PieBird, a leader in the revitalization of downtown Raleigh’s North Person district, quietly closed its doors Sept. 8. Owner Sheilagh Sabol Cassidy says the business is in the process of restructuring and she hopes to reopen soon.
Named for the gadget that allows steam to vent from a baking pie, the all-pie eatery launched in March 2011. Bounded by the Oakwood and Mordecai neighborhoods, the North Person Street sector was a different place then, with paper covering the windows of long abandoned storefronts. Cassidy’s friends told her she was crazy to invest in a business there, but PieBird’s sweet and savory options quickly found an appreciative audience.
The area is now lined with bustling shops and restaurants. Niall Hanley of Raleigh Beer Garden and the Hibernian pubs opened The Station directly across the street from PieBird in November 2013. Chef Scott Crawford’s long-awaited Standard Foods is expected to open around the corner later this month. There’s a book shop and a bakery, a wine store and a bike business. And a popular Raleigh-based food truck aims to open its first brick-and-mortar operation nearby.
“It’s a loss for the area. They’ll be missed,” says Chad McIntyre of the restaurant at Person Street Pharmacy, located just steps from PieBird’s locked front door. “They definitely helped get the area back on track as a business-and-residential destination. I don’t think it would have been as much of a draw without them.”