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Life on Campus at NC State: March 2020

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Welp

What a weird damn last couple of weeks, hope everyone is staying safe out there with all of this craziness going on.

I’ve pretty much only made non-sports related posts on Backing the Pack since being granted story posting power, and based on the current sports climate (WE WERE GONNA MAKE THE TOURNAMENT DAMMIT), it sounds like it’s finally my time to shine.

New Tenant at Movie Theater/Text Book Shop/H-Street Kitchen/La Stella Wood Fired:

And this tenant is Umami Asian Bistro. I’ve really been hoping that something would stick at this location ever since it went through a mass renovation effort and opened as “H-Street Kitchen” back in 2016. The H-Street concept made it about a year, and then La Stella Wood Fired opened soon thereafter, before also folding after about a year or so. Both businesses had the same issues IMO, with entrees too expensive to compete for the money of college students with all of the fast casual spots on Hillsborough & Western, and with both concepts severely lacking in their alcohol specials (i.e. no beer buckets, beer towers, etc.).

I thought that the interior of this spot after the renovations were completed in 2016 was perfect for a college-centric sports bar (lots of exposed brick with NCSU paintings, an open kitchen concept, large bar running along one of the sides, paintings / pictures with scenes of Hillsborough Street from yesteryear, upper level seating & bar, etc). I was really hoping that something like Sammy’s Tap & Grill would open a second location here, but Umami Asian Bistro recently opened its doors in this spot. I would like to check it out sometime soon, but it’ll likely be a while before we can all venture back out to any of the local establishments.

Global Courtyard:

I took English class in Tompkins Hall back in 2009 and walked past this courtyard pretty much everyday on my walk across campus from Bagwell Dormitory. This courtyard sits between Primrose Hall & Tompkins Hall, and borders Hillsborough Street, but was never really used for anything. Previously in this space there was a Class of 1914 stone fountain & a few stone benches, but that was about it. This recent renovation effort for this area began in October 2019. The University has since moved the gift from the Class of 1914 a short distance away between Peele and Leazar Halls, and is moving forward with turning this little-used courtyard area in-between Primose & Tompkins Halls into a space that “will showcase how NC State strives to bring the world to campus”. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The new Global Courtyard plans to host a variety of events and should hold between 60-75 people. As the mockups at the link above show, this should at least make the area look a bit more attractive. One pretty interesting thing of note in regard to this project is that the design was derived from construction plans submitted by NCSU Design Students, “Jodi Hart, Panktii Trivedi and Raaga Vandari”, with “lighting inspiration drawn from the design of Brenna Laffi”. When the linked article above was published, this project was slated to be completed at some point by the end of the 2020 spring semester.

Mezeh on Hillsborough:

Mezeh is a Mediterranean Grill that recently opened on Hillsborough in the old Freshii space between Jimmy Johns and I Love NY Pizza Slice of NY Pizza. This should add something a bit different to the fast casual options on Hillsborough along with the Chipotle, Subway, Jimmy Johns, and Jersey Mikes crowd.

Logan & Chamberlain:

I graduated from State in 2013 and outside of UT, I think there might have been 2-3 very small apartment communities to choose from if you wanted to live anywhere near the Hillsborough Street corridor. However, over the last ~5 years or so, the number of apartments along Hillsborough has increased pretty dramatically. There’s 3 or 4 of the smaller cube looking buildings, and probably about 3-4 larger apartment communities as well, with a few additional places being still currently under construction (Latitude, Uncommon, etc).

The Logan & Chamberlain apartments are already completed and sit back a bit off of Hillsborough on Logan & Chamberlain Streets behind the North Hall Parking Lot. Naturally the apartment community made up by these two buildings has been named “Logan & Chamberlain”. Not sure why they couldn’t have named it “Old Tuffy Commons” or something along those lines, but I guess that name will saved for something much more grandiose.

Howling Cow:

Howling Cow has been sold for a few years now in places like the DH Hill Creamery, Talley Student Center/Union, C-Stores across campus, and most recently in Raleigh-area Harris Teeters. There’s also been a regular Howling Cow retail spot at the NC State Fair every fall. However, NCSU recently announced the opening of the “Howling Cow Dairy Education Center and Creamery” on Lake Wheeler Rd., overlooking the NCSU Dairy Farm. So if you like ice cream, farm tours, and educational interactive agricultural experiences, well State put all 3 of those things in one convenient place for you to visit any day of the week.

In somewhat related, but totally un-related news, State is also now selling Howling Hog BBQ Sauce at The Creamery on campus.

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As a bit of an aside, this recent article from the N&O details out the strong growth that the Hillsborough Street area has seen of late. So with all of the current madness going on across the world right now, if you’re looking to order take-out, pick up beers, or do some online shopping over the next few weeks...or months, try to check out the offerings of the local Raleigh-area businesses.

I recently moved back to Raleigh and am looking forward to getting back out to PNC, Reynolds, Doak, and Carter-Finley sometime soon. The Athletic Department has sent out a survey to fans involving potential Doak & Carter-Finley upgrades, but I guess we’ll see how much the current viral & economic climate will impact the timeline for whatever they decide upon for those renovations.

(WE WERE GONNA MAKE THE TOURNAMENT DAMMIT)

Stay safe everyone. Go Pack.