Friday, December 5, 2014

Ponysaurus Brewing Co. expands brewery

Durham's stake in the adult beverage game is growing. The two liquor brands, and three stand-alone breweries in Durham are soon to get the company of another liquor brand, two distilleries...and another brewery.

Technically that last brewery is already in operation, but now it's getting its own home; Ponysaurus Brewing Company will no longer be a nanobrewery.

After humble beginnings a year ago as a tenant at The Cookery, Ponysaurus occupied the space above the front room entrance.  The brewing space was so small brewer Keil Jansen had to use a scissor lift to get to his work space.

Now, the brewery has outgrown that space and is moving into a home of its own at the corner of Hood Street and Ramseur Street. Production from the new location is anticipated to begin this spring.

The new facility, a 6,000 square foot warehouse east of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, will expand the company’s brewing capacity from 180 barrels a year to 2,000 barrels a year, in addition to providing space for a taproom that is slated to open in the summer of 2015.
 
Ponysaurus brews can currently be found on draft at various Durham establishments such as Mateo, and Wine Authorities.  The new facility, which will include a canning line, will expand the list of retail shops and restaurants where Ponysaurus Brewing Co. will be available, in addition to the cans and specialty bottles that will be available in the taproom.

Learn more about Durham breweries and taprooms, and don't miss out on tastings by following the Durham Event Calendar...it's how you can experience #DurhamFreshDaily.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Master Sommelier Looks To Open Wine Bar in Durham

As Downtown Durham continually sees new businesses popping up, like 5 new hotels, numerous restaurants, retail shops, and more, other businesses are joining the fray and leveraging Durham attention on the national stage. In fact, it's hard to keep up as the place changes and offers opportunities for everyone to see how Durham delivers on its new campaign encouraging people to experience #DurhamFreshDaily. One new business-person is trying to make it easier on everyone.


Enter Fred Dexheimer.

Dexheimer, the only Master Sommelier in the Carolinas, came to Durham as part of the team that opened The Black House at Straw Valley on 15-501 at I-40. He has since left that project and is now, along with a carefully chosen team, working to open Rx Wine Lab, a wine bar that will be located in Downtown Durham. Dexheimer, with energy to spare, is wasting no time in making it easier for folks to keep up with him, and to get to know his concept. The title of Master Sommelier is reserved for the most knowledgeable in the field - only 186 people have earned the title worldwide; currently there are only 118 in North America. "Durham is filled with high profile professionals, and adding someone with Fred's credentials to the local food scene just further makes the point that Durham is a dining destination that contends on the national stage," said Sam Poley, Director of Public Relations for the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Says Dexheimer, "I'm not just a guy who serves wine, and Rx Wine Lab is not just a wine bar." The business will incorporate some food service, but it's biggest differentiation is the focus on wine education - hence the name. "Labs are where people learn, and we want customers to learn and enjoy at the same time," Dexheimer added referring to the wine education he conducts.

Rx Wine Lab recently ran a very popular pop-up wine bar at Blue Coffee Cafe to test their concept as well as support owner Gwen Matthews' Kickstarter campaign to move her business over to Church St. at Main St. That went so well, according to Dexheimer that he and his team will repeat the effort this coming Saturday, December 6. They are also launching their own Kickstarter campaign to raise money for Rx Wine Lab in an effort to secure the funding necessary to build out a space in Downtown Durham. Details about the two events are below. Note that the Kickstarter event is only for those who RSVP; the pop-up wine bar is open to everyone.

Rx Wine Lab Kickstarter Wine Party!

    • Thursday, Dec. 4th - 6pm - 9pm
    • The Carrack Modern Art Gallery, 111 West Parrish Street, Durham
    • Cost: Free
    • RSVP: RxWineLab@Gmail.com

Rx Wine Lab POP-UP Wine Bar

    • Saturday, Dec. 6th - 6pm - 12am
    • Blue Coffee CafĂ©, 202 North Corcoran Street, Durham 
    • Cost: $10 per glass, $12 per flight of 3 wines, $35 per bottle

Visit the Durham Event Calendar to learn about all the fun things to do here, and tag your social media posts with #DurhamFreshDaily when you share your experiences online.





Friday, November 21, 2014

Durham Businesses Seeing Green

Businesses know that becoming environmentally green is not only a good idea, but it's also good business. Fortunately for visitors and residents alike, Durham has its fair share of businesses that get this concept.

Businesses that have been recognized by North Carolina’s NC GreenTravel Initiative are realizing substantial savings in their energy, water and waste disposal bills. In Durham, NC businesses recognized by GreenTravel include The King’s Daughters Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Ninth Street Bakery, Museum of Life & Science and Festival For the Eno. Across North Carolina, over one-hundred businesses have applied for, and received, recognition by the program at no cost.

In addition to the resource savings, these businesses also receive free listings on the NC GreenTravel website, a certificate of sustainability and door/window decals indicating that they are recognized program members. They also have the option of requesting free environmental assessments from Waste Reduction Partners, a partner organization that provides environmental technical assistance to businesses across the state.  

For more information about becoming a recognized NC GreenTravel business, contact Tom Rhodes at (919) 707-8140 or email. Plan a visit to Durham today online.

Monday, November 17, 2014

2014 Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise Award Winners Recognized

Durham is going green! All across town there are businesses that are making sustainable decisions and encouraging others to take care of the planet.


Green Plus, a program focusing on certification, education networking & recognition for green and sustainable businesses has announced several Durham winners of the 2014 Sustainable Enterprise Awards.
  • Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise of the Year - Cocoa CinnamonCocoa Cinnamon is a two-year-old coffee shop that prides itself on its community outreach, and sources the majority of its coffee, chocolate, milk, and pastries from local and sustainable businesses, and provides employee benefits and a living wage to both full and part-time workers.
  • Green Plus Innovator of the Year - Bull City ForwardBull City Forward is a nonprofit organization that supports local businesses and entrepreneurs that practice triple bottom line sustainability.  While socially innovative itself, Bull City Forward acts more as a conduit for other Durham-based businesses, encouraging innovation in business and helping businesses in the region improve their social capital.
  • Green Plus Sole Proprietor of the Year - Food FWDFood FWD, a startup run by married entrepreneurs Sarah and Noah Marsh, that partners with restaurants for large-scale collection of food waste.  The food waste is brought to a local composter, which is then re-sold to the public.  Food FWD also sells compostable serviceware.
  • ​Green Plus Champion - Chris Carmody
This recognition isjust one more indication that Durham is home to an innovative and entrepreneurial community of businesses and citizens. The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau was the first organization of its type in the nation to be certified Green Plus and just the second in Durham.

