Built in the early 1890s, the Morning Times building was the home of one of Raleigh's first toy stores. The Pizer Brothers later put their mark on the building by opening a shoe store. By the 1980s, the building was converted to a restaurant called Hunter's Tavern. It closed in 1999 and a year later Empire Properties bought the building, which at that point, had fallen into great disrepair. Empire completely gutted and renovated the kitchen, added a new roof and replaced the electrical system before leasing it in 2003 to Dakota Grill. In 2006, the building was renovated again to house The Morning Times, which serves coffee, breakfast and lunch to downtown residents and commuters. The second floor of The Morning Times, which provides ample comfortable seating for patrons, also is home to The Morning Times Gallery, a small, urban gallery exhibiting artwork from North Carolina artists.
The Morning Times