Haire, Economic Development Administrator for the City of Fayetteville, at 910-433-1596. For further information on available properties and residences and contact information for agents and property owners, call 910-433-1599.
1. Festivals and events that fill the streets
The Dogwood Festival, 4th Fridays, International Folk Festival, Fayetteville after Five concerts and other special events make downtown a family friendly fun place to be and most are free so a full night of entertainment won’t break the bank!
2. More than 2 dozen restaurants and bars with open doors, great menus and a fantastic atmosphere
With cuisine ranging from Italian pasta to delectable tapas to lighter fare salads to mouth watering desserts, this is your place to bring a date, your family or have a lunch or dinner out with friends. Patio seating make it all the more fun to see and be seen while having a delicious meal!
3. Beautiful historical buildings and streetscape – just look around and know you are in one of the best places
Any history or architecture buff can explore the many exceptional buildings that have been beautifully restored and the examples of Neo-Classical, Gothic Revival and Romanesque Revival styles and more. The Market House alone is one of less than 40 National Landmarks in the state of North Carolina.
4. One of a kind shops with unique gift items, clothing, local products, you name it
Personal service and fantastic merchandise make downtown one of the best places to shop in the region. New clothing stores such as Leon Sugar’s and gift shops like Holmes Fine Gifts have items to suit any taste, or any occasion.
5. Our fantastic parks – Festival Park, Linear Park, Cross Creek Park, just to name a few
Talk about wonderful places to have a fabulous picnic, walk or see a concert! Events and activities are commonplace in these parks, but if you just wanted to get healthy and take a nature walk, our trails in Linear Park are for you!
6. A truly cool atmosphere
Our heart of the City has been described as trendy, artsy, charming, picturesque, creative and diverse. Urban living, nightlife, friendly people, museum tours and lunch groups have people from all over having different experiences with the same result – returning over and over again!
7. The Airborne and Special Operations Museum and the new State Veterans Park
The Airborne and Special Operations Museum, affectionately known as ASOM, is one of our region’s top attractions and brings thousands of people downtown every year. The new North Carolina State Veterans Park will sit adjacent to the museum and is moving quickly towards their goal of debuting on July 4, 2011.
8. The Field of Honor
The Downtown Alliance hosts the Field of Honor every year and it is truly a sight to behold with sponsored flags lining the field in front of ASOM. Our appreciation for our soldiers, veterans and their families is worth a stand alone in this top ten list to say the least.
9. Award winning performances and gallery worthy art
Plays, performances, displays and world renowned exhibits are featured downtown with so many options to see local shows at the Gilbert Theatre, The Arts Council, the Fayetteville Museum of Art and many more. Our museums, art studios and shops showcase the best that our community has to offer!
10. More shops, restaurants, luxury condos and the like on the horizon
More than ten years has gone by since our community started its plan for downtown revitalization and, in that time, we have made great strides towards building our center city, commercially and residentially. Downtown is growing and has new developments around every corner. Be a part of seeing your downtown grow in this next year and onward!
If you haven’t been downtown lately, you need to see what you are missing! Grab some friends or your family and come explore Downtown Fayetteville. You’ll be glad you did!
Birthdays, wedding receptions, anniversaries…there are so many great milestones and what better place to celebrate, but Downtown Fayetteville. Lucky for everyone there are fantastic places to choose from including locations for small, intimate gatherings to large, formal receptions. Some examples include:
The Metropolitan Room
The Metropolitan Room boasts a 5,000 square foot plus ballroom, a unique mini vault lounge (which can be used for serving drinks), lobby, marbled entrance foyer with a marble fountain and a private four story parking garage. Floor to ceiling windows complete the look and the view of Downtown Fayetteville and the Market House is extraordinary. This beautiful addition to Downtown Fayetteville can service parties from 50 to 500 people. Visit www.themetroroom.com for more details.
The Rainbow Room
The Rainbow Room is a prime example of a renovated downtown building centered on Hay Street, which features brick sidewalks and blossoming trees. With a modern interior and room for 100-150, this venue has housed wedding receptions, corporate meetings and the like. They provide chairs and tables for your guests and also allow the flexibility to bring your own caterer, music and decorations. For small, intimate gatherings, this is your venue. Visit www.rainbowroom.biz for more information.
AIT’s Festival Hall
AIT’s Festival Hall has a seating capacity of 250 in their 3,300 square foot main hall and plenty of downtown parking. The room is almost a blank canvas as far as the different seating arrangements that can be imagined featuring round and rectangular tables. Table linens, setup and breakdown of the room are included in their event package. Visit www.ait.com/aitauditoriumlayout.php for photos and contact information.
City of Fayetteville Parks and Buildings
Cross Creek Park, The Transportation Museum and other downtown public properties are also available for your special event. Call Erica Brady for special events at 433-1505 or Bruce Daws for events in historic properties at 433-1457.
