Restaurant News & Reviews

Joe Van Gogh opening coffee shop in Durham’s West End

This former Gulf service station is being renovated into a space that will be used by Local Yogurt and Joe Van Gogh.
This former Gulf service station is being renovated into a space that will be used by Local Yogurt and Joe Van Gogh. The Herald-Sun

The Kent Corner area of Durham’s West End neighborhood is getting another new business as Joe Van Gogh has decided to place its fourth Durham coffee shop there.

The new Joe Van Gogh will be located at a former Gulf service station at 1114 W. Chapel Hill St., which is being renovated to be the home of Local Yogurt. The space, which is also directly across the street from the Durham Co-op Market, will be split between the yogurt shop and the coffee shop.

“I’m thankful to Local Yogurt for approaching us with this opportunity,” Joe Van Gogh owner Robbie Roberts said in a statement. “As soon as I saw the space, I knew it would make sense to be there. And re-using a gas-station is something I’ve always thought of as a great fit for a coffeehouse.”

The location is expected to open sometime this summer. Joe Van Gogh’s other Durham locations are located on Broad Street, on Hope Valley Road in South Durham and on Duke University’s campus. Another location is in Chapel Hill.

Roberts pointed to the resurgence of the Kent Corner area, which has seen a number of growing businesses and restaurants, as a reason he wanted to locate in the West End neighborhood.

Along with Local Yogurt and Joe Van Gogh, a co-owner of Nosh is opening a new restaurant called Grub adjacent to the Joe Van Gogh space. The Cookery is also in the process of expanding its Chapel Hill Street space, and the Southern Documentary Fund is moving into an office above it.

“The forward-thinking folks at the Durham Food Co-op, The Cookery, Grub, and places like that are an inspiration. I’m hoping that the neighborhood will like what we do,” Roberts said. “It’s always exciting to join a new community in Durham, and the coffee scene in this town is quite progressive.”

The former Gulf service station is one of three projects that the city has helped get off the ground recently. The city contributed $49,000 to developer Seminary Avenue Redux to redevelop the former gas station into the commercial space that will now be occupied by Local Yogurt and Joe Van Gogh.

The city also contributed $100,000 for the redevelopment of a former gas station at 1200 W. Chapel Hill St., where Grub is going, as well as $220,000 for a streetscape project at an office and retail space at the corner of West Chapel Hill and Kent streets in the West End.

The West End neighborhoods — generally considered the trio of Burch Avenue, West End and Lyon Park — are a group of historically blue-collar and African-American majority neighborhoods located between downtown and Duke University.

It has become a burgeoning neighborhood in recent years where average price per square foot of houses has been rising, creating one of the most diverse residential areas in the city.

The price per square foot for a home jumped nearly 59 percent to $165 per square foot from 2014 to 2016, according to data provided by Urban Durham Realty. Prices have more than doubled from $72 per square foot in 2007.

Staff reporter Virginia Bridges contributed to this article.

Zachery Eanes: 919-419-6684, @zeanes