Jul 22, 2022 - Business

Raleigh Iron Works names its first food-and-drink tenant

A rendering of the Raleigh Iron Works development.
A rendering of the under-construction Raleigh Iron Works, courtesy of Raleigh Iron Works

Raleigh's under-construction Iron Works development has signed its first food-and-drink tenant, Jaguar Bolera, a bar that will feature duckpin bowling among other activities.

What's happening: Jaguar Bolera is a new venture from Robert Thompson, an entrepreneur who founded Punch Bowl Social, a social bar with locations in Austin, Atlanta and Portland, Oregon.

  • Raleigh will be Jaguar Bolera's first location, with an opening date targeted for late 2023, both Thompson and Raleigh Iron Works developer Grubb Ventures confirmed. Another one is planned in New Orleans.
A rendering of the Jaguar Bolera space.
Photo: Courtesy of Angevin & Co.

What it will have: Thompson said his career has been built around the idea that people need social activities — not four-top tables — at bars to get them to move around and relax.

  • Jaguar Bolera plans to do that by including activities, like ten lanes of duckpin bowling (think smaller pins and balls and three rolls per frame), private karaoke rooms and maker spaces where groups can host DIY crafting.
  • It will also feature an extensive cocktail list and a menu inspired by Mexican and Southern cuisine.

Raleigh's Grubb Ventures and Atlanta-based Jamestown are spending $150 million on the first phase of Iron Works, which will include more than 200 apartments as well as office and retail space at ​​2200 Atlantic Ave.

  • Jaguar Bolera will take up 17,600 square feet, a spokesperson for Jamestown said in an email.

What they're saying: Thompson said Raleigh was attractive to him because it reminds him a lot of what Austin and Nashville were like 10 to 20 years ago.

  • "When I look at markets, I think to myself, 'Would I want to move there?'" Thompson told Axios. "Raleigh is great. There's a clear migration of people there to take technology and life science jobs."
  • It also isn't a market saturated with entertainment spaces, he said.

What's next: Thompson is based in New Orleans where his hospitality company, Angevin & Co., owns The Frenchmen Hotel and the Whitney Hotel. He said he plans to open an office in the Raleigh area and pursue more opportunities in the Triangle.

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