So I ventured out to the new Ale House on Glenwood Sunday after work. It’s only been open a week, but it seems like it has been in the works for years now. Massive is not an appropriate enough word to describe it. I was exhausted by the time I finally sat down at the bar from walking up the three flights of stairs. The 96 beers on tap are impressive. No Champagne of Beers or Icehouse though. I was saddened that the Ale House on Creekside was closed, obviously because of the impending opening of the downtown compound/location. For Raleigh natives or those who have been around for a while will remember the Creekside location as the original Ale House. I don’t know how many State games I watched there or how many times I made it my last stop of the night on my way home. The TV’s were shit, but there was a sense of comfort there. It was convenient, never that crowded, and the food was decent for a sports bar. It had character, the feel of a dive bar; the direct opposite of the Glenwood location. This seems to be a problem we’re experiencing in Raleigh unfortunately. Some people would call it progress or modernization. Not me. Look at Hillsborough St. for example. Gone are Sadlacks and The Brewery. Enter hotels, mixed-use apartments, and impending high rises. It is revitalization or a loss of character? Hillsborough St. needed a facelift, not reconstructive surgery. Cameron Village has also gone through its share of changes over the years as well. Look at it now. Gone are the hideous blue awnings. Now it’s the dream of every ITB’er. All I’m saying is there needs to be some sort of happy medium between the old and the new. Is there a need to tear everything down and start from scratch? Does Raleigh really need more mixed-use developments? I understand that any property inside the beltline is treated like gold. Just look at the street I live on. In the last year they have torn down two smaller houses to build huge brand new homes. Property values increased; charm decreased. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll check out the Ale House again, just not on the weekends. Glenwood South on a Friday or Saturday is a nightmare. I’d much rather go to Player’s Retreat, a place full of charm and character that hasn’t been changed in the name of revitalization. Plus they have a High Life waiting for me when I walk in. Cheers.