460 feet from “Major” – the heart of downtown Durham
26 W. Main St., Durham, 27701
Hours: Mon-Thur 6:30 AM to 11PM, Fri 6:30AM to 12AM, Sat 7:30AM to 12AM, Sun 10AM to 9PM
The Vibe: Industrial-chic, purposefully hip
Friday, December 13, 2019 @ 4:54 PM
It’s a Friday afternoon, cold and raining outside. Warm and scented inside, Holiday music in the background. Mellow sounds, like the crowd right now. People unwinding from the day, or the week, with a tea, coffee, glass of wine, draft beer, or one of the whiskeys they have on the menu.
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 @ 2:42 PM
Wow. The Oak House Durham is dripping hip today. But there’s a veneer to it all that is reflective of the newness of the shop. Much like One City Center – the new 27 floor, shiny glass and steel tower that leases ground-floor space to The Oak House – both clash with the authentic Durham architecture and vibe that surrounds it. Perhaps it’s just a precursor of the changing face and atmosphere of Dirty Durham to come.
Inside The Oak House, lots of people are trying hard to look like they don’t want you to look at them, but the purposefully casual details around T-shirts, shoes, headwear, facial hair, eyeglasses, and more are a dead give-away to the “I don’t give a fuck look”. No one today is fooling anyone.
Most everyone here are young professionals. Working on their computers or just getting coffee to go. People appear to be coming from the many start-ups that now dominate downtown. Arcade Fire is playing the entire time I am here – alternative rock with a drive that sets the hip tone.
This café is one large room. Industrial-chic high ceilings, exposed air ducts, grey and stone, concrete floors with wood accents. Wooden seats and tables accommodate 15 at bar and window bar seating (looking out on Main St.). Another island bar seats 6, and there are five 2-tops and two 4-tops plus a coffee table couch and lounge chairs. Because of the hard surface décor, the café is loud, as all noise reverberates throughout the room.
The Oak Room, like the original popular coffee house and bar in Elon, NC, features craft beer (16 on tap plus another 18 or so in cans) and wine. In addition to the regular assortment of pastries, pre-made sandwiches from Bulldega, a small market that is also a part of One City Center, are available. The coffee is from local Durham roaster, Caballo Rojo.
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