Some veritable Hillsborough Street institutions are falling victim to progress as NC State and Raleigh leaders seek to bring new life to the recently spruced up thoroughfare.
A 125-room hotel will fill the block across from the Memorial Bell Tower, displacing longtime tenant Sadlack’s Heroes. Earlier this month, bulldozers took down The Brewery, a music venue that hosted many a rising star over the years. Its former spot west of campus will house a drug store and apartments.
The 1.3-acre hotel site is owned by the University Endowment Fund. NC State chose local developers Bell View Partners and The Bernstein Companies to complete the project, which will include street-level retail. “This is a big step forward in the continuing effort to make Hillsborough Street a destination for the greater community,” Ralph Recchie, NC State’s director of real estate, said in a statement earlier this month.
But the plans are bittersweet for patrons of Sadlock’s, which has served sandwiches and beer to generations of NC State students and locals.
“It’s like Cheers, where you come in and everyone knows your name, and you recognize everyone in the place,” says Jeff Burton, who eats lunch and drinks happy-hour beers there several times a week.
The changes come a year after the city completed a $10-million project to improve Hillsborough Street, adding roundabouts to calm traffic and improving parking and sidewalks.
Sadlock’s owner, Rose Schwetz, isn’t sure when the demolition will take place, or if her shop might find a home in the new building.
”It’s kind of sad,” says Schwetz, who took over the shop from Frank Sadlack in 1984. “But that’s just what progress is.”
— Marti Anne Maguire