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Last Chance Tavern

Posted by DNR 28 May 2008 13 Comments

About six miles up Guess Rd. is the Last Chance Tavern, a bar on the outskirts of town with an awesome jukebox and very cheap Bud Light.  This blurb from the Independent reminded me that I’ve been wanting to check it out, and the bits and pieces I had heard were pretty accurate - it’s as about as far as you can get from The Federal within Durham city limits.

After we were sure we had driven too far, the Harley-esque sign appeared out of nowhere.  The place is surprisingly small, with a bar and a few TVs in one corner and a couple of pool tables, darts, and foosball in the other.  There’s even a beaten-up karaoke set hooked up to a tiny TV and a boom box.  

The decor doesn’t leave much to be desired (Budweiser girls, a pool lamp in the shape of a NASCAR stock car, a cardboard cutout of a NASCAR guy, Mötley Crüe on the TVs) and the jukebox is full of old country, new country, and classic rock. David Allen Coe has never sounded better.

The bartender was happy to serve us $1.75 draught Bud Light for as long as we wanted, but by about 10.45 the place had cleared out so we did too.  Although it closes early, it’s a great place to start a night out, assuming you’re up for the drive.

Last Chance Tavern (map)
Monday – Saturday: 7ish – 11ish


  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:



  • robbie said:

    it looks like a good people watching place, i love going to little bars for that. those nascar cutouts are pretty cool. I love seeing all sorts of different cardboard cutouts, i make cutouts and like to see all the different ones out there. if you want a cutout check us out at http://www.lifesizecustomcutouts.com


  • Joel Richarson said:

    Signs of a truly great bar:

    ‘God Bless America’ fish bowl filled with soda can tabs. Check.

    Ash trays larger than the average cereal bowl. Check.

    Beer bottle lables pasted to the ceiling. Check.

    And two electric “OPEN” signs in the windows to assure even the most skeptical bar-goer that, yes, they are open to the public, and, no, you will not be murdered here. Unless you consider second hand smoke murder.


  • TSQ75 said:

    dude, i think those are dolla billz on the ceiling! lol

    everytime we happen to drive by this place, i jokingly tell my husband we should stop in, and he expresses his fear of getting shanked…lol

    good to know it’s not all as sketchy as it looks…


  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    It rarely is.


  • Lutwick said:

    This place looks pretty rough, but the regulars are really nice and they love to have new people come in.

    Yes, I imagine there is a shanking there every once in a while, but where isn’t there?


  • Emily said:

    I live nearby this place and it looks like it just closed down. The sign is gone and it looks dead.


  • elpea70 said:

    They were in the news a few weeks ago. Seems the owners got into a little trouble with the law selling drugs.


  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    Crazy. You got a link? Can’t find the story anywhere..


  • elpea70 said:

    This was from Bull City Rising Nov 6th, 2008. It was an article in the H-S that day:

    “No more chances for the Last Chance Tavern way up Guess Rd.? Its owner and two other men were arrested on charges of drug possession with intent to sell.”


  • judas_escargot said:

    Anyone know if this place still in operation? Rode by it a few weeks ago and got curious.


  • BVal said:

    It’s now Local Watering Hole. A couple of Northern grads in their early 30s opened it about a year ago. They’re very friendly, and the drugs are gone. Similar crowd to what it used to be. Nascar, country music and hellish pool players. Perfect spot for a nightcap if it’s on your way home or after work. And every single beer is $2!!


    judas_escargot replies on May 24th, 2012 at 5:25 pm:

    Nice! The name looked wrong to me when I found it again on Google Maps, and now I know why. Thanks.


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