Jannik says he has been looking to vacate the spot since late 2015 and will consolidate the business with the other Crema, open since 2010 in the Bank of America building. During the past year, other local businesses have attempted to work out a deal for the space or the business itself. Brewerks, which finally opened in Oakwood last week, tried to buy the business last year, as did Paddy O’Beers.
“I was in talks with Crema to purchase their business last year,” says Zack Medford, co-owner of the bottle shop next door. “We spent a lot of time on it, worked out a purchase contract and everything. But [CBRE] wasn’t willing to make a move.”
Medford says he’s worried the leasing company already has a certain kind of tenant in mind: “If we’re not careful and start turning over downtown properties to the highest bidder, we’re going to turn into Charlotte,” he says. “No one wants Raleigh to turn into Charlotte. I’d much rather eat dinner at ORO than at Applebee’s.”
Jannik shares this view.
“Downtown was built by small local businesses. It needs to stay small local businesses,” he says. “It’s clearly thriving. There’s something authentic about a seeing a friend’s hard work paying off.”