Rhythms Live Music Hall opening delayed

Rhythms Live Music Hall, a new live-music venue in Durham’s Lakewood Shopping Center, has delayed its opening.

The original Dec. 7 opening date had shifted to two concerts this week: Texas roadhouse country singer Delbert McClinton on Thursday and R&B singers Will Downing and Eric Benet on Saturday.

But delays in construction and getting the 14,000-square-foot space up to code necessitated pushing them back.

“We were scheduled where we needed to be last week, but the weather set it back,” said owner Victor Graham on Wednesday.

McClinton has been rescheduled for Jan. 19, while a new date for the Downing/Benet show will be announced later. Tickets already purchased will be honored. Refunds are available through point of purchase.

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In October, Graham announced plans for Rhythms Live, with a capacity of 600 to 1,000. He envisions it as more of a sit-down, dinner-and-a-show type of venue than a nightclub.

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Lakewood is a strip mall on Chapel Hill Road. Rhythms Live is in the northern end of the center, next to the Scrap Exchange Creative Reuse Arts Center.

At the time of the original announcement, a developer had just bought 8 acres of the shopping center in foreclosure for $5.25 million with plans to redevelop it. Other businesses that have moved into the area in recent years include the County Fare food truck rodeo and Cocoa Cinnamon coffee shop.

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For now, the earliest show on Rhythms Live’s schedule is R&B singer Jeffrey Osborne on Jan. 18. Graham said it’s possible he’ll book something sooner, if it opens in time.

“We should be ready to go anytime now,” Graham said. “It’s mostly cosmetic stuff and cleaning up. Next seven days, we should be ready. But we’ll sit back and get it together to give everybody the 100-percent experience.”

David Menconi has covered music and the arts for The News & Observer since 1991. He can be reached at 919-829-4759 or dmenconi@newsobserver.com.