• During the last year, Triad City Beat Editor in Chief Brian Clarey dubbed the area transformed by apartments, breweries, Crafted and Deep Roots Market as LoFi. We’re using the nickname — which derives from Lower Fisher in reference to Fisher Avenue and the Fisher Park neighborhood — to describe the formerly blighted corner that suddenly is one of the most promising areas of downtown. The Elsewhere area is called the South End in some circles, and we argue LoFi’s unique identity should be reflected with a hip name.
  • By this time last year, we knew about the planned complex run by Iron Hen owner Lee Comer on Spring Garden Street. Nothing’s happened outwardly since then, save for some recent suggestions that things are now starting to get underway.SONY DSC
  • As planned, 1618 opened its third location downtown. The building owned by developer Dawn Chaney also contains residential units upstairs, similar to Scuppernong Books a couple doors down South Elm Street.

    Eating at Harlem Express
    Eating at Harlem Express
  • That 300 block of South Elm saw other considerable change this year. Though the folks behind Josephine’s Bistro (the Lindley Park restaurant that has since closed and reopened as Scrambled) planned a restaurant and raw bar one door down from 1618 Downtown, things fell through. But Harlem Express restaurant opened in the space. Across the street, Cheesecakes by Alex expanded and underwent a redesign that makes it feel much more modern.
  • Loaf Bakery closed in May. The bakery operated where Simple Kneads used to stand, and in November, Triad City Beat broke the news that the Table Farm Bakery in Asheboro plans to reopen the area in 2016. The folks at the Table are already using the building as a satellite baking location, but no retail as of yet.

    PB & Java
    PB & Java
  • While we’re on the subject of restaurants, a few more opened in downtown within the last year, most notably LaRue, a French restaurant across from the Carolina Theatre, and PB & Java — a coffee shop with sandwiches, soups and a pay-it-forward option. The café’s owners have plans for a future community theater space in the back of the building.
  • A couple restaurants shut their doors, including the longstanding Thai Pan. But in that case, former Fincastle’s proprietor Jody Morphis opened a new joint, Blue Denim, in the space a few weeks ago. Try the seafood beignets.
  • Great Balls of Fire, a dueling piano bar, opened, upping the number of entertainment venues downtown. Cone Denim Entertainment Center just hit its one-year anniversary, but the total number of entertainment-oriented spaces dropped downtown in the last year thanks to the closing of Lotus Lounge and nearby Vybz Nation in the South End.
  • Developer Andy Zimmerman closed on the former Lotus building this year after a shooting near the club, which was across the street from a line of buildings he already owns. HQ Greensboro, a co-working space, opened this summer in one of these West Lewis Street storefronts (and speaking of co-work spaces, Collab on the other end of downtown just marked one year in operation).

    HQ Greensboro
    HQ Greensboro
  • Zimmerman plans to move the Forge, a maker space where people buy memberships primarily for access to expensive, advanced machinery, to the former Flying Anvil building, he said this year. The site had housed Vybz Nation, a nightclub that played hip hop and reggae music.
  • Triad City Beat broke the news in late October that Greensboro Distilling signed a lease for the Forge’s current space on West Lewis Street. The distillery — which will be the only one in the city — plans to move into the building at the start of 2016.
  • Zimmerman nixed plans to purchase the former Gate City Motors building across from the Greensboro Children’s Museum. Wise Man Brewing intended to move into part of the property, but after the deal fell apart, Wise Man announced it would be opening on the north side of downtown Winston-Salem instead. Zimmerman also owns the building where Crafted: the Art of Street Food and Preyer Brewing are located.

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