Friday, November 14, 2014

DPAC Nominated for Prestigious Billboard Magazine Award

DPAC, Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, NC is no stranger to receiving high praise, even from one of the most prestigious entertainment groups in the United States. Again it is the recipient of high praise because of its success as a venue, something it receives regularly.

The success DPAC has had is undeniable, and this time it is from a true industry leader. DPAC has been recognized as one of three finalists in the Billboard Touring Awards for the top venue under 5,000 seats. These awards are based primarily on the Billboard Boxscore chart, recognizing true box office success and industry achievement.

This nomination puts DPAC up alongside some serious competition from globally-known venues. Other finalists are The Colosseum at Caesars Palace -- Las Vegas which has won the previous three years and Fox Theatre – Atlanta, which has been a finalist in the same category for three years. 
The winners will be announced live in New York City on November 20, 2014 at the Edison Ballroom. Billboard Magazine, the sponsor of this award, is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. 
Learn more about the award-winning DPAC or other performing arts venues online, and about all that is happening here with the Durham Event Calendar.

Durham Recognized by Trivago in the Top 50 of Best Value Cities in US

Durham is welcoming to all visitors because of the mix of experiences it offers, but also because, frankly, it's a good deal. Not only is visiting economical, but the place delivers a high value for the dollars people spend. These two different distinctions are important to appeal to the breadth of visitor markets.

The good value represented by Durham's lodging offerings was quantified by the travel website trivago.com. Durham earned a spot on the Top 50 Best Value Cities in the US at #13 with an average price of $101 for a room.

The trivago.com Best Value Index provides an overview of the best-valued destinations on their site by using an algorithm that combines the trivago Hotel Price Index with trivago’s Reputation Ranking for hotels. The trivago Hotel Price Index shows the average overnight accommodation prices for a standard double room on trivago. The Best Value Index ranks cities with 50 or more hotels, based on a combination of consumer ratings and average hotel prices from 1-50 with 1 being the highest ranked.

Like any community, Durham welcomes praise, and even catalogs it online. Those interested in accolades Durham has earned can see them on this website. Plan a visit to Durham online, find one of those highly-ranked hotel rooms here, and see all that is going on with the Durham Event Calendar.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Durham Has a New Website, and It's Awesome

With over 2.4 million page views last year from more than 1.2 million visitors, www.Durham-NC.com is Durham’s most powerful online visitor marketing tool…and it’s about to get better when it re-launches later today. With an entirely new look, as well several enhancements that make it a future-focused channel, the site is packed with many new features. 

“We’re really pleased with the design and functionality of the new site and know it will greatly help visitors and residents better find the information they need about Durham,” said Shelly Green, the President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB), Durham’s marketing agency.

With this new site, Durham further presents itself as a destination offering new possibilities every day, and this website is great tool to tell Durham’s story. The enhancements derived from the site overhaul are too numerous to mention, but some of the highlights include:
  • Image-forward design: the power of photography in digital communication is undeniable, and this new site design leverages a lot more images.  Durham businesses now have the ability to add images to their listings on the site through a partner portal, MyDurhamInfo.com.
  • Vastly improved Durham Event Calendar: The benchmark by which all other event calendars in Durham are measured, the 5,000+ events per year listed are now searchable in a variety of ways, and entering an event on to the calendar is easier than ever by visiting DurhamEventCalendar.com.
  • Location sensitivity: Using the GPS capability of a mobile device, or the IP address of an internet connection, the website tells visitors what is nearby to them at any given moment – there is no more guessing about what options are close by, or how to get to them.
  • Device awareness: More than 40% of users access DCVB’s website on the go, and the new website accommodates them by re-sizing and reformatting information based on the display size the user is viewing. Phones, tablets, and desktop computers will display the site with maximum value for the user.
  • Topic-specific information integration: Throughout the site are widgets that aggregate related information to the topic users are reading about, including event information and related features of interest.

Visitors are important to Durham given that more than 9 million of them spent $766 million here last year. They come from near and far, with 7.7 million visitors coming as day trippers and 1.3 million spending the night, as they dine, shop, seek entertainment and more. “With the new responsive design format that gives mobile viewers a better experience, we expect visitation to the site, which is already very high, to grow significantly,” says Shelly Green, the President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. “And that equates to a lot of satisfied visitors enjoying what Durham has to offer.”  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Durham Convention Center Is Honored With ConventionSouth’s Annual Readers’ Choice Award

Doing a good job can be a reward in of itself, but being recognized is nice too! The Durham Convention Center has just received a 2014 Readers’ Choice Award from ConventionSouth Magazine.

Since the award's creation in 2001, this is the first time that Durham Convention Center has received the award. The Center will be featured as an award recipient in the December 2014 Awards Issue of ConventionSouth magazine.

The Durham Convention Center is among 175 convention and visitor bureaus, meeting facilities and hotels located across the South to receive this year’s Readers’ Choice Award. Throughout the year, meeting professionals nominated the meeting sites they believe provide exemplary service for group events. The nominated sites are then compiled onto an online ballot where meeting professionals and fans are asked to vote for the best of the best. More than 4,800 voters participated this year in the selection process - the highest vote count ever recorded. A complete list of award winners can be found online.

To hold a meeting or convention a the Durham Convention Center, learn more about what it can offer your meeting or group. Talk with professional sales staff at the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau to discuss your needs.

