The Hartwell is all about local in a unique way: Part community space, part maker market and part venue/workshop host, the Downtown Raleigh business opened its modern, renovated doors for its first events earlier this month.
The Boylan Heights building at 620 W. South Street began as owner Caitlin Ward’s grandfather’s shop, M.H’s Grocerteria, in the 1950s.
Caitlin and husband/Hartwell co-owner Matt Daniels transformed the building to a modern, light-filled space with a rooftop, reusing many existing materials in the updated design.
For now, The Hartwell is open during community events, such as an Oct. 19 Art Talk series and a brunch market on Oct. 30 from Raleigh Night Market.
In the future, workshops will connect Raleighites to the makers featured in the store.
The retail selection is curated by Raleigh Night Market and customers can pay directly from their phones on site or shop from home and pick up at the Hartwell.
We caught up with Hannah Weisberg, Managing Partner and founder of The Women’s Social Club, who shared more of the vision for the space, and what’s next (answers have been edited for clarity + length):
Raleigh Convergence: How do you hope the community sees and engages with The Hartwell as a community space?
Hannah Weisberg: Hartwell was designed with the intent to bring the community together in a variety of ways. Owners Caitlin Ward and Matt Daniels are passionate about supporting our local makers and artists. With that being the primary mission, we built the concept of Hartwell, A Maker Market and Community Space.
In addition to hosting bi-monthly markets with the Raleigh Night Market team, Hartwell’s retail vendors are offered the opportunity to host either a workshop or Meet & Greet night as part of their vendor package. This provides the opportunity for relationship building between our community and our local artisans, versus the traditional transactional approach to retail.
We designed Hartwell to be a community “flex space.” From the custom-designed furniture being on wheels, to pieces that are easy to mix, match and stack away if needed, the community has the opportunity to host a variety of gatherings in a beautifully designed blank canvas.
Another unique feature we’ve added is local artwork curated by Charlotte Russell Contemporary that will hang and rotate quarterly. Just like with our retail vendors, we will be hosting monthly Art Talk Nights with each of the artists, giving the community a chance to hear the artists’ stories and process directly from the artist themselves.
Seeing the multiple ways our space can transform is one of the things we’re most excited about!
RC: Tell me more about the maker market and the concept. What are the hours to start, and what types of products will people be able to find there?
HW: To start, we will be open for a variety of free community events, as well as shopping by appointment. Our retail inventory, curated by Raleigh Night Market, will rotate quarterly, and will feature a diverse selection of goods from only local artisans. Patrons can shop everything from candles, to jewelry, to artwork and everything in-between. As we continue to grow, we plan to begin offering regular, retail and bar hours. The best way to stay updated on our hours and events is to follow along with us on Instagram @hartwellraleigh.
RC: What does The Hartwell bring to the community that is a unique need or niche?
HW: An approachable way to gather, while simultaneously providing ways for people to directly support and impact our local artisan community. As we begin to welcome people into our space, the most common feedback is how much Raleigh needs a place like this. From three lots worth of space (including two full lots of green space behind our building) to a uniquely designed rooftop, Hartwell is providing a truly limitless way for our community to come together.
RC: How has the space transformed from Caitlin’s grandfather’s grocery store to the place it is now?
HW: While it has been a truly remarkable FULL transformation in terms of design aesthetic, you can still see and feel the history of the original building. Caitlin and Matt took every step possible to reuse and repurpose existing materials from the original building.
[A before photo from Caitlin + Matt’s account]
A few examples include disassembling and reassembling an over 100-year-old cooler that was original to the space, and using that as the backdrop for the bar, they also used the wood from a pecan tree that had to be taken down behind the building to be make both Hartwell’s main bar top, as well as the floating bar going down the side of the space.
They have truly spared no expense to keep as much history, and original character, as possible, while also giving the space an entirely new life that the entire community can enjoy.
Learn more: hartwellraleigh.com