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Friday, August 5, 2016
The magnificent red Cardinal is a bird that symbolizes many things to many people, but the consistent theme is one of hope, pride and rejuvenation.
While the new bar and lounge The Cardinal derives its name from the former cab company that once occupied the small cinder block building at 713 North West Street, the avian symbology isn’t that far off the mark.
Last August, The Lundy Group acquired several parcels along North West Street, including the old Lighting Inc. building at 500 West Peace Street. Since then, the former Lighting Inc. property has been transformed into a glistening, modern office space. Next door at 707 North West,* work has been underway for two months at a property that was previously used as a band rehearsal space.
*We actually did a walk-through of 707 last night, so be sure to tune in next week to find out more about what’s been happening there.
On July 26, 2016, permits for the final Lundy property acquired last August — The Cardinal Bar — were issued to none other than our friends over at August Construction Solutions, who were also behind the transformation of 500 West Peace and will now be working simultaneously on 707 and 713 North West.
Considering the site plans for The Cardinal were only filed back in March, we’re impressed this project is already at the permit stage, although this may have something to do with the building being no larger than 1,100 square feet or so.
One of the biggest changes at the old Lighting Inc. building was turning what had essentially been an interconnecting series of small, cramped rooms into large, spacious areas with ceilings you didn’t have to worry about bumping your head on.
While the site plans for The Cardinal did indicate that a 207 square-foot porch will be added on to the structure, we’re not sure if this will do much to offset the building’s relatively small size.
Either way, we’re excited to see what Lundy & August come up with.
The Cardinal Bar will be run by Raleigh bar owner Jason Howard, who has been involved with The Rockford and the now-defunct Brooklyn Heights businesses. The permitted cost for the alterations to the structure, first built in 1945, is $120,000.
While The Cardinal was the only bar-bar to receive permits last week, two restaurants did receive ABC Inspection permits. One of them, the raw-vegan themed Living Kitchen managed to turn that process around pretty rapidly, and opened this Monday. One of my brothers was a strict raw vegan for a while. I tried it for a week, surviving off nothing but apples, raw walnuts and water. I’m sure there’s a lot for vegans to love at Living Kitchen, but it’s definitely not a place I’ll be stopping by any time soon.
The other ABC Permit was for a place that’s been open much longer: the Dalat Oriental Restaurant at the Mission Valley Shopping Center. Like the Living Kitchen, Dalat offers a lot (heh) of vegan and vegetarian-friendly dining options. We admit we’re not intimately familiar with the ABC permitting process, but figure that this award-winning Vietnamese restaurant is just undergoing some kind of renewal.
The only other renovation project from last week that our readers, degenerates that you are, would find interesting was for a new bottle shop at the Litchford Village shopping center that’s named, appropriately enough, the Litchford Road Bottle Shop.
The work on the Litchford Road Bottle shop will be handled by Gurkin Construction for $75,000.
Litchford Village itself is an 89,605-square-foot, Food Lion-anchored shopping center located in far north Raleigh, just south of the I-540 beltline.
We imagine that the kind of hipsters bottle shops tend to attract will be absolutely de-lighted to learn that Litchford Village is also home to a genuine Jazzercise Exercise Studio. I see a lot of ironic Instagram pictures in the studio’s future.