Development Beat: 616 Glenwood

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A former guitar shop will soon be home to Glenwood South’s newest nightclub: 616 Glenwood.

Harry's Guitar Shop

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

Harry’s Guitar Shop

Site plans for 616 were filed by Dan Lovenheim, owner of a number of local bars, including Alchemy, located just three doors down at 606 Glenwood (it was previously the 606 Lounge) and across the street from that, the Cornerstone Tavern at 603 Glenwood.

First built in 1966, the cinder block structure at 616 Glenwood was home to Harry’s Guitar Shop from 1988, when proprietor Harry Tueting purchased the building, until last September, when the doors were closed for good. The shop relocated to 556 Pylon Drive, off Blue Ridge Road and not far from the State Fairgrounds.

Tueting had put the property on the market in April 2015, and the $1.35 million sale to an LLC tracing back to a private individual in Chapel Hill was finalized in September per Wake County records.

The site plans for 616 Glenwood put together by Red Line Engineering are surprisingly detailed, and paint an interesting picture of what’s to come for a building that started out as an eyeglass-grinding facility for Bausch + Lomb.

The most notable change to the property will be the addition of a covered patio area in front of the building facing Glenwood. It will include a small bar and handicap-accesible restrooms.

The outdoor patio

The outdoor patio

David McCabe with Red Line told the Record that in order to make room for the new patio, the front wall on the building facing Glenwood will be knocked down and moved back.

The interior will be renovated to include a bar area, a stage, a DJ booth, a cooler and two multiple occupancy bathrooms.

The interior of the bar, along with the new patio

The interior of the bar, along with the new patio

Notes on the plans indicate there will be stamped concrete patios on the side and rear, in addition to the one out front. McCabe said that a wooden deck referenced on the plans will be built onto the back of the existing building.

Out back, a 1,450 square foot “canopy structure” will be installed. McCabe said this structure will be a covered outdoor bar area.

The new structure abuts the back of the property

The new structure abuts the back of the property

The property will also require a number of sewer and water pipe installations, in order for them to be able to do things like have running water at the outdoor bars.

These additions will increase the amount of the property covered by impervious surface area from 91 to 99 percent. Impervious surface area is basically anything that does not absorb rainfall.

However, because the site is less than half an acre and the total impervious surface area is under 12,000 square feet, it is exempt from the City’s stormwater management requirements. It is also located outside of the Falls Creek and Swift Creek drainage areas.

In addition to its stormwater exemption, the property is also exempt from tree conservation requirements as it is under two acres.

We were told by a representative from Weeks Turner that a final aesthetic for 616 Glenwood “hasn’t been designed yet.” Due to the city’s lengthy site plan approval process, the representative said, the drawings are currently in the design-development phase.

As I’ve never actually patronized any of Mr. Lovenheim’s establishments, I can’t really make an accurate guess as to what kind of place 616 will be. Over on Fayetteville, Lovenheim operates the Capital City Tavern, a nice-looking, traditional bar.

But then there’s Alchemy.

With its all-white everything, fake Roman columns and the (white) Lamborghini perpetually parked out front, it certainly stands out, even in a district nicknamed “Gelwood* South” by local luminary William N. Finley IV.

That is a beautiful car though.

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

That is a beautiful car though.

Curious if Finley had ever commented directly on Alchemy, we played around with Twitter’s impressive search function. “Alchemy” didn’t bring up any direct results, but a search for all his references to Gelwood was pretty funny.

It didn’t take long to find a reference to Alchemy, either, courtesy of none other than Justin Miller, creator of the wildly successful app WedPics. Proving once again that if you want to find someone talking trash, Twitter is the place to be. 




*Jokes are never funny when you have to explain them, but just in case: Gelwood is a reference to the type of patrons the Glenwood South nightclubs are said to attract: men who put a lot of gel in their hair. Think “Jersey Shore.”


Not a dry hair follicle in the house


Note: in the initial version of this post, we misidentified the Capital City Tavern on Fayetteville Street as the Oak City Tavern. We apologize for the error and any confusion.