Wahlburgers is closing their downtown Raleigh location after just seven months of operation. The franchise started in 2011 and the Raleigh location seemed to be a no-brainer for their gourmet burgers. The Wake County Sherriff's office placed a "Do Not Enter" sign on their front door this past Friday.
Nine months ago Mark Wahlberg shared his excitement about his burger joint coming to Raleigh, "Our family is excited to open our first North Carolina restaurant in Raleigh, and we appreciate the opportunity to become part of the community." Unfortunately, the much-hyped restaurant is facing some of the same pressures that many other Fayetteville Street Restaurants seem to be experiencing. At least five other restaurants have closed their doors over the last 18 months in this general location according to WTVD.
ABC11 spoke to local restaurant owners who shared, "A saturated market across downtown that has drawn customers elsewhere."
Economics, traffic closures, and other growing Raleigh attraction spots have all had impacts on downtown Raleigh restaurants. Restaurants often work on tight and seasonal budget margins. While some Raleigh restaurant owners take a "wait and see strategy," others are placing their businesses on sale.
The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau Destination 2028 is hoping that increased hotel rooms and attracting more downtown events will increase downtown traffic. We will have to wait and see. 2028 seems a long way off to many restaurant owners.