So I was sitting on the rooftop of Hibernian the other night, enjoying a beverage and scanning the skyline of Raleigh; a far cry from the downtown I remember growing up. Ten plus years ago, Glenwood South was Raleigh’s first nightlife hotspot, before downtown erupted with hipster bars. It was full of shitty clubs with dudes drinking Jager bombs and Heineken. Memorable bars such as Blue Martini, Cashmere, Hi5, Bogart’s, Red Room, Stool Pigeons, and Solas dominated the cocktail scene in Raleigh. And how could you forget White Collar Crime? If you liked not being able to walk five feet without bumping into someone, taking twenty minutes to get a drink, and not be able to hear the person next to you, they were the perfect place to spend a night out on the town. No thanks. Don’t ask me how I remembered them all, thank Google. I might have even spent a few dollars a Bogart’s back in the day, don’t hold it against me. It was the cool thing to do. But now they have all shut their doors for good. Thank God. Not even Jon Taffer could save poor ‘ol Cashmere by turning it into bar of dueling DJ’s. What was he thinking by the way? Anyway, besides all the clubs you had the original pre-fire Hibernian, Southend Brewery, Ri-Ra, and Havana Deluxe if you wanted to go somewhere to avoid the douche factor. Then Ri-Ra closed and turned in Napper Tandy’s, and Southend Brewery turned into Natty Greene’s eventually. There was also the Fox & Hound in North Hills, as well as the original Creekside Ale House. I don’t know how many Saturdays I spent in Fox & Hound and Ale House after I moved back to Raleigh; way too much to admit. Now look at Glenwood South. Gone are most of the clubs and craft beer and cocktails have taken over. The Carolina Ale House compound, North Street, C. Grace, Clockwork, Stag’s Head, and now the immense Raleigh Beer Garden garner most of the attention. Check out my other post about The Ale House. https://thewellredchef.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/the-ail-house/. I think it’s just a testament to how much downtown Raleigh has grown in the last ten years. The opening up of Fayetteville St, Red Hat Amphitheater, and The Raleigh Times has definitely made Raleigh more attractive and given people more options than only Glenwood South and the club scene. Times, tastes, and trends have changed. No more Jager bombs, bass and flashing lights. Now it’s Fireball and local beer. Who needs Glenwood South anyway? I’ll stick to The Player’s Retreat, my favorite watering hole in Raleigh where they have my High Life ready when I walk in the door. Plus I can stay on the patio until 2 AM unlike the rest of downtown. As Steve Winwood says, “back in the high life again.” Cheers foodies!