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The Rockford battles City of Raleigh to save its hand-painted sign

The Rockford restaurant fights to keep its new hand-painted sign.
The Rockford restaurant fights to keep its new hand-painted sign.
The Rockford's change.org petition page

The latest addition to a popular Raleigh restaurant has caught the attention of the City of Raleigh—and not in the best way.

Located on 320 ½ Glenwood Avenue, the owners of The Rockford recently commissioned an artist to paint “The Rockford” on the front of its building. Currently, the zoning code limits maximum signage to two square feet per linear foot on the side of the building facing a street from which the establishment has a direct grade level public entrance for a property.

The City of Raleigh claims that the signage was not pre-approved, arguing that it violates the city’s sign ordinance and should be permanently removed.

Supporters of the Glenwood mainstay are now fighting back. Groups that support small, local businesses like Shop Local Raleigh and Greater Raleigh Merchants Association have joined together in an effort to “save” the new sign, a sign that the groups claim is not only imperative in sustaining the business of The Rockford due to its obscured upstairs location, but serves as a piece of artwork as well.

The petition “Allow The Rockford to keep their signs” has been created on the Change.org website to generate support and has garnered 1,678 signatures as of Thursday morning so far.

From the Change.org petition:

As a small business in the bustling Glenwood South district, we have witnessed tons of growth and expansion in the area. Despite all of this new foot traffic, our upstairs location makes it hard for people to find our business. We have been a staple in the community for 20 years and in order to keep up with the newer/larger businesses, we needed better visibility. While we feel the hand-painted signs are indicative of The Rockford "charm", we also feel that the historic design of the signs adds a feeling of nostalgia to the Glenwood South street-scape.

The City of Raleigh may make us remove the signs based on an ordinance that does not take our unique location into consideration. We are asking the city for a variance that would allow us to keep our signs and we would love your support.

If you would like to show your public support for The Rockford keeping the hand-painted signs, please sign our petition!”

The Twitter hashtag “#saverockford” has also been gaining in popularity and raising awareness across social media platforms.

The owners of The Rockford will plead their case before the City of Raleigh’s Board of Adjustment meeting on June 9.