There is a sports bar in the North Raleigh hilton that is supposed to be okay. There is also this place: http://www.bahamabreeze.com/ a couple blocks away, which people rave about....I have never been. But it would get you in the "tropical mood"!
I have been to neither.
And as for walking, it should only be a couple blocks, but that is not the best walking area. Not necessarily unsafe, just kinda busy streets....although Bahama Breeze is on the same side of the street.
Yeah North Raleigh is very suburban and car-centric. Not much of a walking area. If neither of the above options sound good, you can do that "short drive" down Wake Forest Road just to the other side of I-440 and on the left there's a shopping center with a few options as well. Melting Pot Fondue place is one. Another is Shabashabu Thai & Sushi Bar which I can say I've been to twice and enjoyed it very much both times.
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