Best of the Triangle 2018: Out and About | News Feature | Indy Week

Best of the Triangle 2018: Out and About

Best Art Gallery in the Triangle

201 East Davie Street, Raleigh
Finalists: The Carrack Modern Art, Pleiades Arts, Lump

Best Barback / Busboy in the Triangle
Corey Horne


330 West Hargett Street, Raleigh
Finalists: Dylan (Person Street Bar), Ian Grice (Brewery Bhavana), Will Travato (Foundation), Travis Wisk (Bittersweet)

Best Barista in Durham County
Dave Chapman

Bean Traders

105 West N.C. 54 Hwy #249, Durham
Finalists: Benjamin Tarlton (Joe Van Gogh), Arielle Bryant (Monuts), Tori Partin (Kaffeinate)

Best Barista in Orange / Chatham County
Haley Vaughan


403 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill
Finalists: Jillian Hamrick (Joe Van Gogh), Bobby Lewis (Cup a Joe), Shaw (Gray Squirrel Coffee)

Best Barista in Wake County
Julian Dalton

A Place at the Table

300 West Hargett Street ,#50, Raleigh
Finalists: Klay Misenheimer (Bittersweet), Stephanie Caronna, Ethan (Stewart's Bistro)

Best Bartender in Durham County
Daniel Sartain

Bar Virgile

105 South Mangum Street, Durham
Finalists: Stefan Isaza (Growler Grlz), Katy Creech (The Glass Jug Beer Lab), Jannell (The House)

Best Bartender in Orange / Chatham County
Ari Sanders

Mystery Brewing Public House

230 South Nash Street, Hillsborough
Finalists: Richard (Orange County Social Club), Zach White (Belltree), Sam Newby (Country Fried Duck), Stirling Little (Belltree)

Best Bartender in Wake County
Alison Williams


227 South Wilmington Street, Raleigh
Finalists: Kirstin Mulqueeny (City Limits Saloon), Moe Ricks (Pelagic Beer & Wine and Brewery Bhavana), Sara Buxton (Pelagic Beer & Wine)

Best Comedy Club in the Triangle
Goodnight's Comedy Club

861 West Morgan Street, Raleigh
Finalists: ComedyWorx, Improv at the Varsity

Best Community Event in the Triangle
Durham Farmers Market

501 Foster Street, Durham
Finalists: Beaver Queen Pageant, Blondes vs. Brunettes Raleigh Game Day, Flash Chorus (Durham)

Best Farm in the Triangle
Maple View Farm

6900 Rocky Ridge Road, Hillsborough
Finalists: Funny Girl Farm, Raleigh City Farm, Hux Family Farm

Best Gay or Lesbian Bar in the Triangle

117 West Main Street, Durham
Finalists: Ruby Deluxe, Legends Nightclub, The Green Monkey, The Bar Durham

Best Karaoke in the Triangle

2 South West Street, Raleigh
Finalists: Pinhook, Krafty's Burgers and Brews, The Bar Durham

Best Local Art Exhibit of the Year
Art in Bloom, NCMA

2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh
Finalists: Truth to Power at Pleiades Arts (Durham), The Carrack Community Art Show, Shades of Goldfish at Spectre Arts

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Best Local Art Exhibit of the Year
You Are Here, NCMA
Indy: For Larry Wheeler's final exhibit as the director of the North Carolina Museum of Art, the institution decided to go big. The result is You Are Here, a stunning collection of large-scale works that play with light and sound. The centerpiece is one of Yayoi Kusama's famed infinity rooms, which is now a part of the museum's permanent collection. But the exhibit's other pieces—a forty-speaker sound installation, a stylized sitting room, a dense curtain of LEDs—are no less stunning. Rarely has an art exhibit incited such delighted curiosity among people all over the Triangle. You Are Here is an adventurous, ambitious effort from the museum that reminds us that our relationship with art can be far more complex than staring at a painting on a wall. —Allison Hussey

Best Local DJ
DJ Uniq
Finalists: DJ Luxe Posh, K Stones, DJ Triple B

Best Local Fiction Author
David Sedaris

Finalists: Lee Smith, Sarah Dessen, Monica Byrne

Best Local Filmmaker
Saleem Reshamwala / KidEthnic
Finalists: StoryDriven, Alexis Bravos, D.L. Anderson, Jasper Lee

Best Local Music Series
NCMA Summer Concerts

2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh
Finalists: American Tobacco Music Series, Pinecone, Music in the Gardens by Duke Performances

