Lauren Ramirez is mixing a little bit of San Francisco into downtown Raleigh.
The metalsmith and designer has opened Quercus Studio, a boutique and jewelry workshop that offers custom pieces inspired by nature.
Ramirez works with customers to create items such as custom wedding and engagement rings, and also sells the work of other established artists. Some of them are local, but many are from her hometown of San Francisco.
“Raleigh supports the arts,” Ramirez said. “And I’m trying to feed into that by representing artists that aren’t already represented here.”
The back of the 400-square-foot studio holds Ramirez’s working space, while the front is a retail shop that offers everything from hand-stitched bags and wallets to heirloom-quality jewelry, rings, necklaces and bracelets made from sterling silver and 18-karat gold.
“I like to do a lot of two-tone,” Ramirez said. “A lot of my work is nature inspired. ... I pulled a lot of inspiration from natural materials and the environment.”
Prices range from about $125 to about $800.
Quercus Studio is at 201. S. Salisbury St.
Napper Tandy’s, an Irish pub that’s been on West Street near downtown Raleigh since 2005, has moved to Glenwood South.
According to co-owner Robert Stapleton, the pub has taken over the space of his second restaurant, Murphy’s Law, which closed.
The move allows Stapleton to consolidate his two businesses, something he said was necessary because of the economy and the constant downtown Raleigh summertime events.
“It was getting really hard to run two places. All of the (Fayetteville Street) events killed the Glenwood South area,” Stapleton said. “Napper Tandy’s was doing better (than Murphy’s Law), and I figured that if I moved into a small place with less overhead, it would work a lot better for me.”
The new Napper Tandy’s menu is slightly smaller but still includes its traditional Irish dishes, such as shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, Guinness burger and pub steak.
The restaurant also offers lots of beer – 36 types of bottles and 21 on tap – that varies between the Irish usuals and local craft brews, such as Raleigh Brewing Co. and Lonerider.
Stapleton is making sure his customers are entertained with karaoke and live music, including ’80s bands on Saturday nights. He also has about 30 televisions that are tuned to sports, such as European rugby and the NFL.
The 5,200 square foot restaurant, which seats about 300, isn’t open for lunch, but Stapleton hopes that will change in December.
Napper Tandy’s is in the downstairs space at 410 Glenwood Ave.
Pole Play Fitness, a pole dancing and fitness studio, has opened in North Raleigh.
The place offers private classes and group lessons, such as “Pole Players” for beginners and “Pole Divas” for those with more experience. Pole Play also holds progressive classes that allow beginners to learn pole dancing basics and work up to more difficult moves.
Non-pole classes such as Pilates, yoga and belly dancing are also available.
According to co-owner Amanda Gladieux, the classes are designed to improve strength and increase flexibility, and can be taken by anyone of any fitness level. Through its classes, she said, the place hopes to “foster a sense of community and women empowerment.”
Lessons range from about $25 for single classes to about $300 for “play dates.” Pole Play also carries retail items, such as pole wear, grippings and shoes.
Pole Play Fitness, which is about 2,500-square-feet and has 14 poles, is at 6675 Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh.
Horizon Forest Products, a hardwood flooring and custom cabinet provider, has opened a cabinet finishing branch at 515 S. New Hope Road in Raleigh. ... Lotus Spa of Aesthetics, a spa that offers skincare products, chemical peels and botox, is opening in early 2014 at 512 St. Mary’s St. in Raleigh.