1.5 miles from downtown Durham
714 9th St, Durham 27705
Hours: Mon-Sat 8 am to 8 pm; Sun 9 am to 7 pm
The Vibe: Carefree, unpretentious, studious, urban
Wednesday, September 25 2019 at 3:49 PM
Another hot day in Durham. Hot for this time of year ( … an aberration or harbinger?). I order a cold brew coffee here at Triangle Coffee House. Very tasty. Sign says they serve Larry’s Coffee. Have to get me some of their beans. It’s quiet this afternoon. Five people or so – one student, two middle-aged women having a conversation in French, and one older gentleman in a hat reading a book when I arrive. The vibe is slow, studious. My first thought upon entering the cafe is, how does this place stay in business? More older people than you’d expect filtering in and out, being across the street from undergrad apartments. Trip-hop tunes by Distant Lo are playing. Then the music stops for a while, unattended. Kind of stale.
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Sunday afternoon. There is one person here besides me is in this narrow, upstairs-downstairs coffee house. It’s cozy and warm, natural wood and leather.
The barista is downstairs sweeping, and because this place takes me back to my college days, I have the impression that he’s cleaning up from last night’s party. But Triangle Coffee House only stays open to 8 PM, Duke students are on winter break (9th Street is Duke’s main off-campus scene), and the overall atmosphere here is more studious than boisterous.
Upstairs (street level) there are four two-tops that can seat eight total, worn wooden-bench seating that looks out onto 9th Street, and leather-chair-and-couch seating by the entrance can accommodate five more folks. There is limited seating outside, but if the weather is nice and you can snag a space, it’s a great spot for people watching. In fact, you can be inside and still people watch, as one of the four walls is a floor to ceiling window that looks out onto the street.
I get the sense that you come to the Triangle Coffee House for a quick, in-and-out (grab my coffee and go) or you’re here for a while (camped out for a long study session with your computer and books). The downstairs is the same size as the upstairs, but the windowless room feels like a basement. The café has 11 two-tops upstairs and two leather couches downstairs, a good spot to get lost in thought or study.
The shop’s motto is: “Drink · Eat · Study · Lounge”. For the most part this is accurate, though “eating” is a stretch. An R&B, soul, jazz fusion theme is playing H.E.R., Masego, and Khalid. In case you are hungry for more than the small selection of snack bars and muffins available, 9th Street offers a good cross section of restaurants, (Happy and Hale, Alpaca Chicken, Dain’s, Juju, Devil Pizzeria, Elmo’s Diner) along with a couple bars, a bookstore, and a cool record shop, which you’d expect to find in a college thoroughfare on the edge of Duke’s East Campus.
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