Nightlife in Durham

Select Local Merchants

Six Plates Wine Bar minimizes customers’ food indecision with a concise menu that pairs six upscale small plates with six wines by the glass. Despite the menu's diminutive size, there's no lack of variety—the foodies in the kitchen constantly swap out dishes to make use of as many local ingredients as possible, while a clipboard bears a list of more than 150 wines, and 30 beers, sold by the bottle. Mentioned in the New York Times for its use of local food, Six Plates Wine Bar puts an upscale take on comfort foods with its plates, which are about half the size of a traditional entree.

Six Plates Wine Bar's resident wine lover, Matthew Beason, curates a wine list that hails from around the globe—from behind the bar, he'll recount the tale of his first wine love, a 1995 JL Chave Hermitage Blanc that broke his heart when it eloped with a bottle of Boone’s Farm. Each glass romances tongues beneath crystal-drenched chandeliers in the warmly lit dining room, where eclectically framed vintage photos and mirrors share space on exposed brick and deep-amber walls. Diners can recline on red-upholstered armchairs, at the bar, or at intimate, candlelit tables flanked by backed barstools.

2812 Erwin Rd
Durham,
NC
US

With a motto like: "Where you don’t have to have a good time to drink," it may come as no surprise that the staff of James Joyce leaves the socializing up to its patrons. The bartenders and servers keep their visitors fueled with a bounty of traditional American and Irish pub food. The kitchen adds a homemade touch to a few classics: they blend a pimiento cheese spread in-house, and brine their own corned beef before layering it onto brioche buns. A few entrees, such as Guinness–battered atlantic cod and chips and Guinness shepherd's pie, round out the menu. A beer list displays American craft brews alongside unique Irish imports.

Clinking glasses and scraping plates aren't the only sounds that echo across the pub's fenced-in beer garden or its dimly-lit, wood-filled interior. The staff organizes regular events ranging from open mics to trivia nights. Additionally, the pub screens Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United football games during the season, and sometimes twice if the players' mothers are visiting.

912 W Main St
Durham,
NC
US

Tropical Smoothie Café's wholesome smoothies are filled to the gills with fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, chocolate, nuts, and healthful supplements, minimizing the crushing guilt of dessert consumption to a soft heartbeat emanating from the floorboards. Puréed potions such as Pomegranate Plunge (pomegranate, banana, strawberries, cranberry, $4.99) are stuffed with super fruit, and low-fat options, such as Mango Magic (mango, pineapples, non-fat yogurt, $4.29), trick gullible taste buds into believing that they are traversing a candy factory full of whipped-cream lollipops. Supercharged smoothies are stocked with a healthy dose of supplements, such as the Kiwi Citrus Green Tea's antioxidant-laden matcha charge or the Muscle Blaster's whey or soy protein ($4.89 each). Individual supplements can also be added to any other smoothie ($0.59 extra), boosting its magic points by +10.

5311 South Miami Boulevard
Durham,
NC
US

During the event, keys will attempt to find their matching locks. Not all keys open all locks, creating a need to meet and mingle with fellow singles, testing for compatibility as often as possible. You're free to talk to anyone, not just those whose hardware matches. For every successfully opened lock, both the key bearer and the lock wearer will receive a coveted token to be used as raffle entries. Pick more locks to earn more tokens, enter into more raffles, win more great prizes, and pick more locks, successfully completing the circle of love. Prizes include cash, cruises, or a lifetime of happy partnership. At the stroke of 11 p.m., the official event will come to an unofficial close, turning glass slippers into pumping shoes and marking the start of the official unofficial after party (your cover to stay at Suite will be waived). Linger at the bar to extend a connection, or just skip the fluff and ask for his or her hand in marriage.

6905 Fayetteville Road
Durham,
NC
US

Peruse the menu and start your barroom tongue brawl with an appetizer of the pub's loaded fries (french fries with cheese and bacon, $6.95; add homemade chili for $1); fried or grilled wings with mild, hot, or teriyaki sauce (one dozen, $9.50); or fried-chicken tenders ($7.50). Lunchtimers routinely find solace in an order of the pub's fish and chips (beer-battered cod with the pub’s fried potato chips, $9.95) and the North Carolina barbecue-pork platter, with french fries, coleslaw, and hushpuppies ($9.95). For dinner, try the barbecue rib platter (half rack $10.95, full rack $20.95) or an avocado and tomato quesadilla ($11.95), or stick with a classic from the sandwich menu such as the oyster po' boy (fried oysters with coleslaw or Cajun rémoulade in your choice of a hoagie or wrap, $9.95).

4711 Hope Valley Rd
Durham,
NC
US

Dark-wood paneling, stained glass, and a rustic stone archway lend Doolin’s Irish Pub and Cafe a timeless feel that harks back to the traditional pubs of its namesake village in County Clare. Shiny pressed-tin ceilings seem to blend seamlessly with the old-fashioned beer and whiskey ads that populate the warmly lit bar, and the menu blends together the best of Irish and American comfort fare to suit tastes on both sides of the pond.

Prime beef burgers arrive dressed with sun-dried-tomato aioli and rashers—also known as irish bacon—and creamy cheesecake becomes doubly indulgent when topped with fresh whipped cream and infused with a splash of Baileys. Authentic Irish specialties include a traditional corned-beef dinner with Aliquot mashed potatoes as well as Shannon boxty, a West Ireland specialty that combines grilled, marinated vegetables and a tender potato pancake with the joy of getting to know your dinner on a first-name basis.

3211 Shannon Rd
Durham,
NC
US