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New Durham bar Rubies on Five Points, the open remedy room

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Ruby on five points

There is a kind of reincarnation happening in the spaces of big bars. Names and chairs may change, menus and beers swing back and forth, but the venue remains the same.

Rubies on Five Points, Durham’s newest bar in downtown Durham, opened this month on Main Street in a popular spot for the city’s bars. This is the first of two new bars arriving at 347 W. Main St. The second, The Remedy Room, will open early next year.

The new bar is moving into the two-story building that was once Whiskey and more recently was Criterion, a popular beer and whiskey bar that closed during the pandemic. The 347 W. Main building was sold in April 2021 for $ 1.18 million, according to records.

The new bars are owned by Shawn Stokes, the chef and owner of Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas in Durham and Carrboro. Stokes brings in former Luna managers Rob Montemayor and Anthony Kofler in new bar projects.

For Stokes, bars are a pie in the sky project with a bit of nostalgia.

“Whiskey was my favorite bar in Durham,” Stokes said. “When the opportunity arose (to open a bar in space), it was too good an opportunity to pass. “

Rubies is a small concert hall and a simple bar, said Stokes, targeting shows of around 50 people several times a week. It opened as a bar on December 16, and Stokes said plans for the music would range from live bands and DJs to bartenders and patrons bringing in vinyl records.

“We want this to be a place you can come anytime of the week,” Stokes said.

The Remedy Room downstairs won’t change much from the dark wood and tiled interior of the Criterion Metro, Stokes said. He called the aesthetic “late 19th century apothecary” and plans to open the Remedy Room seven days a week from 5 to 2 a.m., with a limited snack menu, classic cocktails, beer. craft and cheap beer.

“We’re trying to thread the needle and be a place where everyone is comfortable ordering an Old Fashioned or a well-made PBR,” Stokes said. “A lot of bars can do one or the other but not both.”

Drew Jackson writes about dining and dining for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, covering the Triangle and North Carolina food scene.


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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement