02PubThe Rowan Street bridge is coming along nicely. Before you know it, we will enjoy one of the nicest, most beautiful and longawaited gateways into Fayetteville.

The Up & Coming Weekly office is at 208 Rowan St., practically at the foot of the bridge. So, we have had a bird’s-eye view of its progress. It’s pretty impressive. The timing is near perfect, coinciding with all the exciting development and innovations happening downtown. A stadium, a hotel, apartments, office buildings and businesses will result from this more than $100 million of economic development.

It’s all good, and I’m especially excited because next door to our office is 214 Rowan St. This is a vacant 6,000-square-foot commercial building that’s for sale. It’s stubbornly waiting to be leased or sold to the first entrepreneur who has vision and insight into the opportunities and needs generated by our growing community.

How do I know this? Because I am an entrepreneur, and I own the building. When I describe the building as “stubbornly waiting,” I’m referring to my steadfast determination to put a themed, upscale but moderately priced restaurant in that location. Preferably, a brew pub.

Why? First, location. Rowan Street is going to be a gateway into Fayetteville, with upward of 50,000 vehicles passing by that location every day. It’s in a convenient proximity to Festival Park, the Airborne & Special Operations Museum, our new baseball stadium and downtown events and amenities — all of which are within an easy 5- to 10-minute walk.

Secondly, after passing all the venues mentioned above, there are no restaurants or eating establishments in the area between Hay Street, Rowan Street and Bragg Boulevard — except the Subway at the Amtrak Station.

My formal educational background is in the food and hospitality industry, and I have owned and invested in several restaurants in Raleigh and Fayetteville the past two decades, including Mash House Brewing Company on Sycamore Dairy Road. So, I can tell you with confidence that people like to eat and drink on their way to and from entertainment venues and social gatherings. Currently, there are no dining destinations on this major gateway.

Thirdly, and my favorite — parking.Yes, there are more than 100 convenient parking spaces nearby. Imagine eating, drinking, socializing and parking all in one location that is only minutes away from the exciting sights and sounds of a vibrant downtown. Yep. 214 Rowan St. will be that prestigious destination if I have anything to do with it.

Unfortunately, aspirations like this do not come without a cost. My wife and two prominent commercial real estate brokers think I’m being bullheaded and stubborn for holding off and waiting for that specific, unique brew pub/restaurant entrepreneur to occupy the location.

I’m optimistic. Besides, I want to be one of the first patrons seated on the streetside dining patio enjoying a glass of wine while listening to a concert at Festival Park or the sounds of a cheering crowd at a Fayetteville Woodpeckers baseball game.

It will happen — but only for someone with vision into what the Fayetteville community wants, needs and will support. Is that you? If not, pass this article on to a friend.

Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.

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