Hugh Mangum's Work Again Putting Durham in Focus

In Durham, on the grounds of the West Point on the Eno park, stands a simple building that houses the Hugh Mangum Museum of Photography. Originally, it was Mangum's dark room, and now it has renewed importance as the interest in Mangum's work rises again thanks to the work of Sarah Stacke.

Stacke, a graduate of Duke University, is now a documentary photographer, and is a driving force behind an exhibit that has already been on display at the History Hub at the Museum of Durham History, and will return to the museum soon. She is working on identifying the subjects of Mangum's work, a catalog of images taken in North Carolina and Virginia around the turn of the last century, and the subjects of whom are unidentified. Remarkable about Mangum's work is that he photographed subjects both black and white in the same style, often seating one after the other in his photo sessions.

Stacke's work caught the eye of CBS News, and they covered her work on their broadcast last night. That story can be seen here, and the exhibit will return to the History Hub from December 2 to January 31. Keep up with the details of this, and other happenings here, with the Durham Event Calendar.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Pictures Are Worth A Thousand Words

The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) is offering visitor-related businesses a variety of new ways to engage potential visitors through a complete overhaul of its primary visitor website, and its partner portal, MyDurhamInfo.com (MDI). MDI is the place where Durham businesses can interact, update, and modify their listings on Durham-NC.com and in DCVB’s award-winning publications. These are crucial tools DCVB uses to reach millions of visitors to Durham each year while they’re making important decisions about where to stay, each, shop, and what to do while here.


Durham’s visitor-related businesses received login information for MyDurhamInfo.com last week, and are being strongly encouraged to login now, in advance of the launch of the new visitor-facing website in mid-November. 

In addition to a face lift, MyDurhamInfo.com has a bevy of new features. The biggest is the capacity to upload images and video that will appear with business’s listings on the visitor site.  
“Taking a photo, and uploading it to MDI, takes seconds – and people consume them as quickly. From a marketing perspective, they are a remarkably efficient communication tool which is why we emphasized their use on our new website,” said Sam Poley, DCVB’s head of Public Relations. 
DCVB’s website had more than 1.2 million visitors last year, generating more than 2.4 million page views. Over 70% of those were first time users, and the overwhelming majority of those visitors were from outside of Durham.

Along with the new capacity to add images, MDI now empowers Durham businesses to not only ensure that their information is up-to-date and accurate, but also to target their marketing message as much as possible through the use of hundreds of amenity codes. These codes ensure that relevant businesses are displayed when visitors use the robust search features on Durham-NC.com. “We hope that people understand the power of this tool, and that they use it,” Poley added. 

MDI also offers a more efficient way for DCVB to distribute leads to local hotels and services for groups, and in the coming weeks, will be rolling out even more tools to streamline communication between DCVB and its community stakeholders.

DCVB expects to re-launch Durham-NC.com in the next couple of weeks alongside a new visitor marketing campaign, so businesses should act fast to ensure their listings are updated before the new visitor-facing site goes live. Those logging in to MDI for the first time will need to set up their account, but doing so is a brief process. For more information or for questions about logging into MyDurhamInfo.com, please email mydurhaminfo@durham-cvb.com.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Durham Bulls Recognized with Minor League's Top Honor

This past year the Durham Bulls turned the heads of more than just fans - they impressed all of Minor League Baseball. In fact, The Durham Bulls  have earned the highest honor in the Minor League. 

Minor League Baseball announced that the Durham Bulls have earned the the 41st annual John H. Johnson President’s Award. The Award honors the complete baseball franchise based on financial stability, contributions to league stability, contributions to baseball in the community and promotion of the baseball industry. This is the second time the Bulls have won this award, the first being in 1989 when the club was a Class A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves in the Carolina League. They are the only franchise to earn the honor at different classifications.

“Our 2014 season was historic in so many ways and we are beyond proud of our front office staff and game day team. It is their talent, passion, and dedication that continue to make the Durham Bulls brand a special one,” said Bulls General Manager Mike Birling in a statement. 

The 2014 Bulls season featured a single-season paid attendance record, a $20 million renovated ballpark, an All-Star Game and an International League South Division Championship. The team drew a record-setting 533,033 fans to Durham Bulls Athletic Park, breaking the all-time single-season paid attendance record of 520,952 which was set in 2007. "The Bulls are an incredible asset to Durham, and one our visitors clearly come to see," said Shelly Green, President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Discover additional great sporting activities in Durham and stay on top of all that is happening here with the Durham Event Calendar.





Friday, October 24, 2014

Pardon Our Dust: 8 Exciting New Developments in Downtown and Ninth Street

If you walk around Downtown Durham or Ninth Street, it will be hard to walk more than a block without seeing something under construction or renovation. Have you ever wondered what's going on behind that caution tape or that security fence? Here are eight notable projects that will have you bragging about Durham's bright and exciting future. Read all about them, and see how Durham continues to freshen its image,

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Markets

Great variety and authenticity are expressed exceptionally well in Durham’s food - that's why Durham is the Tastiest Town in the South. Part of Durham’s exciting food culture comes from a fascination with locally grown and raised products, and from the chefs who prepare celebrated cuisine recognized in regional and national media. Each week at Durhams's farmers' markets everyone can be a chef with access to fresh local produce.

Produce available this week includes: pumpkins, greens, broccoli, radishes, carrots, bok choy, kale, apples, sweet potatoes, and more! Also look for meats, cheeses, flowers, specialty items and crafts.

Durham Farmers' Market
Celebrate Food Day with a vendor costume contest and double bucks fundraiser. Then at 10 am, Chef John Eisensmith from Six Plates will be doing a cooking demonstration.Visit the Durham Farmers' Market Saturdays from 8am- Noon in Durham Central Park.

South Durham Farmer's Market
This week, there will be music by Kristi Dixon, and the Master Gardeners will be the Market Guest. Visit the South Durham Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 8am-Noon at Greenwood Commons, 5410 Highway 55.

