Durham News

The Durham Bulletin, 5/11: Graduation weekend, new restaurants and more

Shelly Green
Shelly Green

It’s Duke and NCCU graduation weekend, so get ready to show lots of visitors Durham’s own brand of hospitality. It’s also the start of the summer concert series season and there are several great opportunities below to get out and see some fun shows. Our team has also been busy putting together new content for our website, I have some tips you need to know, and, well, HB2 is still a topic.

Need to Know

▪ The Duke Chapel reopens today (May 11) after months of upgrades and restoration. Be sure to check it out.

▪ Chef Matt Kelly (Vin Rouge, Mateo bar de Tapas, and the forthcoming Lucky’s Deli and Mothers and Sons Trattoria) has another project in the pipeline currently dubbed St. James, a seafood concept to occupy the vacated Fishmongers.

▪ Bulldega Urban Market opened last Saturday across from City Hall and is selling a selection of local grocery and sundry items.

▪ Paul Clark, a corporal with the Durham Police Department, has published a children’s book called “Nibbles the Squirrel Explores Durham.” It’s available at some local retailers and onAmazon.

▪ Giorgios Bakatsias, one of Durham’s most tireless serial restaurateurs, is planning to openBoheme in the former Black House at Straw Valley on May 24.

▪ A new beer made here in Durham called "Don’t Be Mean to People: A Golden Rule Saison” will be released to donors and 30 or so NC collaborating breweries on Sunday, May 15. Proceeds from sales will benefit Equality NC and Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer, which organizes camping trips for queer and transgender youth.

▪ If you’ve ever contemplated becoming a bone marrow donor come to the lobby of the Temple Building at 302 W. Main Street from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday – May 12 – and join the “Be the Match” registry with just a swab of your cheek.

HB2 Update

Well, last week was another eventful one for those steeped in the controversy surrounding House Bill 2. Given the flurry of lawsuits and counter lawsuits, it’s pretty safe to say that we will be addressing the fallout for some time to come.

Here’s a summary of the latest events: The Department of Justice sees HB2 as a violation of both the Civil Rights and the Violence Against Women Acts. The State of North Carolina thinks economic sanctions in the form of withholding Title 7 and Title 9 funding is federal overreach. Not only has Governor McCrory filed a suit, so has the NC Legislature and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Rather than dwelling on the negative we’ll be launching something in the near future to assure our visitors, meeting planners, youth sports teams and everyone else that Durham is the same welcoming, accepting place it has always been. Stay tuned.

Durham Event Calendar Highlights

Aside from several great summer concerts this weekend, it’s also Duke and NCCU graduations, so prepare for a little traffic congestion, packed restaurants from Thursday through Sunday, and shopping and leisure activities to be more lively than usual. As the university traffic lightens up over the weeks ahead look for the incoming wave of campers that come to Durham throughout the summer as they focus on sports and academic endeavors, too.

Thursday, 5/12 Durham is a place where businesses start and grow, so if yours is ready to take the next step and you need funds, check out this course: Small Business Growth Funding. If you are out for a great evening of music, then check out The Old Ceremony w/ The Backsliders - Back Porch Music on the Lawn at the American Tobacco Campus Amphitheater. There is no charge for the show.

Friday, 5/13 Kick off the weekend with MoJazz - Brightleaf Summer Concert Series at Brightleaf Square, or head out of town to the Piedmont Wildlife Center Spring Wild Foods Dinner and see what can be done with local wild fare.

Saturday 5/14 Get a little exercise on the Tobacco Town On Two Wheels- History Bike Ride, a joint venture from the folks at the Museum of Durham History and Bike Durham. Swing down to The Streets at Southpoint Mall to see Mason Lovette - Music on Main Concert Series for free. NCCU’s undergraduate commencement ceremony will occur at 8 a.m. at O'Kelly Riddick Stadium.

Sunday 5/15 Duke University's undergraduate commencement ceremony will occur at 9 a.m. at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Shelly Green is the president & CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. You can reach her at shelly@durham-cvb.com