Wolfe & Porter Is Renovating Its Space—and Adding a Speakeasy

Wolfe & Porter is undergoing a major makeover

Say goodbye to the Wolfe & Porter you used to know. The West Morgan Street dive is in the midst of a major glowup, set to introduce its new-and-improved digs,  featuring a renovated interior, front patio and back deck by the end of the year. And lets not forget perhaps the most highly anticipated part of the project: a brand-new basement speakeasy (!). Dubbed the Cellar Liquor Bar, the cozy cocktail haven will tout the classic ’tails you know and love—plus a curated selection of aged wines, beers and spirits. 

Behind the operation, find co-owner/operator Alex Bakis, who has a personal history with the space reaching back ~15 years. Before beginning its transition into the Cellar, the building’s basement consisted of apartment spaces where Bakis used to live. A full circle moment, after a brief stint in Maine, Bakis moved back to Raleigh and has since found his way to the building once again. 

“We are going to have two concepts under one roof, connected,” explains Bakis of the new-and-improved bar. “It’s gonna be a bit more of a neighborhood vibe.” Bakis estimates that Wolfe & Porter’s construction will see it grow from ~650 square feet to just under 3,000. 

Keeping all kinds of sippers sated, the bar’s upstairs area will be beer-focused with a sophisticated environment, while an elevated cocktail program will reign supreme downstairs. “If you don’t like the vibe upstairs, you can go downstairs—and if you don’t like the vibe downstairs, you might just not like drinking,” jokes Bakis. 

Upon its opening, Wolfe & Porter plans to have live music and an array of food trucks several days a week (Wandering Wolf is already signed up as a vendor!). But rest assured the cool, come-as-you-are, everyone’s-welcome MO will remain.
“We are pretty much smack dab between Downtown and NC State, so I think we are going to have a good diversity in our customer base, as we always have,” maintains Bakis. “We want to be inclusive to everyone and give people a good time—get some drinks and food in ’em and have some live music.” Sounds like a vibe. wolfeandporter.com

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.