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Old 07-28-2008, 06:42 AM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 6,469,074 times
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Hello Durham...Charlottean checking in. My wife and I will be headed over on October 25 to see Joe Satriani at the Carolina Theater (closest he's coming to Charlotte). It seems like a great place to see a concert with only ~1,000 seats! Does anyone have any suggestions for visiting this venue? Is parking difficult? What type of neighborhood is it in?

Here's the real kicker of a question...
We're planning on not getting a place to stay for the night and just driving home to Charlotte after the show (the show will probably get out around 10 or 11pm). Do you think that's feasible? We've never visited Durham from Charlotte, so all I have to go on is Google Maps' time (right at 2 hours door to door). If we do decide to stay the night, will we be able to find something reasonable right near the theater? I saw a Marriott right near the theater (or so it looks) on Google Maps. Is it within walking distance?

And one final question...
Any recommendations on a place to eat dinner before the show? Nothing fancy, but maybe something unique to downtown Durham that we can't get here in Charlotte...or that Durham may be known for?

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions! Anyone else going to the show? Row J tickets here! Going to be great!!!
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:13 AM
 
Location: SW Durham, NC
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The bypass by Greensboro helps to make it a faster ride than it used to be, plus the area outside Charlotte where you can drive 70 mph for close to half of the drive helps too. I85 will take you into Durham to the freeway (147) and exit Chapel Hill Rd and turn left. Then take a left at Duke Street and right on Main, which goes directly into downtown. Turn left at the Omni hotel and left at the the next street (downtown loop) and you'll see the theater on your left.

There is parking garage directly across from the venue with a glass highrise office building above it. It's a pay lot by day and sometimes at night, but it's not much. There's a little off street parking by the theater and around the corner of the parking deck, it's just your preference. I always say, the closer the better.

Our downtown is getting more and more active at night, especially on the weekends. Looks like you'll be there on a Saturday night. There's several restaurants within walking distance, but none I've visited. I'm sure you'll get plenty of suggestions from this forum. One that comes to mind is "Toast" which I think is more of an upscale sandwich place. There's also Tyler's Tap Room by the Durham Bulls ballpark which is about 2 minutes away by car...

Enjoy....!
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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It has always taken me 3 hours to get to Charlotte, and I am not driving under the speed limit. I'm surprised that Google reported less than that, since they usually overestimate. Maybe you are on the far NE corner of Charlotte.

The Marriott is close enough to the Carolina Theatre that you could jump, roll, or crawl there. It is in the same plaza.

There is a parking deck directly across the street from the theater.
lot 14:
Downtown Durham - Parking in Downtown

Yes, Downtown Durham is a fine part of town.

Yes, enjoy!
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Ellicott City MD
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I've never driven Charlotte - Durham in under 3 hours either.

If you read the food-oriented bulletin boards there are a lot of great options in downtown Durham, but since I have small children I haven't had a chance to try them. Last time I ate downtown it was Taverna Nikos in Brightleaf Square, which I understand has re-opened. It is very tasty. However, I might be inclined to try the Piedmont or the Federal as I've heard very good things.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:50 AM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by welovedurham View Post
...Maybe you are on the far NE corner of Charlotte....
You are correct. University City is the NE corner of Charlotte--nearly Concord.

This is interesting about the drive times to Charlotte. I may be under estimating this! Google Maps has been fairly accurate on all other trips, as long as there aren't any obvious slow downs (accidents, construction, etc). I'm thinking it may just be easier to get a room at that Marriott to wrap parking and convenience all in one package. Only $100 a night with my discount.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:51 AM
 
413 posts, read 1,256,154 times
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Good suggestions about parking and directions to the Carolina Theater. I'll try and tackle other questions: restaurants.

AnotherTyme is within walking distance, and has been downtown forever (at least 20 years!)

Elmo's Diner is on 9th Street (not far from the the Theater, but not walking distance either)--has been featured on Rachel Ray.

George's Garage is also on 9th Street, and is one of my favorites on 9th Street. I think it's owned by a son of one of the more famous Triangle restauranteurs: Bakastias.

The most famous of restaurants in Durham though is Magnolia Grill, also on 9th Street (featured in Southern Living a number of times, and was listed on some "Top 100" list for restaurants in the US). It is more expensive than the others, so it depends on what you are wanting to do...but it is well worth it I think.

Down by Brightleaf Square (again, close but not walking distance) is Nikkos. A great Greek restaurant.

Bullocks BBQ is not within walking distance, but is probably the most famous and best of Carolina style BBQ (it's off I-85 so you could head there on your way in....exit 173).

As for the neighborhood question: you should be fine walking from the theater to the parking garage or the hotel (is it an Omni now? I thought it was a Marriot--they keep changing hands), but I wouldn't walk around too much after the show. As for driving back to Charlotte--that's a 2 or 3 hr drive. I'd rather stay overnight. If not downtown, there are plenty of hotels in the area, or on I-85/40 heading back south.

Have fun!
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:59 AM
 
Location: SW Durham, NC
1,219 posts, read 3,296,266 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausmerika View Post
As for the neighborhood question: you should be fine walking from the theater to the parking garage or the hotel (is it an Omni now? I thought it was a Marriot--they keep changing hands), but I wouldn't walk around too much after the show. As for driving back to Charlotte--that's a 2 or 3 hr drive. I'd rather stay overnight. If not downtown, there are plenty of hotels in the area, or on I-85/40 heading back south.

Have fun!
Maybe it used to be the Durham Omni and is now the Marriott. I may have mispoke... It's the only hotel down there.... Thanks for the correction.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:02 AM
 
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Piedmont and Rue Cler are two very good restaurants that are an easy 2-3 block walk from the Carolina Theater/Marriott. I would describe each as "nice" casual with upscale food. If you're looking for something close by, these fit the bill and are part of the culinary rennesaince taking place downtown!
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:40 AM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 6,469,074 times
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Great suggestions. Thanks for the info so far!

We're more of a casual dining type...not really into the expensive side (Ruth's Cris once a year for our anniversary is as fancy as we get!). I'd be all for a good BBQ place...but definitely game for an "everything place" that serves the whole spectrum. Definitely not into ethnic or other weird stuff!
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallisteve View Post
Great suggestions. Thanks for the info so far!

We're more of a casual dining type...not really into the expensive side (Ruth's Cris once a year for our anniversary is as fancy as we get!). I'd be all for a good BBQ place...but definitely game for an "everything place" that serves the whole spectrum. Definitely not into ethnic or other weird stuff!
Of the excellent choices ausmerika gave, Elmo's or Bullock's would be the most casual. Elmo's is most like a diner, with breakfast anytime plus lunch/dinner options. I'd say your bill would be about $10-15/person, could do less. Great atmosphere; everyone loves Elmo's. Bullock's is a Southern-style BBQ place, nothing fancy. Lots of celebrity photos on the walls; it's fun to see their history. Delicious BBQ, though. If you pay $10/person there, I'd be surprised.

The Marriott has a bar/dining area, too, btw, though that's hardly unique to Durham.
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