Customers have some extra time to enjoy the home-cooked food and friendly conversation at Finch’s Restaurant.
The eatery on Peace Street on the northern edge of downtown that dates back to the 1940s will remain open until the end of the year, owner Peggy Jin said.
Jin had planned to close the restaurant this fall because workers will demolish the building when the state Department of Transportation replaces the Capital Boulevard bridge over Peace Street.
But Jin learned she can stay for a few extra months because workers will start the $36.9 million project with the bridge over Wade Avenue.
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Finch’s is happy to stay around a bit longer, Jin said, but some customers are confused about when to say goodbye to the Raleigh institution that has been feeding politicians, families and college students for seven decades.
Jin plans to reopen Finch’s in January on Chapel Hill Road in Durham. She said she’s gotten a lot of phone calls from people asking when the move will happen.
“A lot of people thought we were already closed,” Jin said.
The three-year construction project will begin in early September, just after Labor Day, said DOT spokesman Steve Abbott. Crews will first build a new bridge over Wade Avenue next to the existing bridge.
“That’s why the folks at Peace Street won’t have to leave so early,” Abbott said.
It’s unclear how long construction of the bridge over Wade will take, but Abbott said drivers won’t experience major disruptions. Crews aren’t redoing the ramps that carry traffic between Capital Boulevard and Wade Avenue.
The major detours and delays will come next spring, he said, when workers begin to replace the bridge over Peace Street. That project is more complex, partly because the state is changing traffic flow at the interchange. Crews will build new ramps.
The bidding process for contractors interested in the project was set to open in June, but companies asked for another month to put together proposals, Abbott said.
Zachry Construction, which has an office in Morrisville, was awarded the contract.
Raleigh and the DOT will host a public meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, in the Borden Building at Fred Fletcher Park, 820 Clay St.
I am here. I hope people come see us.
Peggy Jin, owner of Finch’s Restaurant, which will stay open until the end of the year
DOT representatives will present design plans, discuss effects on traffic during construction and answer questions. Raleigh staff will present information on the Capital Boulevard Corridor Study in conjunction with the bridge projects.
As part of the project, workers will replace water and sewer lines and add bike and pedestrian accommodations.
The city has touted the project as a way to overhaul the northern gateway into downtown. Raleigh will add decorative features to the new bridges and build Devereaux Meadows Park near the interchange of Capital Boulevard and Peace Street.
The project is expected to spur development along the Peace Street corridor. Last month, TradeMark Properties announced a Harris Teeter store is coming to Seaboard Station. Construction is set to begin at the end of 2017 or early 2018.
In May, Kane Realty and Williams Realty & Building Co. announced plans to build an $85 million to $100 million project near the corner of Peace and West streets, now home to ThemeWorks and the Southland Ballroom music venue. Publix, a Florida-based grocer, has been linked to the site.
Meanwhile, Finch’s is still frying eggs and bacon and serving as a gathering spot for longtime friends – even if there is some confusion among loyal customers.
“I am here,” Jin said. “I hope people come see us.”