Really, what better place and what better backdrop can you ask for on your special day, no matter the occasion, than Downtown Fayetteville? Along with our historic churches, parks and buildings, your guests will thank you for their gorgeous photos and their long-lived memories. Find your perfect venue downtown – you will be glad you did!
Field of Honor
The 2010 Glory Days Field of Honor, sponsored by the Fayetteville Downtown Alliance, is a memorial to all of our servicemen and women. You can get involved by sponsoring an American flag to join the hundred that will fly at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum from May 14 to June 29. Individual flags are $25.00 and corporate sponsorships are available. Visit www.glorydaysnc.com for more information. If you have not seen it before, it will take your breath away.
31 Days of Glory
31 Days of Glory is a month-long celebration of performances, ceremonies, exhibits and activities sponsored by a host of organizations including the Fayetteville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Fayetteville Downtown Alliance, Fort Bragg MWR, Museum of the Cape Fear and many other participating partners. The entire month of May is dedicated to honor soldiers, vets and their families and will include great events such as the Glory Days Downtown Memorial Day Celebration, a Military Film Festival at the Cameo Theatre and the fundraiser Walk a Mile in Their Boots. For a full list of events and activities, visit www.31daysofglory.com.
Fourth Friday is a celebration of the arts in beautiful downtown Fayetteville. In May, Fourth Friday will be expanding to include Arts Alive at Fourth Friday, sponsored by the Arts Council, hosting live entertainment stages, art booths with professional artists displaying their art for sale and artists demonstrating their craft on Franklin and Maxwell streets. And, as always, merchants and restaurant owners around the district will open their doors wide and will feature specials, artists, music and much more! For more information, visit www.theartscouncil.com.
Fayetteville after Five
Fayetteville after Five, sponsored by the Fayetteville Museum of Art, is a terrific, and free, concert series hosted at Festival Park. Starting after work, bring your lawn chairs and beach blankets, grab dinner and beverages and enjoy a great selection of music among friends. The 2010 line-up includes:
- May 20 – The Tams
- June 17 – Coconut Groove Band
- July 15 – Suicide Blonde
- Aug. 19 – Craig Woolard Band
- Sept. 16 – Chairmen of the Board
Mark your calendars! For more information, visit www.fayettevillemuseumart.org.
There are several churches in our Historic Downtown district that are more than 100 years old and provide welcome doors to showcase their historical architecture including the following:
- Hay Street United Methodist Church had its first sanctuary dedicated in 1835 with its present day sanctuary built in 1908. Located at 320 Hay Street, the brick Gothic Revival-style church features rare “robing glass” windows, which is truly a sight.
- First Baptist Church at 201 Anderson Street was completed in 1910 and provides an example of Romanesque Revival architecture.
- Evans Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church at 301 North Cool Spring Street was built in 1893 and features Gothic-style architecture in a two story gabled front and interior woodwork.
- First Presbyterian at Bow Street was rebuilt in 1832 and features the only wooden truss roof of its kind in the state as well as whale oil chandeliers and an impressive spire.
- St. John’s Episcopal Church at 302 Green Street features Gothic architecture with 10 pyramidal spires and stained glass windows made in Munich.
These are only a few examples of the gorgeous churches downtown, active on Sundays and during the week. You can also plan a historic church tour customized for you at www.visitfayettevillenc.com through our Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Now that the 3/50 Project, encouraging residents to “save their local economy three stores at a time,” is catching on in Fayetteville, know that we are not just talking about retail shops (although we love those too!). It is any type of brick and mortar building including restaurants and founder Cinda Baxter of Minneapolis, Minnesota has a new initiative called “Eat Down the Street,” which is all about committing to eat in a local independently owned restaurant every week. And Downtown Fayetteville has something for even the pickiest of eaters from appetizers and entrees to salads and desserts so it is the perfect place to support your community and find new haunts in the process!
One of our newest additions to the district as of April 16 is Lidos, The Euro Spot, located at 102 Person Street specializing in European and Russian cuisine. The restaurant will also offer dancing and live music along with the signature dishes such as Russian goulash and Hungarian chicken paprikash. Almost next door is Circa 1800, which most residents in Fayetteville have marked their new favorite. Located at 108 Person Street, the filet tips are the house special and their bananas foster is a fantastic way to end a great meal.
A little further up downtown, McDuff’s Tea Room located at 114 Gillespie Street specializes in gourmet salads and sandwiches to pair along with scrumptious desserts and the finest of tea. They also serve an Afternoon Tea (reservations only) Tuesday through Saturday at 3 p.m. For those wanting an Italian flair, Pierro’s Italian Bistro located at 217 Hay Street serves up only the best grilled and pasta specialties, pizzas and Italian classics in town.
