Liquid State Looks to Open Next Week on Hillsborough Street

Things are looking good for new options for coffee and after-work drinks on Hillsborough Street in the coming weeks! In addition to the Aloft’s opening that will house W XYZ Lounge on the second story, and later, Jubala Village on its ground floor, Liquid State is planning to open next week in the former Locopops space.

Located at the opposite end of the block from David’s Dumpling & Noodle Bar, co-owner Sy Sourisak was kind enough to give me a first look this week at the updated space. Originally built in 1904 and not updated since the 1960’s, Sy and his partners (his wife Emily and brother and sister-in-law, Jason and Lina Lemons) have led the space through extensive electric, plumbing, and flooring upgrades since signing a lease on the space back in February.

The new coffee, tea, beer, and wine cafe plans to be open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., offering what Sy offers as a “cozy” venue for “Raleigh people – smart and easy going”, as Sy described the targeted audience.

Liquid State’s beverage philosophy – spanning coffee to wine – is a simple one: to offer a minimal portfolio that is changed up often, highlighting small mom and pop operations.

Sy himself was born in Laos but has lived in Raleigh for many years, attending middle school and high school in the area, as well as NC State University for college. (Pack Pride: Three of the four partners are NCSU grads.) And a story as charming as the new beverage shop itself: Sy and Emily actually met in a coffee shop after sharing couch seating on a day when all of the other individual seating in the coffee shop was occupied! Helios used to be a regular hangout for the now-coffee shop founders before its closing, and continuing to be influenced by family, even one of the espresso machines is named “Max” after one of the couple’s two sons.

From Liquid State:

Light bites and healthy treats will compliment our drinks. We will be partnering with local businesses for our food options. For the first half of the day, we will offer pastries, yogurt with locally made granola, and other satisfying choices. To complement beer and wine, there will be cheese, charcuterie, and other savory items. There will be many gluten free options as well. The focus of the offerings will be on quality ingredients.

Inside, there is room for about 46 seats of mixed styles (some at the bar, some couches, some individual chairs and cafe tables).

To keep posted on the shop’s opening, follow along on Facebook and Twitter – the official website ( will be updated after opening.


Lisa Jeffries

A good old-fashioned Southern girl - at home in the modern world.