"751 South" proposed to bring more development near Southpoint
West Point Park gets mixed commission opinions, Council feels heat in email exchange

"Cat's Cradle" may open a Durham outpost -- but where?

Drink_milkshake The Cat's Cradle is a Carrboro music establishment. But reports in the N&O on Wednesday afternoon that the music establishment might be sniffing around Durham -- or more specifically, that some Durham developer might be sniffing around them -- had Carrboro more abuzz than if Ted Voorhees said to Mark Chilton, "I drink your Jordan-Lake!"

"It's absolutely an integral part of our project," [Carrboro developer] Laura Van Sant said in an interview Wednesday. "It is a fact he has landlords in Durham offering him free space."

But it's not clear that delaying the 300 East Main Street project would force the Cradle to leave Carrboro. In an e-mail statement, [Cat's Cradle owner Frank] Heath said he gets regular inquiries about relocating the Cradle to a larger space in one of the Triangle's other cities....

When asked about Van Sant's claim he'd been offered rent-free space in Durham, Heath answered that it was more along the lines of booking shows elsewhere than a space of his own elsewhere.

No sooner did this hit the N&O on Wednesday than did my inbox start buzzing with folks asking: is this going to happen?

It's easy to imagine plenty of spaces in downtown Durham where eager developers would like to suck up Cat's Cradle (or a Durham overflow version of it.) First, to my mind, would be Golden Belt, where Scientific Properties has made no secret of its interest in opening a live music establishment.

Scientific Properties staff, including new honcho Tucker Bartlett, pleaded 'no comprehende' to that idea at Wednesday night's opening of the Jacob Lawrence migration series reproductions exhibit at the arts and residential complex -- though other anonymous weathervanes in the community seem to be pointing east, down Main Street, in the direction of the old textiles factory.

Other possibilities exist, of course. Most of Greenfire's properties aren't large enough to support the space; some of the warehouses down in the DAP district could, but they lack the parking of Golden Belt. West Village's Walker warehouse could house a nightclub, too, and has both surface and deck parking -- but would Blue Devil Partners really want to give up most of their retail space, gratis, for an event space?

Golden Belt, on the other hand, has its event space at the periphery of the project, where it can really be a supporting factor for the remainder of the office space, residential and artist studio space on the site. Heck, for that matter, it has the added benefit of bringing activity and people into the evenings, adding to the level of engagement on the site longer into the evenings.

All this is mere speculation, of course: but if Cat's Cradle really does look to open a Bull City version of their Carrboro nightclub, it'd be a boon for nightlife and activity in Durham. Keep your ears peeled on this one.

Comments

j.c.

This isn't a comment on the story--I'm just dropping a note that your formatting appears to have gotten borked in the RSS feeds. Last few posts--no paragraph breaks, and no pictures.

Ross Grady

If you haven't been paying much attention to the 300 E. Main project in Carrboro, despite a fairly open planning process over the past couple of years, including multiple charrettes, they've lately come up against some stiffer last-minute local resistance, both from the "Carrboro is a tiny mill town & must stay that way forever" faction, and from some local architecture critics who feel that the project is too generic-po-mo-development styled, and not distinctively Carrboro.

So I read that article, and particularly Laura Van Sant's quote about the Cradle, as nothing more than yr fairly standard developer's threat that further delays/reviews of the project will result in The Sky Falling.

Those folks who weren't around in the early '90s won't remember the last time the Cradle had to close due to real-estate BS . . . it was on Franklin St. in Chapel Hill at the time, and there was a similar level of panic (not least on the part of the Chapel Hill Town Council, who tried to get Frank to relocate the club to the roof of the Rosemary St. parking deck). Instead, after a period of downtime, the Cradle reopened in its current location. The reason Frank Heath has survived in this business for all these years is that he's fairly unflappable, and tends to take the long view.

As far as Frank booking shows at other venues, a quick check of the Cradle schedule will reveal a fairly substantial list of shows booked by the Cradle at other Triangle venues, including a Magnetic Fields show at Meymandi Hall in Raleigh, and an Of Montreal show right here in Durham at the Carolina Theatre. So there's your Cat's Cradle in Durham, right there.

Speaking of local venues, I got this email last night:

Rigsbee Hall (behind Rue Cler) in downtown Durham is trying on its digs as a venue. They offered to to run drinks and have a few kegs there if we booked a show...so....

We're (Tin Star = Louis Botta, Bart Moyers -- of William Christ Supercar fame & me) playing a FREE show this Friday nite (Sept. 19) with local greats Gray Young, Maple Stave and Wembley.

The mayhem starts during the Third Friday Durham Art Crawl, at 6:30 p.m. (sharp!) and runs until around 11.

Durham needs another music venue...come on out to support this one. The address is 208 Rigsbee Ave., Durham, 27701.

If you can't make it Friday, rumor has it we're also playing in the Bull City plaza (near Blue Coffee Cafe and Loco Pops downtown) for the after work thingy they do there on Thursdays...think it starts around 5:30.
cheers!
--
jamie miyares

crews

golden belt...

patricia A murray

Even while I was reading your article, I was thinking ... Golden Belt ....

American Tobacco has offered free space to certain organizations, but it couldn't be them. But don't forget, Greenfire owns what used to The Edge/Blayloc, which is next to the Durham Arts Council. That's a nice space. But I'm with you -- I think it's Golden Belt. They're offering free space to an interesting entity that I can't name (they're mulling over the deal), so I wouldn't put it past them to offer free digs to the Cat's Cradle, too. We'll all know soon ...

nick white

bob chapman, geer and foster

erin

Movie allusion FAIL.

KeepDurhamDifferent!

Can't say I'm surprised, as this is just one more nail in the coffin for the formerly cool Carrboro cum Chilton's Cradle and bobo playground. When I moved here in 1987 I saw Public Enemy at the Franklin St. cradle and thought if I ever returned to the triangle I would surely like to live in the "Berkeley of the East". Unfortunately Orange county's brand of new urbanism has priced out the diversity, and nowadays you can't hardly busk for change without being run over by a stroller or told you can't use the restroom at one of the chain burrito joints on Columbia St.

I'll take the dirty D town any day, as would most other starving artists. Keep Durham Different!

KeepDurhamDifferent!

Can't say I'm surprised, as this is just one more nail in the coffin for the formerly cool Carrboro cum Chilton's Cradle and bobo playground. When I moved here in 1987 I saw Public Enemy at the Franklin St. cradle and thought if I ever returned to the triangle I would surely like to live in the "Berkeley of the East". Unfortunately Orange county's brand of new urbanism has priced out all of the diversity, and nowadays you can't hardly busk for change without being run over by a stroller or told you can't use the restroom at one of the chain burrito joints on the top of the hill.

I'll take the dirty D town any day, as would most other starving artists. Keep Durham Different!

tsq75

pfft goldenbelt.

I'm for the Blayloc space or...what on earth is going on with Ringside?

Valerie

Frank, come to Durham! We will love you like our own!

BrianR

Ross Grady is spot on with his comment...

"So I read that article, and particularly Laura Van Sant's quote about the Cradle, as nothing more than yr fairly standard developer's threat that further delays/reviews of the project will result in The Sky Falling."

If we keep this in mind I think we'll be closer to the truth.

The comments to this entry are closed.