Visit the farmers' markets, tour a farm, and discover more great agritourism opportunities in Durham.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Golden Leaf Awards to Honor Properties With Curb Appeal

Everyone knows that Durham is a good looking place; in fact, nearly one in four residents say it should be a high community priority. But if Durham homes were in a beauty pageant, which one should win? Whether it's the landscaping, the historic redevelopment, or just plain old curb appeal, now is the time to submit a nomination to recognize the Durham properties that make looking good seem so easy. 

The Durham City-County Appearance Commission and Keep Durham Beautiful, Inc. are seeking nominations from the community for the 2014 Golden Leaf Awards. The awards recognize new developments and buildings in Durham that demonstrate curb appeal. Homeowners, building owners, architects, landscape architects, developers, realtors and anyone involved in design, planning and construction in Durham are encouraged to enter projects completed within the last five years.

Visit the Golden Leaf Awards website to review the complete list of categories, submission criteria and nomination forms. All submissions are due by Tuesday, October 28.

To find out more about good looking places in Durham, check out Things to Do or Durham Dining.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DCVB Releases White Paper on Visitors’ Impact

Why is tourism and the related visitor spending it generates so important to a local economy? Quite simply, because it provides a source of revenue to a community that would not otherwise exist.  

It also provides tax revenues to state and local governments in addition to jobs and wages, which have a multiplier effect throughout the local economy.

The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) sets out to learn just how big that impact is through a biannual study it commissions with D.K. Shifflet and IHS Global Insights, two leading research firms.

“Visitors provide significant impact to Durham, and it has increased steadily, year after year,” said Shelly Green, President and CEO of DCVB.

The newly released white paper covers 2012, the most recent data available, as well as estimates for 2013. It shows that Durham hosted nine million visitors in 2012, and that those visitors spent $765.8 million within the county. The net result was a $560 million economic impact to the local area, including support for 13,339 jobs and $86.3 million is state and local taxes.

“Without visitors and the spending they generated, each household in Durham would have to pay as much as $745 more a year in state and local taxes to maintain the current level of services they enjoy,” Green added.  

Read the full report on DCVB's website.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

21c Museum Hotel Durham Opens Online Booking

Durham, NC's downtown is in the midst of a construction boom as five new hotels begin to take shape and further transform the former industrial hub into urban oasis of dining, culture, art, business and residences. That mix fuels the economic development engine, and lodging is a critical component.

Today, 21c Museum Hotel Durham, the newest property from the award-winning 21c Museum Hotel company, announced they will be accepting reservations starting tomorrow for May 1, 2015 or later.  Set to open in the first quarter of 2015, the hotel will offer three packages, now available for booking through their website or by calling (919) 956-6700.  21c Durham, located in the historic Hill Building on North Corcoran Street, combines a 125-room boutique hotel, contemporary art museum, and restaurant.

The 21c Museum Hotel Durham joins the Aloft, Hotel Durham, and Marriott Residence Inn all currently under construction, as well as the Jack Tar which is slated to start later this year. All but the Aloft is a renovation or adaptive reuse project, and all will enhance Downtown Durham as a destination for visitation.

Known for its iconic penguin sculptures by artist collective Cracking Art Group, each 21c property is designated a specific penguin color signifying the city that it resides in.  21c has unveiled fuchsia as the new color to represent Durham, and is launching a social media contest that invites fans to spot the Fuchsia Penguin for a chance to win prizes.  Beginning on Friday, October, 3 the “Spotted” contest will highlight one photo each day for 21 days of the penguin at a unique landmark within the Triangle.  Fans can guess the location by emailing spotted@21chotels.com, where they will be entered into a daily drawing to win a t-shirt and a grand prize drawing for a gift certificate to stay at 21c Durham once it opens. Photos will post daily on the 21c website, Facebook page and on Twitter.

To celebrate the opening of its newest property, 21c will offer guests dynamic packages, crafted to ensure that guests get the most out of their stay.  Introductory packages include:
The Growlers & Grub Package allows guests a chance to experience Durham’s lively and thriving brewery culture, with components including:
21c Faves local brewery guide
Bar snack + local beer tasting for two
Copy of North Carolina Craft Beer & Breweries
The Romance Package offers couples a relaxing and pampering getaway. The package includes:
Sparkling wine upon arrival
Two bathrobes from 21c Museum Shop
Rose petal turndown
$100 credit towards dinner for two at the on-site restaurant
Guests can also reserve the Dine with Art room rate, which includes a $25 voucher (per room night) to experience 21c Durham’s restaurant.

21c Museum Hotel Durham, opening first quarter of 2015, is a combination boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and chef-driven restaurant. 21c is rehabilitating the historic Hill Building in Downtown Durham. The 125-room property will feature a contemporary art museum open to the public free of charge 24/7, as well as a ballroom in the historic banking hall; three suites with private terraces, and a spa. 21c Durham will also be home to a restaurant focusing on local ingredients and fresh seafood in their raw bar.

Durham continues to grow as a destination for visitors from near and far. See all the developments in that pipeline online, and stay up to speed with all that is happening with the Durham Event Calendar.



Volunteer Center of Durham Organizing Make A Difference Day Efforts

To volunteer is to give of one’s self to a cause or an organization in which one believes.  Well, that spirit is going to shine brightly in Durham coming up later this month.

This October 24 and 25th, millions of volunteers in Durham, and across the nation will unite with a common mission – to improve the lives of others. For more than 20 years, USA WEEKEND Magazine, in collaboration with Points of Light, has produced Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service.

In Durham, the efforts are organized by the Volunteer Center of Durham (VCD) and those wishing to participate can do so in two ways:
  • Give time and talent by working on a project - 2 people for 2 hours or 40 people for 4 hours - VCD will match volunteers up with a local non-profit that needs help, and/or
  • Conduct a supply drive at your office, church or neighborhood. Focus on any area (food, animals, resale thrift, etc) and again VCD will match those efforts up with a local non-profit in desperate need.

Those interested in more information can contact the organization by email.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

D is for Denim

What do deviled eggs, dill pickles, and dogs in dough all have in common? Form one, they all start will the letter D and they will all be available at a D-themed event at the Museum of Durham History.

