Issac Hunter’s Tavern Makes a Comeback

Issac Hunter’s Tavern Makes a Comeback

Old Name, New Downtown Spot

October, 30, 2009, by Ladye Jane

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Downtown will soon be welcoming a new watering hole- one that has some history here in Raleigh. Issac Hunter's Oak City Tavern (or some variation of that name, permits still pending) will be opening in the spot left vacant by the Fayetteville Street Tavern on the 100 block. For those not familiar with the history of Isaac Hunter's Tavern, it's the reason that Raleigh sits where it does today. In 1792, the State legislature was trying to decide where the best place was to create the new capital of North Carolina. After partying it up with Joel Lane at the Tavern while drinking the famed Cherry Bounce, the commission decided that the new Capital had to be built within 10 miles of Issac Hunter's Tavern. Left: The original Tavern With a good amount of work to still be done, the new Tavern plans to open around the holidays. The bar will be drinks only (therefore a membership required) at first, but plans to open the kitchen after being open a bit. Issac Hunter's will feature a living room type area for lounging along with a game room. The bar has a full on local focus, from old hardwood floors from a NC warehouse as the bar, to the local art that will hang on the walls. Speaking of the art, the guys over at Issac Hunter's are having a call for entries to be the first artist to be featured on the walls. The subject is Black, White and Raleigh All Over, and they will be accepting all mediums from mixed media and paintings to photography. All pieces will be for sale, and will rotate on a 3 month basis. All submissions are due November 20th. To submit a piece or ask questions about space specifics, email Check out images of the bar's progress on their flickr page.

See the Issac Hunter’s Oak City Tavern {categories show="257|236|256|96" show_group="9" limit="1"}{category_name}{/categories} page.

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Restaurants, Other posts by Ladye Jane.


BarsFayetteville StreetIssac Hunters Tavern


  • Lisa Jeffries
    10/30 01:10 PM

    Aside from the “local” concept, reclaimed wood is also right along the green trend of sustainable ;-)

    Can’t wait to enjoy the Raleigh charm here!!

  • Jay Carothers
    10/30 01:13 PM

    Nice article.  Looks promising.  Love the focus on local art and history. Hopefully they’ll have some good local beers on tap to match!

  • Evan
    10/30 01:15 PM

    That’s awesome, I’m excited that they’re going to focus on local artists!  I will try and take some Raleigh shots soon to submit.  Thanks for this!

  • gbehr
    10/30 01:38 PM

    Oh, man! They should start on their Cherry Bounces right now! Start soaking those cherries!

  • Ryan
    10/30 02:00 PM

    It’s great to see this place make a comeback, and it looks like it is being done right.  I can’t wait for it to open.  I like the local flair.

  • Harry Seaward
    10/30 02:13 PM

    looks like this place will be really cool, glad it will be opening soon.

    can someone give me a better idea of where it is located?  intersection maybe, thanks.

  • Andy Glover
    10/30 02:17 PM

    I am kinda a history buff and also enjoy drinking.  Its great to see a place that will allow me to appreciate the local history while forgetting everything else.

    I am very excited and hope to be there opening night.

  • Ladye Jane
    10/30 02:20 PM

    It’s on the 100 block of Fayetteville, close to where it hits Morgan St. at the Capitol.

  • RaleighRob
    10/30 02:49 PM

    This is cool, look forward to it.  Foundation has been serving Cherry Bounces lately, and they’re pretty popular.

  • Tony Woodard
    10/30 03:24 PM

    With all due respect, this is a played out theme…
    Also, Ladye Jane, your version of the founding of Raleigh is so mixed up as to be almost unrecognizeable.

  • Richard B.
    10/30 04:03 PM

    Learning about local history is a good thing, but this is not a “comeback” or a “new” version of Isaac Hunter’s Tavern. It’s a bar using a well-established historical name. I can write “Queen Anne’s Revenge” on the side of my car, but that doesn’t mean my car has much of anything to do with Blackbeard.

  • richardfoc
    10/30 04:09 PM

    Ooh, I can’t wait for Professor Woodard to set us straight on the founding of Raleigh.

