WRK by The Optimist Raleigh is coming to The Exchange


RALEIGH, NCDewitt Carolinas, Inc. is thrilled to announce WRK by The Optimist as the first food and beverage tenant at The Exchange Raleigh, its 40-acre mixed-use development in Midtown. The full-service coffee shop/cafe will be located within the retail suite of the lobby at 1000 Social, the flagship 12-story office tower at The Exchange, and adjacent to the main pedestrian entrance from the parking deck.

Guests can expect the same great coffee, espresso, tea, and other beverage offerings of The Optimist’s existing Historic Oakwood/Mordecai location—in addition to a similar food menu, with a primary focus on breakfast and light lunch items. Continuing to source from local vendors like Black & White Coffee Roasters, Homeland Creamery, Blue Ox Bakery, Michael’s English Muffins, and Boulted Bread will be an important emphasis of WRK by The Optimist as well.

Architectural and interior design work for the 2,191-square-foot space will be led by full-service firm kasper architects + associates, morphing the footprint into a sophisticated yet inviting space that encourages collaboration and productivity. This location will elicit the same warm and welcoming vibe as the existing Optimist locale, catering to both the office demographic and visitors as a place to not only socialize but also to “work away from work.”

Rendering by kasper + associates

The Exchange’s 4-acre park will play a large role in WRK by The Optimist, which will also feature approximately 1,800 square feet of garden courtyard space. “We’re extremely excited to welcome The Optimist team to The Exchange, and we can’t wait to see the new space come to life at 1000 Social,” said Dewitt Carolinas Asset Manager Tommy Saieed. “With close proximity to the park in a location that’s easily accessible from the office suites, parking deck, and pedestrian paths, WRK is going to be a terrific amenity for the office tenants, future residents, and the surrounding neighborhood. We can’t wait to welcome the entire Raleigh community to The Exchange when we open our doors next year, and we’re thrilled to have The Optimist team on board.”

Adds The Optimist co-founder Andrew Ward: “We chose The Exchange—or, rather, we chose each other—because their vision was in line with ours: a love of Raleigh, a desire to give back, and a desire to protect the heart and soul of Raleigh during its growth and expansion. We are overjoyed and honored to be a part of this project and to be even more ingrained in this incredible city.”

At opening, WRK by The Optimist will be open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to direct access from the parking deck, there will also be an entrance from the courtyard for ease of access on the weekends and for non-office employees.

“Raleigh feels more home than anywhere we’ve ever lived, and we are just grateful and fortunate enough to be able to give back to a place that’s supported us and given so much to us,” adds Ward. “We are madly in love with you, Raleigh, and we can’t wait to serve even more of the amazing people of North Carolina at The Exchange.”

About The Optimist
The Optimist is a neighborhood coffee shop in Raleigh’s Brookside neighborhood, nestled between the historic Oakwood and Mordecai communities. Founded on optimism and a leap of faith, the cafe serves coffee and espresso drinks, teas, pastries, and baked goods, along with breakfast and lunch items. The homey, plant-filled interior and serene patio are popular for those looking to get some work done or just catch up with friends or family over a beverage and a great meal. Learn more at

About The Exchange Raleigh
The Exchange Raleigh is Dewitt Carolinas’ 40-acre, billion-dollar project in Midtown Raleigh. Upon completion, the development will feature 4 acres of green space, up to 990K square feet of office space, up to 1,275 residential units, 300 hotel rooms, and 125K of retail and dining. Infused with local culture and lush greenery, The Exchange is a vibrant community rooted in health, wellness, and intentionally balanced living. Full-time residents, hotel guests, office tenants, and visitors alike will be able to reconnect to mindful living via city conveniences and restorative wellness-focused amenities. Discover this project at

About Dewitt Carolinas Inc. 
Dewitt Carolinas Inc. is a Raleigh-based full-service diversified real estate company with over 25 years of experience across more than 200 projects throughout the Carolinas. Dewitt Carolinas specializes in office, retail, and multifamily development, construction management, property management, and leasing. Explore more at

About kasper architects + associates
kasper architects + associates is a full-service architectural and interior design firm established in 2004. They exist to use the craft of architecture to develop their associates to impact their family, community, and themselves to be a conduit of good. As they approach 20 years in business, kasper architects has grown to be a leading architecture + interior design firm throughout the Southeast United States region. kasper architects specializes in healthcare, education, office spaces, retail and industrial design. kasper architects’ commitment to quality and their enhanced collaboration allows them to create successful projects and exceed client expectations. For more information, please visit