Durham Arts Initiative

122 W. Main St.


The old Mr. Shoe store is temporarily home to poetry readings, open-mic nights and local rock shows. More a happening than a regular club, check the Indy calendar or the DAI Web site for updates.


914 W. Main St.


This new club across from Brightleaf Square, opened by the owners of the James Joyce Irish Pub next door, is a great place to meet friends.

Fowler’s Porch & Garage Music Series

112 S. Duke St.


A summer concert series brings local favorites to the covered outdoor porch of the downtown gourmet food store. You can drink exotic beer and take in the brick and steel architecture. And it’s kid-friendly. Occasional Fridays through October.

Joe & Jo’s downtown

417 W. Main St.

Joe & Jo’s is downtown’s neighborhood bar, a watering hole for all of Durham’s many crowds. Frequent live music and a great jukebox make it a popular nightspot. Burgers and fish & chips make it a popular lunch spot, too.

MK’s House of Jazz and R&B

118 W. Main St.

Varnished wood sets this club apart. There are multiple dance floors, and TV sets to watch big games. Regular hip-hop nights are programmed by K97.5 DJ Brian Dawson.

Ooh La Latte

1116 Broad St.


This cavernous coffee shop is decorated with treasures from the Untidy Museum right next door. At night, it becomes the rock club Durham has needed for a long time.


308 W. Main St.

Four-story labyrinthine club that’s home to DJs spinning many genres of music from house to hip hop, and the occasional rock show. The place overwhelms with the owner’s collection of baroque thrift store finds.

The Talk of the Town

108 E. Main St. € 682-7747

A jazz and blues bar (and disco in the back) that’s been hot for a long time, particularly with Durham’s African-American elite. With live music almost every night, it’s the best place in Durham you’ve probably never been.


335 W. Main St. € 688-5466

A brand new music club in an old bagel bakery. The owner is working with WNCU DJs to bring a mix of jazz, reggae, funk and R&B.