Originally built in 1900, the historic building we call home is a multi-use property serving as the location for our third-story special events venue, offices on the second floor, and Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar on the ground floor.
Melrose Textile Mill, which manufactured underpants and bathing suits, served as the building’s only resident until 1930, but like many mills and factories, it closed for good just a year after the stock market crash of “Black Tuesday. Until 2009, the building sat vacant, except for occasional short-term tenants – like a roofing company in the 1960’s – which led the space to its fortuitous introduction to Abdul Zalal in 1969. A recent Afghani immigrant, Zalal began working at the roofing company and just before 1980 he purchased the mill.
Zalal installed a new roof, boarded up the windows, and left the property vacant for several years until current operator and creative director Samad Hachby approached him with a vision for creating a destination dining property on the ground floor.
Fast forward to 2009, then Hachby opened then Babylon Restaurant, a Moroccan dining concept, which served as one of Downtown Raleigh’s most vibrant evening and weekend destinations until the restaurant was re-imagined to the Italian eatery it is today: Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar.
So how did our special event space come to be? In 2014, Hachby aimed his creative pursuits even higher (quite literally) and renovated the third-story space to accommodate the larger weddings, special events, and parties that his restaurant was being sought after to host. Today, the Historic Melrose Knitting Mill sits perched high atop 309 N. Dawson Street welcoming guests to a true destination within the heart of the city.