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Posted by YAR 20 Mar 2008 9 Comments


If you have never been to Ringside, you might should go soon–the building is for sale. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it will close, depending on the new owners, but this is a fascinating and “quirky” place so I wouldn’t let it get away without checking it out. There’s a membership requirement (not sure if that is usually enforced and I’ve gotten in every time without one, as a guest of a friend or a stranger). Its main problem is a usually fairly steep cover for Durham ($5-10 I think). But it’s almost certainly worth it when they’re having a crazy dance party. It’s also pretty cool to go on down nights when you could have the entire 4-floor place to yourself. I don’t remember what the drink selection is like, but with the dancing (if you’re into that) and the spooky library on the top floor, it’s kind of not about the beer. There are also three bars. Go in case it turns into a department store or something! That place would be even awesomer with escalators though.


  • Ann Prospero said:

    I’ve linked your site to mine because it’s done very nicely. Would you be so kind as to link my site to yours? Prospero’s Kitchen is mainly about chefs, who they are, and their recipes.
    The Kitchen


  • carpedurham said:

    Of course Kitchen! Don’t know why we hadn’t already–total oversight.


  • Phil said:

    Ay, caramba! Time passes, things change, but dang if Ringside falls off the map. The chances of a new owner doing half as many cool things as Michael and his many fans have done is sadly minimal, as Michael and his fans are at the bleeding edge (sometimes literally) of interesting, for Durham.

    In case you’re interested in buying the place, here’s an evening view from the roof:


    And here’s the back lot, where people play with fire:


    And do check out their myspace page with links to many others that have photos of parties on the inside:



  • TSQ75 said:

    so is michael the owner of the building? or just the business…?

    its still great, but damn i miss the days when he used to have more bands play there…ah the days of the Durham Music Festival, DADA, and kick ass NYE shows with local bands…


  • Ryan said:

    No, he just owns the business. The owner is kicking him out.


  • TSQ75 said:

    : O


  • carpedurham said:

    Maybe someone awesome and gutsy will buy it and open a new bar? I hope.


  • TSQ75 said:

    that place needs mad work though…its gonna cost a bunch to fix it up…oy, the temptation

    i just want a diner yo…


  • Marcus Hesse said:

    Was looking up Ringside just for nostalgic purposes. I was raised in Durham and up until 2009, the only bars / clubs in all of Durham were Shooters & Ringside.

    You could get beer at Satisfactions & Devines, but that’s it…

    When Ringside closed, Pinhook opened soon after, followed by Fullsteam. Durham changed forever with the opening of those two establishments.


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