Home » Bars, Beer, Restaurants

The Tavern

Posted by DID 26 Jan 2012 9 Comments

We used to regularly watch basketball games at the Tavern when it was located on 15-501. It was one of the few places in town that was large enough and off-the-beaten path enough that you didn’t have to fight for a spot. When the Tavern moved to its current location on Markham just off 9th street, we had high hopes. We stopped in the first week it was open only to be greeted by oversized bouncers outfitted in mesh shirts and walkie talkies. We didn’t go back.

However this past weekend, after spending too many consecutive nights at Geer St. and Surf Club, we ventured to 9th Street. Two guys playing guitars steered us away from Mitch’s, no empty seats meant Dain’s wasn’t an option and Charlie’s was overtaken by a loud DJ and strobe lights. We ended up at the Tavern.

Because they serve food, the Tavern is no longer a private club which means no membership fee and no bouncers. We were shocked to discover that the Tavern is actually pretty awesome. Lots of decent beers on tap, friendly bartenders and a diverse crowd. It’s a large open space filled with pool tables, dart boards, shuffle board and lots of arcade games. Darts and shuffle board are free, pool is $1 a game. There’s a small room with a stage off to one side. On a Saturday night, the side room was filled with dancers and a DJ. It looks like the Tavern also uses that room for bands and comedy acts.

When we stopped back in this week to give their food a try, the staff was again really friendly and welcoming. The Tavern has a large pub grub menu filled with burgers, chicken sandwiches, wings and the like. All of their sandwiches come with housemade chips and most cost around $6.99. We had the buffalo chicken pita and the veggie burger. The buffalo chicken pita was excellent Рa large, fresh pita filled with grilled chicken, lettuce and tomato. The housemade chips were fresh, plentiful, tossed with salt and pepper and served with a side of ranch. The veggie burger was two veggie patties topped with American cheese slices, saut̩ed mushrooms, onions and peppers and served on buttered/toasted Texas toast.


Are they reinventing the wheel? No, but the Tavern is serving affordable, satisfying and solid pub grub in a relaxed atmosphere. It also may be our new favorite spot watch a game, grab a beer and play a round of darts.

The Tavern
1900 W Markham Ave
Durham, NC 27705
(919) 286-7665


  • Just Quackers said:

    They really are great, aren’t they?

    Easily the best and most comfortable place to go grab a beer and watch a game or two. Don’t forget, they’ve got the NFL package – so during the regular NFL season you never have to fight for a spot to watch your favorite team (whoever it may be).

    Their food is delicious, especially the Tavern Chicken Pita and Tavern Cheesesteak! Their daily food specials are hit-or-miss, but many more hits than misses. That says a lot about the cooks though, as they’re always willing to try new things.


  • joe duke said:

    Seconding the Tavern Cheesesteak – it’s awesome! They also have a Philly cheesesteak on the menu, but I didn’t like it as much as the Tavern’s version. They also have awesome pickle chips that weren’t on the menu the last time I was there. Just ask the bartender and they’ll hook you up with the best pickle chips in Durham.


  • ken gibson said:

    I’m going to put this bar on one of my pilgrimages. See you soon ..


  • Rob said:

    The Tavern’s been one of my favorite bars in the area for a while now. It’s definitely my go-to place to sit and drink on 9th Street. Their beers are priced how beers should be priced (mostly $4 pints with a well-priced special most days of the week) and the food’s really good, though standard fare and not too creative.

    Whenever we feel like ditching work early to go to the bar, we head to The Tavern. It’s also where I go when we want to play some darts or shuffleboard. All in all, it’s a great little hang out spot that’s never too crowded and it’s juts about impossible to feel out of place there, no matter who you are or what you’re in to.

    I love the vibe at Mitch’s as well (I’ve only been during the day, though), but if I’m going to be somewhere for a while, The Tavern wins for darts, pool, and shuffleboard.


    CoolBarz replies on January 31st, 2012 at 7:00 pm:

    The tavern is cool, even though we miss the loft, but mitchs music is awesome!


  • Bval said:

    After living in upstate NY and working in bars here, I don’t say this lightly: The Tavern has the best wings in Durham.


  • Bob Ickrath said:

    After seeing the Tavern on my last trip to Barnes, I read the reviews here and thought I’d try it out my next trip. I had the blazin blue cheese burger and fries and they were both outstanding. Along with an icy cold pint of Sweetwater 420. At 2:30 on a Thursday it was understandably empty. The barkeep Christina was great and chatted with us the whole time. I will definitely be going back. Very comfortable and laid back, though Christina did say it got busy at night.


  • infared saunas said:

    infared saunas…

    The Tavern | Carpe Durham…

  • Mark Hipps said:

    we just discovered this place a week ago and are now fans. It is a great place to catch the game and the wings were great. The outside is not that inviting but don’t let that scare you off. We had a blast. Will definitely be back.


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