Landmark Tavern

Preserving a Landmark

In Eat, September 2021 by Lauren KruchtenLeave a Comment

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Landmark Tavern—sold to Empire Eats earlier this year—is reopening on Sept. 9.

DTR’s beloved Landmark Tavern will remain, well, a Raleigh landmark thanks to Empire Eats, who bought the bar from the previous owner, Linda O’Reilly, in January, and is reopening the bar on Thursday, Sept. 9 after 18 months of being closed (so, um, cancel your plans and belly up to the Landmark bar!).

O’Reilly, along with now-late husband Brendan, opened Landmark Tavern in 2007 on a then-sleepy Hargett Street, only to have Landmark become a fixture in Downtown Raleigh for Raleighites from all walks of life. After Brendan passed away three years ago, Linda found it hard to keep up with the space herself, especially during the pandemic, and so, she decided she would sell it to Empire Eats (Empire Eats’ sister company, Empire Properties, owns and operates the Hargett Street building Landmark is located in), in order to preserve the iconic bar’s rep in the community.

“I wanted to make sure the character of the bar would be preserved and it would be managed with the care and respect it deserves; for our patrons, our family, our friends and our community,” says O’Reilly. “It is home to many people, including myself. It pains me to have had to sell; however, because we were closed due to the pandemic, it just felt like the right time.”

Empire’s construction team, Empire Hardhat, has spent the last few months refreshing the Landmark space. Have no fear—renovations only involved redoing the floors and refreshing some stuff behind the bar—nothing that anyone else would notice, says Empire’s Greg Hatem. And don’t be surprised if you recognize a friendly face or two—Empire will have some of Landmark’s pre-closure employees return as well.

“Landmark is a perfect fit for what we do on Hargett Street,” Hatem adds. “I think Landmark was pretty perfect as it was, and we’re going to keep it as is—that little neighborhood bar. It’s gonna be great to see it back to life again.” As Landmark lovers long mourning it’s closure, we agree. See you at the bar.

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