The Durham History Hub will launch the newest installment of its Durham A-Z exhibit series: D is for Denim on on Tuesday, October 7. The no-cost, public party will be held at the Hub, 500 West Main St., from 6 pm until 7 pm. Partygoers are encouraged to wear their finest denim outfits (from any era), and get their Durham A-Z Club Membership Card stamped.

The new exhibit celebrates the origins of Durham’s textile industry. The very first denim in the South was fabricated here in 1894, and contributed to a booming textile production that soon employed more workers than tobacco. It is a tradition that continues today, with a new generation of local manufacturers who have picked up the spindle and thread. Stories and artifacts from Durham’s past are among the industry highlights in the exhibit.

Discover more about Durham's history from its founding until the present time and stay up to speed on all the happenings here with the Durham Event Calendar.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Website Preserves Soul in Durham's History

Durham has a big heart and a vibrant soul, but did you know that it was once a hotbed for soul music in the 1960s and 70s?

Bull City Soul, a new website, brings the story of Durham's local rhythm and blues, funk, and soul and their place in black cultural life and community in 1960s and ‘70s. The site displays information, artwork and music gathered from Carolina soul music expert Jason Perlmutter, historian Joshua Clark Davis, and graphic designer Lincoln Hancock, in collaboration with the Durham County Library’s North Carolina Collection.

The site features an “Origins and Influences” section that reveals the influence of nationally know figures with Durham connections—Clyde McPhatter of The Drifters, gospel great Shirley Caesar, and comedian Pigmeat Markham of “Here Comes the Judge” fame. “On the Air” and “Soul Spots” are windows into where fans heard the music—from WAFR radio and J. D. Lewis’s “Teenage Frolics” TV show to the Baby Grand Club. The “Artists” section includes acts such as Tracy and the Jammers, the Shamrocks, and John Snells. Snells, known as “The He, The She, The It,” may have been the most popular soul singer in Durham not to put out a soul record. Infamous for his live shows performed in drag, he was backed up by a gender-bending singing group called the Rocksteady Dancers.

Listen to singles by bands such as Johnny White and NCCU, find out about spots like Snoopy’s and the Stallion Club where they played, and get a feel for the times and the context in which the music was created.

For more about Durham's music history, learn about the Piedmont Blues, or search for current music events on the Durham Event Calendar.

DPAC Sets New Broadway Season Ticket Record

The SunTrust Broadway Series at DPAC - Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham has set a new record for season ticket holders. More than 15,000 season seat members have made DPAC the #1 one-week selling Broadway season ticket program in the United States. That's why it's even more important to get your tickets now before they sell out!

The last broadway show to sell out was Jersey Boys, but as the 2014-15 gets underway there are still shows with seats available. At present, none of the shows at the theater have sold out for the Broadway series.

The upcoming shows pack quite a punch, too. Phantom of the Opera is coming back, but it's an entirely new production; the story is the same but the whole experience is different, so even those who have seen it previously will be engaged. The aforementioned Dirty Dancing starts tonight, Jersey Boys returns on 9/26, Wicked returns for the third time with a 3 week run on 10/4 - this is the only Broadway show to do so at DPAC. Also coming up are Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cindarella, Annie, Motown the Musical, Kinky Boots, Pippin, Newsies, and Stomp.

The theater continues to wow audiences each year with an exceptional experience and customer service, as well as top notch shows. The theater has received TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence several times. Those shows draw quite large crowds, too. DPAC consistently ranks in the top five busiest theaters in the US.

Learn more about upcoming events in Durham with the Durham Event Calendar, and plan a visit online.


Friday, September 19, 2014

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Market

Great variety and authenticity are expressed exceptionally well in Durham’s food - that's why Durham is the Tastiest Town in the South. Part of Durham’s exciting food culture comes from a fascination with locally grown and raised products, and from the chefs who prepare celebrated cuisine recognized in regional and national media. Each week at Durhams's farmers' markets everyone can be a chef with access to fresh local produce.

Produce available this week includes: apples, muscadine and scuppernong grapes, peaches, green beans, corn, chard, eggplant, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and more! Also look for meats, cheeses, flowers, specialty items and crafts.

Durham Farmers' Market
Visit the Durham Farmers' Market Saturdays from 8am- Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm in Durham Central Park.

South Durham Farmer's Market
This week, there will be Pizza Faces with local vegetable in the Kid's Tent Visit the South Durham Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 8am-Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm at Greenwood Commons, 5410 Highway 55.

Visit the farmers' markets, tour a farm, and discover more great agritourism opportunities in Durham.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Centerfest Arts Festival to Celebrate 40th Anniversary

Centerfest arts festival is coming soon in Durham for its 40th year. It's a great community event featuring food, music, activity, and for serious art buyers to view pieces from local artists and for casual art appreciators to browse and enjoy.

September 20-21, there will be 140 juried visual artists representing 17 states (including 81 North Carolina artists; 19 Durham artists) showcased and sold their original, handcrafted work in clay, drawing, fibers, glass, painting, photography, printmaking, wood, jewelry, mixed media, and sculpture.

There will be more than 70 performing acts on six stages featuring more than 600 performers with continuous music, dance and entertainment. A Creative Kids Zone will  provide hands-on arts activities and entertainment. Locally-sourced foods and international cuisine will be available for purchase. This year's festival will feature valet parking for bikes and a.Bull City BUCK$ CenterFest “scan“venger hunt. Scan codes at popular CenterFest locations such as the stages, food areas, information booths and artist booths to earn BUCK$.

Keep up to speed on everything happening here with the Durham Event Calendar, and plan a visit online.

DCVB Recognized For Exemplary Workplace Practices

The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) has been honored for the sixth time with the 2014 When Work Works Award for its use of effective workplace strategies to increase business and employee success.

This award is part of the national When Work Works project administered by the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), which recognize employers of all sizes and types in North Carolina and across the country.

DCVB's environment is a carefully crafted balance of work and life. "DCVB has always valued the work and the worker," said Shelly Green, DCVB's President and CEO. "Our team is held to - and reaches - very high standards. That level of performance is achieved by allowing staff to be people first and employees second. The flexibility we maintain within the organization is our nod to that need," she added referencing the efforts the organization makes to allow maximum adaptability employment demands to life outside the office.

