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Searching For Signs of Progress at the Farmers' and Exchange Bank Building

Bring back Charlie's Little Bar.

Future home of Farmers and Exchange
Future home of Farmers and Exchange
Erin Perkins
Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas.

The former home of raucous play spot Charlie's Little Bar and the more subdued Saracen restaurant sat empty for almost a decade, when City Paper announced proprietors the Balish family would resurrect the space into another eatery dubbed Farmers and Exchange after the original use of the building as the Farmers' and Exchange Bank. Since the report in September, Eater has kept an eye on the 141 E. Bay St. address for any indication of forward movement.

From the street, there's not much going on. The first floor interiors are pared down, compared to the festive Moorish flares of Saracen. The walls are bare and the tall candelabras and plants hint at a bygone party we weren't invited to. (Does it look a little Eyes Wide Shut to anyone else?)


The Balish family thought they might use the building to house the shuttered Garibaldi Cafe five years ago, but never moved forward with that plan — let's hope this newest one goes through. It seems a shame to let such a beautiful space sit empty.