What: Downtown Durham’s premiere all-day craft beverage lounge
Where: 126 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701
When: Mon-Thurs, 6:30a-11:00p; Fri, 6:30a-12:00a; Sat, 7:30a-12:00a; Sun, 10:00a-9:00p
Why we love ‘em:
They partner with lots of local brands to offer a vast selection of coffee, tea, boozy bevs, and plenty of on-the-go, or Oak House specialty snacks.
They’ve got free WIFI and offer the perf place for meetings, working remote, or kicking back to relax while savoring quality sips from morning to night.
They’ve brought nights of live music back to the heart of Bull City and locals (us included) are geeking out about it.
They’ve got an impressive selection of global whiskeys, along with a staff full of experts who can help you work through 'em.
**Pssst: The Oak House Durham is one of our Premium partners, so we headed over there to get the DL on how to have the best experience possible. Not in Premium (or not even sure what we're talking about)? Learn more here about this monthly subscription for exploring your city (or ask one of your Premium friends for a referral to score your first month free!)**
We can all agree that a full-service all-day beverage lounge was a concept clearly missing from the downtown scene. That is, until an Elon-area favorite decided to open their second location right here in the heart of Bull City. Since their debut earlier this year, The Oak House Durham has made grabbing a cup of top-notch coffee in the morning, pick-me-up bevs in the afternoon, and sipping the evening away with an endless selection of beer, wine, and whiskey, easy friggin’ peasy.
Located on the street level of One City Center, just across the way of city landmarks like DPAC and American Tobacco Campus, Oak House has set up shop in one of the most prominent and flourishing areas of town. But there’s really no surprise there, considering this spot is founded by two guys who are almost as big of Bull City nerds as we are. Step inside their new digs and just wait to be wowed by what they’ve dreamt up.
Oak House's spacious lounge is designed to pay homage to Durham’s distinguished industrial and modern aesthetic that we all know and love. The interior is illuminated by soft-lit Edison-esque bulbs that hang down from vaulted ceilings, and a stunning lower-hanging wood fixture that adds the perfect touch of modern style to the space. Most distinctively, upon arrival, you're greeted by a gigantic bar that displays a seemingly endless selection of allllll the beverage possibilities that await you. Take a seat and peer out of their gorgeously massive windows, boasting an iconic view of Main Street.
Their staff is full of beverage savants who are more than happy to help you select your sip. Toss in the fact that they host live music on the reg and it's no surprise why The Oak House has already become the day-to-night neighborhood bar that Durham never knew it needed—a place you'll feel right at home.
These folks love to partner with local companies so don’t be surprised when you spot a few familiar names as you peruse their menu. The gangs all here: everyone from Caballo Rojo and their specialty coffee, to Jeddah's artisanal tea, Joe Van Gogh, Homeland Creamery, Whisk & Rye Bakehouse, and Ninth Street Bakery. One thing’s for certain, they've curated the heck out of their offerings to make sure you get a taste of Bull City’s best in every sip and bite.
And to continue with the local love trend, this spot has brought live music back to the downtown scene and we can't get enough of it. Twice a week, every week, the back corner beneath The Oak House sign transforms into something seriously magical. On Mondays, they've got a live pianist leading a laid back evening of tunes. Just grab a seat, order up a drink(s) and some snacks, and chill out.
Weekends bring a livelier vibe. Show up early to reserve your spot for amped-up weekend shows played by local musicians (that almost always draw in a large crowd of local music lovers).
But first, coffee, because you definitely won’t go wrong ordering a cup of what they’re most famous for. They’ve got an entire list of espresso-based items like their top-quality lattes, mochas, and seasonal specials like the super popular Pumpkin Spice that’ll soon switch out for a wintry Peppermint Mocha. Plus, you can get your caffeine brewed any way you like: Pour Over, Cold Brew, or French Press. Clearly, they’ve got your daily grind covered.
Beyond their general joe offerings, they've got an impressive selection of beer and cider. Oak House's got 16 drafts that are always rotating and a vast variety of craft and independent brews, as well as an additional selection of canned and bottled beers to boot. And just for safe measure, they’ve made sure to carry a brew from every local brewery in town. Order ‘em in a flight or get it by the pint, it’s a pick-your-poison sitch.
Wine down your evenings with 30+ wine-by-the-glass options and plenty more bottles for purchase. These angels don't have a corkage fee so you can have a fair and full-bodied experience.
Their food menu is one of their best-kept secrets. They offer several types of snack plates: a strictly Cheese Plate for all you cheese aficionados, a popular Charcuterie Board that’s loaded up with baguette and crackers, cheese, meat, and a mini olive dish, and a phenomenal Chimichurri Plate paired with baguette for all your dipping pleasures (plus pssst, ask about the pimento!). They’ve also got a selection of local sweets and pastries, Bulldega sandwiches, and four options of Cilantro Artisan salsas to choose when you opt for the Chips and Salsa.
While it’s hard to turn down their charcuterie board, they’ve got some pretty exciting plans to team up with local faves (like Pokeworks) in close proximity to Oak House to offer a menu of fun pairings for food that you purchase from their partners. Meaning, yes, you can go grab food and bring it back to Oak House knowing they’ve got a perfect bev pairing waiting for you on a secret-ish menu (just ask!).
Oat milk at Oak House (try saying that one ten times fast!) is one of their best-sellers. Adding it to your latte is a must.
They offer drink specials every day:
Monday: $1.50 for 5 oz pours of beer
Tuesday: 20% off wine bottles
Wednesday: $4 select pints
Thursday: 20%off Coravin pours
Friday: $1 off canned beer
Saturday + Sunday: 10% off Rosé, $4 mimosas
Look for the keg icon on their large hanging draft list because it denotes a damn good deal; $2 off that pint until the keg is donezo.
They’ve don’t have charge a corkage fee which means you can easily grab a bottle to enjoy at Oak House, cork it, and save it for when you're feeling wine-y later.
Join their wine club to score two curated bottles every other month, an exclusive wine tasting every month, and a forever discount on bottled wine (outside of the wine specials, obvi).