The award is the result of a rigorous assessment. Worksites must first qualify in the top 20% of the country based on a nationally representative sample of employers. Two-thirds of the evaluation of applicants comes from an anonymous employee survey. Applicants are evaluated on six research-based ingredients of an effective workplace: opportunities for learning; a culture of trust; work-life fit; supervisor support for work success; autonomy; and satisfaction with earnings, benefits and opportunities for advancement — all factors associated with employee health, well-being, and engagement. “These employers are making work work in innovative and inspiring ways and set an example for employers both nationally and internationally,” said Ellen Galinsky, president of Families and Work Institute.

“The When Work Works Award recognizes organizations that foster a culture of workplace flexibility and effectiveness, which gives them a competitive advantage. Their practices set them apart from other organizations,” said Lisa Horn, director of SHRM’s Workplace Flexibility Initiative. A list of winners is here and includes winning organizations by state: 

When Work Works is a national project that shares research results on what makes an effective and flexible workplace with the business community. For more information about the When Work Works initiative and the When Work Works Award (formerly known as the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility) visit online.

About DCVB
The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) is Durham’s marketing agency. It is chartered as a Tourism Development Authority by the N.C. General Assembly and local governments to spearhead the proactive, strategic, visitor-centered economic and cultural development of Durham by reinvesting a portion of the visitor-paid “room occupancy and tourism development tax” in destination promotion and marketing. Employment opportunities with the organization are listed on the Durham Hospitality Jobs website. The organization is currently filling two positions.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Living Wage Trend Growing Organically in Durham, NC Restaurants

To talk with Gray Brooks about the subject of staff as family, it’s easy to get confused. Though not blood relatives, his employees are highly valued because they are involved in the common goal of serving customers well with the best product available at Pizzeria Toro in Durham.

In the view of Brooks, and his partners Cara Stacy (also his wife) and Jay Owens, as well as owners at other Durham establishments like Monuts Donuts and Cocoa Cinnamon, staff members deserve to earn a living wage. In a town so focused on doing things locally, welcoming diversity, and removing barriers to entry, this trend isn't a surprise.

"These are just a few examples of the brand values many restaurants in Durham represent,” said Shelly Green, President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB). The organization regularly touts the local focus of the community because it rings true in so many measurable ways. “Durham is known for helping businesses grow from concept to completion with the support of the community. That local restaurants value employees by paying them a living wage and offering benefits just furthers the reach of that cycle of support,” Green added referring to the fact that employees fairly compensated can be active consumers in the community they serve.

“We have a living wage guarantee for all tipped bar hours for all crew members,” says Leon Grodski de Barrera who owns Cocoa Cinnamon with his wife, Areli. He added that Cocoa Cinnamon also has a minimum wage of $13 per hour for all non-tipped work, as well. The specialty coffee and chocolate beverage cafe in Durham has had tremendous success in part because its passionate staff cares about the work, their products, and customers at the same time. On this wave of success, a second location for the business is in the works now at the corner of Trent Dr. and Hillsborough Rd.

“We value the full cycle of food from farmers to those preparing it,” said Lindsay Moriarty of Monuts Donuts.  For Moriarty, and her husband and business partner Rob Gillespie, this is not only about fairness, but it’s also good business. The two are moving their business to the location formerly occupied by the Magnolia Grill on Ninth St. – a space more than twice as large as the one they currently occupy.

“It’s great to see local businesses and the community of Durham taking steps to care for their staff appropriately by their own volition, and not in response to outside pressure,” said Green. “It says a lot about our community.”

Brooks is succinct in his position and sums his thoughts up nicely. “Our employees are worth it. They are the reason we are successful,” he said.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New Official Durham Visitors & Relocation Guide Now Available

Discovering what to do and see in Durham keeps getting easier and easier.

The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau has just released the Official Durham Visitors & Relocation Guide (VRG) for Fall/Winter 2014-2015 both online and in print.

The new Fall/Winter edition of the popular, digest-sized guide features new content in the categories of things to see and do, dining, shopping, arts & entertainment, nature & recreation, history, and events. Durham’s three historic sites along with a discussion of Durham’s unique history are featured prominently in this edition in an effort to shine a light on Durham's offerings for visitors and residents interested in history. Durham, as the site of the largest surrender of the Civil War, is considered to be the place where the conflict effectively ended, and is the site of considerable visitor-focused activity in the coming months through the Spring of 2015.

The paper guide is designed to assist visitors who are discovering Durham while on foot and is a companion to online resources like the official Durham visitor website.

This guide is distributed to more than 145 targeted channels throughout Durham, at NC Welcome Centers on interstate highways, and is delivered directly upon request through the website.
Guides can be picked up at the Visitors Information Center at 101 E. Morgan Street in Downtown Durham, and requested online here.

Tenth Anniversary Celebration at American Tobacco Campus This Weekend

Durham's nationally acclaimed American Tobacco Historic District celebrates its tenth anniversary as a world-class destination for everything from business to baseball to Broadway with special events Sept. 4-7.

Events include:
  • The finale of the 2014 Back Porch Music on the Lawn series, featuring the ever-popular Chatham County Line on Thursday, Sept. 4, 6-8pm. (Public)
  • A private tenant appreciation party with bands and picnics on the fabled American Tobacco lawn on Friday, Sept. 5.
  • A private BBQ for former American Tobacco factory workers and people involved in the campus’ renovation on Saturday, Sept. 6, followed by tours of intriguing campus spaces, including private businesses not always open to visitors.
  • A public festival on Blackwell Street, Sunday, Sept. 7, 1-5pm. The street party will bridge the original old campus to its recent additions, including Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the coming Aloft Hotel and Diamond View III with its many new restaurants. The festival will also feature tours of intriguing campus places not always available to visitors.
The tenth anniversary story goes back 120 years, to when tobacco barons created a world-beating cigarette factory in downtown Durham. American Tobacco’s factories grew into a powerful economic engine, home to brands like Lucky Strike and thousands of jobs. By the mid-’80s, though, the spark was gone. The factories closed and rotted. Nearly two decades later, Capitol Broadcasting Company joined with the City of Durham to reinvent the icon.

