With all the activity and new restaurants in Durham, it’s sometimes easy to overlook all the new restaurants and bars popping up in Raleigh! One of the newest in the Oak City is Haymaker, brought to you by G. Patel and the Eschelon Restaurant group. I had received an invite and member card in the mail and wanted to see what the place was about. And there were definitely some surprises along the way…
First of all, if you’re looking for Haymaker, it’s a bit tricky. Located on the very southern end of Fayetteville Street, it sits in the new Charter Square building and is not visible from the street. Head past the new b.good down the side of the building and you’ll find the discrete entrance to Haymaker abut 30 yards off the street. The large pane glass windows will give you a peak into the classic and stylish bar inside. Note that Haymaker is open 7 days a week until 2am according to the signage.
Right at the entrance is a small foyer area that displays hints of the interior. I’m thinking of a classic European hunting lodge in my head, early 1900’s. The space is one large open room with a lovely floral mural on the far end, a smattering of four-tops and couches fill the floor space. And the bar! Yes, it’s classic too with black metal stools, white marble top and bottle rack overhead. It reminds me a bit of the Greenlight Bar but with more space at the counter. Haymaker’s menu focuses on cocktails along and are decently priced, under $11 for the majority of drinks. And their specialty drink are the punches, best shared in a group. (Get it? Haymaker? Punches? 🙂 )
I’ve had the chance to visit Haymaker twice and have tried several of their cocktails which have been smooth, well-mixed and pretty strong. They are spun-up versions of classics and take some time to make but not to worry, it’s worth the time and effort. The crowd at Haymaker is pretty young, probably about 25 to 35 right now but may shift over time. Haymaker’s proximity to the Raleigh Convention Center and Raleigh Memorial Auditorium means I would expect an older crowd on show nights and days. But all in all I am impressed with the place. It has a classic feel without going over the top as a speak-easy. Haymaker has a classic creative feel which is great for sipping on one of their smooth cocktails which is what a bar is all about. Enjoy before the rest of Raleigh finds out because the Haymaker is likely to be a knock-out for the Oak City…
The Haymaker at Charter Square
555 Fayetteville Street, Unit 115
Raleigh, NC 27601