  • hackles10
    10/30 04:11 PM

    Who gives a sh*t.  Its a bar.  It was a bar, and its going to be a new bar.  Looks great inside, way better than FST w/exposed brick, etc.  They have improved an existing space, but a lot of effort into doing so and if they want to give it a historical name, Im all for it.  How is this played out?  Its better than naming it haven, or oxygen, or slice, or any other generic cheesball bar name.

  • Harley J
    10/30 04:28 PM

    This may not be a “comeback bar” but I do like the way this bar sounds and the idea of bringing some of the history of Raleigh out into the light.  I would also love to catch some of the local legislators stilling around any downtown bar.

  • Ladye Jane
    10/30 04:31 PM

    Tony, that was meant to be a brief summary as opposed to a history lesson considering that the article is about a new bar opening. For those wanting a more “recognizeable” (sic) version of the story, there’s a good one here.

  • ML
    10/30 04:32 PM

    Great location for bar hopping.  Can’t wait to see the finished product.
    “thats awesome, I’m excited!”

  • Betsy
    10/30 09:20 PM

    A game room sounds great.  Foosball, anyone?

  • Peenucks
    10/30 09:45 PM

    Look forward to another bar on Fayetteville.  But not original.  A few bars off the top of my head that are emphasizing Raleigh’s history and support local artist.

  • richardfoc
    10/31 12:49 AM

    That’s right Peenucks (really?)! Please, let’s discourage any new bars in Raleigh from emphasizing Raleigh’s history and supporting local artists! I hate that local flavor!

  • JRD
    10/31 04:26 AM

    I like the historical name but hope they dont operate under the pretense of being the original bar.  It seems like it will be an upscale establishment which is something F- street could use.  Especially in that area.  Im down for anything that has the potential to extend the range of foot traffic in downtown.  It will definitely be a nice addition. 
    I like to see local history and things being displayed.  Especially if its something new rather than acorns and oak trees.  Soooooo sick of that crap!

  • sally
    10/31 11:12 AM

    Didn’t there used to be a restaurant called Issac Hunter’s? It seems like it was a little way out, though…...Anyone?

  • Fred
    10/31 08:40 PM

    Isaac Hunter’s Tavern was a restaurant in Cameron Village about 10-12 years ago.

  • Fred
    10/31 08:47 PM

    I like the local flavor, but it seems Raleigh does like to commercialize its history. I wonder why Durham doesn’t have “Enoe Will’s Outfitters” or why New Bern doesn’t have a “John Lawson’s Canoe Guide Service”.

  • James Sutton
    11/02 08:33 AM

    Honestly I wouldn’t be suprised if there were many “Isaac Hunter’s Taverns” in Raleigh’s history.  It’s still a good name and honestly I think it’s about time someone picked up that torch and ran with it.

  • TheWaveLife
    11/02 01:56 PM

    Wow, are there really that many bitter souls in Raleigh? Commerce is good people, especially locally influenced and sourced commerce. If you don’t want to sample the sure-to-be-announced Cherry Bounce or help me trod the reclaimed floor boards, that’s your prerogative. As for the rest of you, I look forward to seeing you there! :-)

  • hackles10
    11/02 01:58 PM

    My take is this; we should support all of the history we can take at this point, because once the Urban Outfitters and Dave and Busters of the world move into town we will be longing for the days of historical restorations/naming/themes!

  • kg
    11/02 06:03 PM

    finally… some place where i can where my tricorne and not stand out in a crowd.

  • CR
    11/03 10:38 AM

    I’m laundering my neckercheifs as we speak.

  • hackles10
    11/29 11:41 AM

    Opening tonight.  Go have a beer!

  • Holy
    12/28 01:56 AM

    Wow this is a great blog! It truly looked magical! I can’t believe no one would be writing such an interesting and informative blog :) But you got some beautiful photos and looked like great fun! Your parents live in a lovely scenic place!Great place, blog and work, keep it up.

    r4 dsi

  • Gran Tobal
    02/04 08:15 PM

    You know, I bet Issac Hunter heard the same complaints about his tavern, too.

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