After years of work and tens of millions in private investment, American Tobacco returned in 2004 -- this time as home to champions of all kinds:
  • The campus’ roster includes marquee brands such as Burt’s Bees, McKinney, Appia, Bronto, Fifth Third Bank, parts of Duke University and many more.
  • The campus is the original home of the American Underground, one of just eight Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hubs in the world. The Underground -- a launchpad for promising startups -- has grown into a second location in downtown Durham and one in downtown Raleigh.
  • An array of restaurants offer popular fare, including award-winning BBQ. The outdoor seating options are unmatched in the Triangle.
  • The Durham Bulls and the blockbuster shows at DPAC draw tens of thousands of fans from around the region. Altogether, the campus counts roughly two million visitors each year.
The American Tobacco campus is still growing as a world class place to live, work and be entertained. Its presence in downtown Durham adds to the vibrant character of the city and welcomes visitors from all around the world.

Get all the events happening in Durham on the Durham Event Calendar, and plan a visit online.

Ladies' Arm Wrestling Fundraiser to Support Women and Girls with Disabilities

"Predictable" and "common" are not words one might use to describe social activities available to the public in Durham. See LUEWWD as an example.

On September 20th, the League of Upper Extremity Wrestling Women of Durham, or LUEWWD (pronounced “lewd”), will host LUEWWD XI: First in Fight, another in a string of theatrical women’s arm wrestling fundraisers that have raised nearly $60,000 for local organizations including Durham Connects, Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build, and Liberty Arts and the Scrap Exchange.

The event is set for  9:00 pm at Social Games and Brews and the beneficiary is Durham First In Families which offers support to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities and/or traumatic brain injuries, and their families. Funds raised through LUEWWD XI will directly help women self-advocates with requests such as medical equipment, accessible technology, developmental toys, car repairs, gas vouchers, guardianship costs, and camp fees. Doors will open at 7:30.

Want to see more funky and cool happenings like this? The Durham Event Calendar has them all.

Ponysaurus Brewing Co. and All About Beer Magazine to Brew Collaboration Beer for the World Beer Festival—Durham

Adding to Durham's cachet as a food destination is the annual World Beer Festival—Durham, to be held October 11th at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. This year the festival will make its collaboration beer with Durham's Ponysaurus Brewing Co.

The beer will be a Red Rye IPA using hops that will give it a spicy flavor. It will be brewed mid-September and available for a limited time at Whole Foods Durham and Sam’s Bottle Shop. It will also be available for sampling at the All About Beer Magazine and Ponysaurus Brewing Co. booth during the World Beer Festival—Durham.

“We’re very thankful that All About Beer Magazine continues to show love and support to Durham breweries,” said Keil Jansen, Brewer at Ponysaurus. “It’s a great opportunity for us to debut a beer with a group of people that are excited to try new things and are always supportive of our local beer community.” 

The festival will be held on October 11, 2014 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, and offers two sessions, 12-4 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online or at Sam’s Quik Shop and Sam’s Bottle Shop in Durham.

Stay up to date on all that is happening with the Durham Event Calendar, and make plans to visit for the festival online.

Friday, August 29, 2014

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Markets

Great variety and authenticity are expressed exceptionally well in Durham’s food - that's why Durham is the Tastiest Town in the South. Part of Durham’s exciting food culture comes from a fascination with locally grown and raised products, and from the chefs who prepare celebrated cuisine recognized in regional and national media. Each week at Durhams's farmers' markets everyone can be a chef with access to fresh local produce.

Produce available this week includes: peppers, onions, okra, watermelon, tomatoes, peaches, eggplant, green beans and more! Also look for meats, cheeses, flowers, specialty items and crafts.

Durham Farmers' Market
Visit the Durham Farmers' Market Saturdays from 8am- Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm in Durham Central Park.

South Durham Farmer's Market
This week, music will be performed by String Bands with Master Gardeners as a special guest. Visit the South Durham Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 8am-Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm at Greenwood Commons, 5410 Highway 55.

Visit the farmers' markets, tour a farm, and discover more great agritourism opportunities in Durham.

Friday, August 22, 2014

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Market

Great variety and authenticity are expressed exceptionally well in Durham’s food - that's why Durham is the Tastiest Town in the South. Part of Durham’s exciting food culture comes from a fascination with locally grown and raised products, and from the chefs who prepare celebrated cuisine recognized in regional and national media. Each week at Durhams's farmers' markets everyone can be a chef with access to fresh local produce.

Produce available this week includes: figs, tomatoes, asparagus, eggplant, mushrooms potatoes, peaches, okra, onions, sweet potatoes, watermelon, zucchini and more! Also look for meats, cheeses, flowers, specialty items and crafts.

Durham Farmers' Market
Visit the Durham Farmers' Market Saturdays from 8am- Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm in Durham Central Park.

South Durham Farmer's Market
This week, music will be performed by Bread and Butter Duo. Visit the South Durham Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 8am-Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm at Greenwood Commons, 5410 Highway 55.

Visit the farmers' markets, tour a farm, and discover more great agritourism opportunities in Durham.

Friday, August 15, 2014

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Markets

Great variety and authenticity are expressed exceptionally well in Durham’s food - that's why Durham is the Tastiest Town in the South. Part of Durham’s exciting food culture comes from a fascination with locally grown and raised products, and from the chefs who prepare celebrated cuisine recognized in regional and national media. Each week at Durhams's farmers' markets everyone can be a chef with access to fresh local produce.

Produce available this week includes: tomatoes, asparagus, eggplant, mushrooms potatoes, peaches, okra, onions, sweet potatoes, watermelon, zucchini and more! Also look for meats, cheeses, flowers, specialty items and crafts.

