Ninth Street Coffeehouse and Juice Bar re-imagines local hideaway spot

Ninth Street Coffeehouse and Juice Bar re-imagines local hideaway spot

Tim Campbell

As the school year comes to a close and the massive speed bump of finals looms before the summer, exam season seems to put a damper on everything. Everything, that is, besides your desire for coffee and a good study space.

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If that’s the case, spend no more time looking for a corner of Perkins or cup of sub-par coffee, because right off campus the newly opened Ninth Street Coffee House and Juice Bar is open for business, offering caffeine, ambiance and more.

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Ninth Street Coffee House is the latest in a series of tenants that previously operated in the space, which is close to the corner of 9th Street and Perry Street. The last iteration of the coffee house, Market Street Coffee House, closed last December. However, in no time at all, the location was renovated and opened for business.

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This time around things are looking different, thanks to renowned chef Lindsey Williams, who decided to reopen the shop after hearing about Market Street Coffee House’s closure. Williams, a celebrity chef from New York, has had an interest in Durham for many years—ever since he began visiting about 30 years ago.

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In particular, Williams has been interested in Durham’s unusual mix of influences that gives the city its reputation.

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“Durham has a lot of character,” Williams said. “I’ve always loved 9th Street – it’s very cool. It kind of reminds me of the West Village in New York. I’ve always wanted to open up a restaurant or something down here, and when the coffee shop came up, I was like, ‘Very nice. That would be very cool.’”

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Even before he decided to open up a new iteration of the shop, Williams was interested in the location.

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“The place had so much potential,” he explained. “It’s a kind of interesting and weird space, and when I found out it was available I decided I wanted to reinvent it.”

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And that is exactly what he did. Ninth Street Coffee House’s interior decor is completely different from Market Street’s—now, it is old-fashioned and artsy with a refurbished and polished look that makes use of the light, with an open upstairs and darker basement areas. The seating areas have also been made more comfortable and welcoming to encourage people to come in for drinks and stay for a while.

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“I’m a coffee shop junkie,” he confessed. “I love the conversations, the network that they promote. It’s not just about working and studying—it’s a place for relaxation, hanging out, going on dates.”

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While they’re already offering locally-roasted, organic coffee from Larry’s Coffee in Raleigh, Williams says that Ninth Street Coffee House is looking forward to adding a full juice bar soon as well as healthy smoothies to round out the drink menu.

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Williams was also quick to emphasize how much he enjoys the close proximity of Ninth Street Coffee House and Juice Bar to Duke.

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“When Duke students come by, I really just enjoy their presence,” said Williams. “It’s great to see them work hard and go through their process—they’re grinding really hard, and I enjoy being able to provide a space for them to come by and study.”

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With that being the case, the timing of the shop’s reopening couldn’t be more fortuitous. Food points don’t last forever, and as the curtain begins to fall on another academic year here at Duke, Ninth Street Coffee House and Juice Bar can add to the list of places to go off campus before leaving for the summer.