For more casual dining, Hamburger Heaven located at 132 Person Street offers wings, salads and hamburgers including their Carolina Favorite Burger, which has slaw, chili and onions for those who still need to try some local flavor. Dock’s at the Capitol located at 126 Hay Street has an extensive menu of sandwiches, appetizers and house specialties up in the Sports Bar along with entertainment and games downstairs.
Another couple of options for casual dining are Beef O’ Brady’s located at 229 Hay Street and Subway at the Depot located at 472 Hay Street. Both are great if you want a quick sandwich and Beef O’ Brady’s even has trivia nights and is a fun place to watch all of the games on big screen televisions.
Another new restaurant in the district is Fresh Café, which is marketed as Downtown Fayetteville’s premier organic and natural food restaurant. Located at 212 Hay Street, they serve fresh salads, sandwiches and quiches and also host an acoustic open mic night on Thursdays.
For those who are looking for a good brew to pair with their entrees, the Blue Moon Café located at 310 Hay Street has seasonal menus, patio seating and a large selection of craft beers. Also, Huske Hardware House and Brewery located at 405 Hay Street is gaining recognition in this area as a regional supplier of custom crafted brewed beers. They also have a large pub menu and an active night life with music and entertainment. Next door, Wet Willie’s, a restaurant and bar with a variety of daiquiris, will be opening later this year.
Of course, they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For a quick cup of coffee and a delicious croissant, try Rude Awakening Coffee House located at 227 Hay Street. A trip there is guaranteed to give you that needed caffeinated jolt in the morning to start the day! If you have a bit more time, sit down at Horne’s Deli located at 124 Hay Street. Breakfast items include eggs Benedict, omelets, hash browns, bacon and so on. Both places also serve lunch too.
Desserts are a specialty downtown. Not only do all of the restaurants have great options, but we have four stores specifically catering to those with that proverbial sweet tooth. Seek out Baskets of Blessings for delicious concoctions of fudge at 136 Person Street along with truffles and other candy goodies. The Cupcake Gallery, located at 107 Person Street, hosts a generous array of cupcakes with old favorites and daily surprises. If you are a new customer, make sure to get a dozen so you can try it all! Just Desserts, located at 314 Hay Street, is the place to order your special occasion cake including weddings, anniversaries and birthdays. They also offer baked goods from scratch made cookies to pie and everything in between. Another place to satisfy that chocolate craving is The Chocolate Lady located at 318 Hay Street. Your eyes will grow wide at the sight of the counters carrying a variety of chocolate dipped items and specialty gourmet treats all for the taking.
The biggest thing to keep in mind about the 3/50 Project is for every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here and if you spend it online, nothing comes home. Join us in supporting our local cafes, coffee shops, bistros and restaurants in Downtown Fayetteville and remember you can always walk downtown to burn some of the calories off!
Fayetteville Farmer’s Market
It’s officially spring and what better way to get healthy and ready for summer than to buy organic produce and local honey or grow your own vegetables and herbs in your own garden.
Long awaited since last fall, the official season opener for the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market was Saturday, Apr. 10. Twice a week, farmers and local growers bring their wares including fresh eggs, in-season vegetables and fruit, herbs transplants, homemade soaps, local honey and flowers. It is Fayetteville’s only 100% locally grown farmers market and it is fantastic.
On Wednesdays, you can find the Farmer’s Market behind the AIT and Prince Charles Hotel on Maiden Lane, just west of the Cumberland County Main Library from 3 to 7 p.m. And on Saturdays, the booths are set up from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Cumberland County parking lot, off of Gillespie Street in front of the court house.
Find out more at www.thefayettevillefarmersmarket.com.
Fayetteville Community Garden
Also, if you are interested in growing your own produce, the Fayetteville Community Garden, located between Vanstory and Mann Streets off of Old Wilmington Road in Downtown Fayetteville, has plots available for individuals to adopt for a mere $25 a year.
With a groundbreaking in 2008, the Fayetteville Community Garden offers 120 plots ready for those willing to grow fresh healthy food and flowers. Among the landscape, the garden has a community pavilion, gardener’s sheds, playgrounds, arbors and trellises as well as fruit trees and orchards. A second potting shed will be constructed this year and a gazebo will also add to the general landscape with funds donated by the Junior League of Fayetteville.
The project originated as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization by helping preserve green space and is located in the area slated for redevelopment in the downtown area. The Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority received a $20 million Hope VI grant, administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, to allow for Fayetteville to replace the current public housing with a mix of homes and apartments for families with various incomes. The Fayetteville Community Garden sits within that area and reminds us all that it is hip to be organic.
For more information or to reserve a plot, call the Sandhills Area Land Trust (SALT) at 910-483-9028.