Durham Farmers' Market
Tomorrow chef Shane Ingram from Four Square will be cooking on the lawn from 9am until Noon.Visit the Durham Farmers' Market Saturdays from 8am- Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm in Durham Central Park.

South Durham Farmer's Market
This week, the Harvest Book Drive will be on site. Plese bring any gently used children's books to donate. Music will be performed by the Deepwood Ramblers. Visit the South Durham Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 8am-Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm at Greenwood Commons, 5410 Highway 55.

Visit the farmers' markets, tour a farm, and discover more great agritourism opportunities in Durham.

Media Continue to Rave About Durham

This week Durham has caught the attention of several major national publications like The New York Times, Garden & GunBon Appetit, and The New Yorker with its spate of notable restaurants and features.


Garden & Gun readers lauded popular Durham burger restaurants Bull City Burger and Only Burger as having the "South's Best Burgers."

The New York Times visited Durham's Central Park District in "A Corner of Durham, N.C., Comes to Life." Places featured included The Pit, Geer St. Garden, Fullsteam Brewery, Cocoa Cinnamon and Motorco Music Hall.

Durham's Rose's Meat Market and Sweet Shop was recognized among Bon Appetit's "50 Nominees for America's Best New Restaurants 2014." The publication was particularly impressed with the spring onion sausage wrapped in puff pastry and the hot pastrami with fried potatoes. The top ten will be announced August 19.

The New Yorker profiled a Durham-based photography project, which documented the Durham Bulls' 2013 season in a book, "Bull City Summer." North Carolina writer Sam Stephenson led the project that focused on the world-famous Triple-A team.

See more Durham accolades or visit all of the places in these articles.

The Scrap Exchange Opens August 16 in New Lakewood Location

Tomorrow a local Durham business with a dedicated following of craft and creative artists will have a new home.

On August 16, Durham's Scrap Exchange will open its doors for the first time in its 23-year history in its own space. The nonprofit creative reuse arts center will make its new home in a 23,000 square foot facility at 2050 Chapel Hill Road. The site is a standalone mid-century modern building in the Shoppes at Lakewood shopping center. The Scrap Exchange bought the former Cinema Theater and Duke Surplus building in December, 2013, and is now ready to permanently move in and call it home. Over the past two decades, the organization has operated in subsidized or leased space throughout Durham including Northgate Mall, Liberty Warehouse and Cordoba Center for the Arts.

The purchase is a significant milestone in the nonprofit’s history. The Scrap Exchange was founded in 1991 with a mission to promote creativity, environmental awareness and community through reuse. Since then, the organization has grown into a Durham institution and national model for creative reuse. In 2013, the center diverted 70 tons of usable materials from the landfills, stewarded 5320 hours of volunteer service, managed 427 creative reuse program activities, and served over 150,000 people through its retail store and programming.

Learn more about Durham's art scene online and all of the kid and craft things to do here.

Friday, August 8, 2014

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Markets

Great variety and authenticity are expressed exceptionally well in Durham’s food - that's why Durham is the Tastiest Town in the South. Part of Durham’s exciting food culture comes from a fascination with locally grown and raised products, and from the chefs who prepare celebrated cuisine recognized in regional and national media. Each week at Durhams's farmers' markets everyone can be a chef with access to fresh local produce.

Produce available this week includes: tomatoes, asparagus, eggplant, potatoes, okra, onions, sweet potatoes, zucchini and more! Also look for meats, cheeses, flowers, specialty items and crafts.

Durham Farmers' Market
This week there will be storytelling with Cynthia Raxter from 9-Noon and the Kid's HomeFries Cooking Class will be taught by Cece Lopez of Bull City Burger from 9:30-11am. Visit the Durham Farmers' Market Saturdays from 8am- Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm in Durham Central Park.

South Durham Farmer's Market
This week, food truck Olio & Aceto will be on site with music by Kristi Dixon. Visit the South Durham Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 8am-Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm at Greenwood Commons, 5410 Highway 55.

Visit the farmers' markets, tour a farm, and discover more great agritourism opportunities in Durham.

Durham History Hub and County Library Celebrate Soul, Funk and R&B Music


Durham's rich musical heritage will be on display Friday, August 15 from 6-8 PM at the Museum of Durham History's History Hub.

Soul Souvenirs: Durham’s Musical Memories of the 1960s and 1970s is a no-charge celebration of Durham’s rich heritage of soul, funk and R&B music and it is open to the public.

The celebration hosted by the Museum of Durham History and the Durham County Library will feature a little wine, a few munchies and some memorable music by Johnny White and the Elite Band. The legendary group performs from 6pm-6:30pm and from 7:30pm-8pm. Between sets is a panel discussion by three soul and funk musicians from the 70s: Charles Bailey (the Black Experience Band), Vernelle Mack (Positive Approach, The Essence of Truth) and Stanley Saunders (Duralcha, Family Sircle).

The visual and audio display at the Hub touches upon the origins, influences, politics, history, venues, businesses, media, music and musicians of the 1960s and 1970s in Durham. Those featured include Nick Allen, Johnny White, John Snells, the Black Experience Band, Blue Steam, the Communicators, Duralcha, the Modulations, NCCU, Risse, and more.

Indoor Trampoline Park to Open at Northgate

Fun for the younger of us, visitors and residents alike, is that much closer as Durham will soon fly high with the opening of its second trampoline park at Northgate Mall.

Construction has begun on Sky Zone and will be located at the Shops at Northgate at 1720 Guess Road, Durham, Suite 90.  Sky Zone Durham's two floors of fun will featurin 23,000 square feet of trampolines, as well as a pool-like Foam Zone, SkySlam basketball hoop, SkyRobics fitness classes, Ultimate Dodgeball, Ultimate Volleyball, multiple party rooms, concessions zones and a mezzanine-level cat walk. The park is scheduled to open in December, 2014, and a pre-sale kiosk located inside Northgate Mall will open this fall.

Sky Zone joins Durham's other trampoline park Defy Gravity, which is located near the Sheraton Imperial hotel off I-40. Learn more about all the fun things to do with kids online, and stay up to speed on all the happenings here with the Durham Event Calendar.