Since Fayetteville Street changed over from a pedestrian mall to a main street, Raleigh has continued to add new restaurants, condos and bars to spice up what was once dreary and dark. Foundation, the newest addition to main street, goes back to the days of the original mid 20th century main street and adds a 21st century flare.
The cavernous nature of the bar brings memories of underground locations such as The Cave in Chapel Hill, Freud’s in London and other dark yet intimate bars in other metropolises. This isn’t the first bar of its type in Raleigh, as we do have Alibi, but it’s definitely the one with the most style. Raw, yet hip, bars with Foundation’s sensibility, attitude and atmosphere don’t come around very often.
The tap serves North Carolina brews exclusively, among them Highland, Carolina Brewing Company, Aviator, Duck Rabbit, French Broad and more. Wines range from North Carolina to Virginia to Washington - a bit more broad but still mostly close to home. The liquor ranges in location as well, but is all US-based. The selection of house-created mixed drinks are told to be very tasty. They also make their own ginger ale, tonic and cola. Oh, and Moonshine from Madison, NC (which is sold by the unit and used in one of the cocktails). That’s what I call local flavor. Name another bar in the area that keeps it this real.
Everything in the bar is bespoke. Beautiful and simple bar stools of painted wood and steel, gorgeous wood bar and tables, exposed brick walls and the rest of the place screams authentic yet sleek style. A great place for a drink after work. A great place for an after dinner first date drink. A great place for about any damn thing.
The art in the bar is Raleigh-based as well. A few pieces are up (Ryan Cummings and Paul Friedrich) in the space with more to come. Also, free Wifi. It just keeps getting better.
Foundation will probably be a bar that is found by accident on the street or by word of mouth, but I have no doubt that it will instantly fit right in and become a downtown staple. It already feels like it has existed for at least 30 years (sounds familiar). Sometimes it’s nice to be in a bar at 4pm and feel like it’s midnight. We all have those days and Foundation has the space. Finally a place in downtown to take some of the attention and pressure off of The Times. Raleigh just grew a little bit more today.
UPDATE: Non-smoking, and is located next to the Mint (just North), and there will eventually be outdoor seating on the Fayetteville Street level.
213 Fayetteville Street | Suite 010 | Raleigh, NC 27601 | 919 896 6016
Sunday – Friday : 4 pm – 2 am
Saturday : 2 pm – 2 am