HIP ON HILLSBOROUGH: The Raleigh Architecture Co. completes two commercial projects side-by-side.

State of Beer bar and bottling shop.
State of Beer bar and bottling shop.

The Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo), a young design-build firm with numerous projects in downtown Raleigh, has completed two more commercial up-fit projects that just happen to sit side-by-side in a multi-tenant building on the 400 block of Hillsborough Street: State of Beer, a beer bar and bottle shop, and Runologie, a specialty sporting goods store for serious runners.

While the projects’ proximity to each other was convenient, both projects posed the same serious challenge: how to complete the noisy, dusty demolition of the previous interiors and construction of the new interiors without disturbing Exploris Middle School adjacent to and above them. The solution: Heavy construction took place before 8 a.m., after 4 p.m., and on weekends.

“It was a very urban project,” said RACo partner Craig Kerins. “The whole property is a mix of spaces and different buildings that have been combined over time. The result is that there are some odd spaces and adjacency conditions you have to deal with which adds to the complexity of the project. Add to that the owner’s desire to be open in time for the holidays, and you end up with an intense pace of construction.”

David Meeker, Chris Powers, and Woody Lockhard own State of Beer at 401A Hillsborough Street. (The three men also own Busy Bee Café on Wilmington Street and Trophy Brewing on West Morgan Street.) Within the 1460-square-foot space, the RACo team designed and built a cozy bar for beer enthusiasts that recalls, without imitating, old European bars, along with a generous bottle shop/retail section, and food preparation space for gourmet sandwiches and salads.

RACo partners Robby Johnston and Craig Kerins incorporated the abundance of overhead ductwork into the clean, well-organized design. Custom steel lighting and shelving units define the visual vocabulary and create a textural contrast with the exposed trusses and old brick walls. The long, sleek bar is cleverly fashioned out of a reclaimed bowling alley lane the owners found.

Ruonologie sporting goods store for serious runners.
Ruonologie sporting goods store for serious runners.

At 401B Hillsborough Street, Kimberlie Fowler Meeker and Laura Berry – elite runners who win or finish at the top of their races – own Runologie, a 2050-square-foot retail space and hub for downtown Raleigh’s running community. The showroom includes display space for shoes, apparel and accessories, and nutritional items, as well as a front desk tucked into one of the storefront windows. A “shoe cloud” centerpieces the space, where wide-planked wood floors and custom-crafted wood benches add warm notes among the custom steel displays units.

For this project, RACo served as the design architect, Maurer Architects was the permit architect, and the Raleigh Construction Co. (the construction arm of The Raleigh Architecture Co.) was the general contractor.

RACo’s other commercial projects in the downtown Raleigh area include Arrow Haircuts, Nuvo Nivo children’s boutique, and several renovations of Videri Chocolate Factory.

For more information on The Raleigh Architecture Company’s design-build firm, visit www.raleigh-architecture.com.

LOGOAbout The Raleigh Architecture Company:

The Raleigh Architecture Company is an award-winning design-build firm specializing in Modern sustainable architecture and craftsman-quality construction. As licensed architects and general contractors, the firm considers designing and building to be one integrated process. This streamlined approach empowers RACo to meet our clients’ economic expectations and to seamlessly execute high quality details, both small and large. The office and shop are located under one roof in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District at 502 S. West Street. For more information visit www.raleigh-architecture.com, call 919-831-2995, or email: info@raleigh-architecture.com.


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