Longtime Glenwood South restaurant closes after reported drug bust, loss of ABC license

A long-shining neon light has burned out on Glenwood South.

The Raleigh location of Armadillo Grill has closed. The taco restaurant announced on its social media that its last service was Wednesday night, April 17.

No specific reason was given for the closing, which comes after two decades in the heart of Raleigh’s nightlife scene. But an ABC11 report on Thursday noted that the restaurant’s permit to serve alcohol was suspended by the ABC Commission after a drug bust last summer.

The restaurant agreed to stop serving alcohol for 64 days starting on April 12, ABC11, The N&O’s newsgathering partner, reported. Armadillo Grill closed permanently five days later.

“It is with great disappointment that after 22 years in Raleigh, our Glenwood Avenue location is closing effective today, April 17, 2024,” the owners wrote on Facebook. “We have thoroughly enjoyed serving the Raleigh community over the years and are grateful for the support you all have provided during this time. We take pride in providing a quality Tex-Mex meal made with fresh ingredients daily to families, businesses and individuals young and old. As we have watched the restaurant industry change and the cost of doing business rise, we feel this location no longer serves our customer base.”

ABC11 reported that NC’s Alcohol Law Enforcement Division began investigating Armadillo Grill and nearby tapas bar Botanical Lounge after complaints last summer. The agency said it uncovered cocaine and marijuana sales out of both places, according to ABC11.

Armadillo Grill first opened in Carrboro in 1993 and at one time expanded to Raleigh, Wake Forest, Durham, High Point and Greenville.

Now only the original Carrboro location remains.

The owners Creed Spriggs and Ben Pace suggested in their farewell message that they were looking for a new location to reopen in Raleigh.

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