Best Local NonFiction Author
Timothy B. Tyson

Finalists: Barry Yeoman, Kendra Leonard, Adam Sobsey

Best Local Podcast
Finalists: SPORTSRAP, Intelligently Ratchet, Free Lunch

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Best Local Podcast
Artist Soapbox
Indy: Especially if you're new to the area, the Triangle's local arts scene—buzzing away in so many niches throughout so many cities and towns—might seem like a tough nut to crack. Is this show supposed to be dance, theater, or what? What's this place, some warehouse? If you like to learn in podcast form, Artist Soapbox is a crash course in who's who and what they do. Host and creator Tamara Kissane, a Durham-based playwright, director, and actor, has thirty-one episodes and counting of knowledgeable one-on-one interviews with everyone from Bull City Black Theater Festival founder JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell and veteran choreographer Killian Manning to Women's Theatre Festival production manager Katy Koop, developing a full picture of a regional arts community marked by the strong leadership of women and an openness to rethinking old ways of doing things. —Brian Howe

Best Local Visual Artist
Sara Buxton - Oak City Revival
Finalists: Tedd Anderson, Gnarley Nick, Sean Kernick

Best Museum in the Triangle
North Carolina Museum of Art

2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh
Finalists: Museum of Life and Science, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Nasher Museum of Art

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Best Museum in the Triangle
Gregg Museum of Art & Design
Indy: In addition to our readers' uniformly worthy picks for where to get you some culture, might we suggest also making time to swing by the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at N.C. State? If it's been awhile, you'll be pleasantly surprised. Last summer, the museum reopened in a building twice the size of the old one, in a renovated historic chancellor's residence prominently located on Hillsborough Street, and the proper space has unleashed curatorial ambition. Now's the perfect time to see what the museum can do—through the first of July, it remains dominated by Bob Trotman's absurdist, larger-than-life animatronic sculptures of bureaucrats and workers. Welcome to the new Gregg. —Brian Howe

Best Neighborhood Bar in Durham County
Accordion Club

316 West Geer Street, Durham
Finalists: Blue Note Grill, The Glass Jug Beer Lab, The Bar Durham

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Best Neighborhood Bar in Durham County
The Federal
Indy: When I lived in Philly, there was this bar at the end of my string of rowhouses that was basically my second home. It had good drinks, a terrific beer selection, solid grub, cool people, friendly bartenders, a baseball game on the television—all of life's basic food groups. I was there nearly every day, a regular not just because it was convenient, but because it was convenient, affordable, and a great vibe. Just about every neighborhood in Philly had one of those, sometimes two, sometimes a half-dozen. Here, though, these neighborhood bars of character aren't so easy to come by.
The closest I've found in Durham is The Fed, a laid-back West Main Street hang with (arguably) the best nachos in town, a wide and interesting collection of beers on tap, quality drinks, and reasonable prices. It's simple, and I like that. (Also worthy of a neighborhood-bar mention for the downtown kids: 106 Main.) —Jeffrey C. Billman

Best Neighborhood Bar in Orange / Chatham County
The Kraken

2823 N.C. Highway 54 West, Chapel Hill
Finalists: The Wooden Nickel Pub, Mystery Brewing Public House, Orange County Social Club

Best Neighborhood Bar in Wake County
Person Street Bar

805 North Person Street, Raleigh
Finalists: The Green Monkey, Crosstown Pub & Grill, William & Company

Best Open Mic Night in the Triangle
Carolina Waves Open Mic
Finalists: Blue Note Grill, Deep South Bar, City Soul (Noir)

Best Outdoor Music Venue in the Triangle
Red Hat Amphitheater

500 South McDowell Street, Raleigh
Finalists: North Carolina Museum of Art, Booth Amphitheatre, Walnut Creek, Duke Gardens

Best Place for Dancing in the Triangle
Ruby Deluxe

414 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh
Finalists: Coglin's Raleigh, Blue Note Grill, The Bar Durham

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Best Place for Dancing in the Triangle
Arcana's Super Secret Dance Parties
Indy: Sounds pretty elite right? But don't let the cheeky billing fool you; Arcana's recurring Third Friday dance party is defined by inclusion, not exclusion. Some dance parties are elevated by superior sound systems or a killer floorspace, but no one would claim Arcana has either of those. What it has is a diverse group of attendees united less by age or race or gender or musical style than a desire to get down hard in a close, dark, sweaty, loose, but safe and all-welcoming space. Deejays Rang and Forge keep their varied selections changing fast, both propelling and responding to the collective organism that forms on the floor. It's not really super secret, but you do have to look a little to find it, and the dedicated crowd that has is a reminder that the most important thing about a good dance party is always the people who make it up. —Brian Howe

Best Place for Indoor Fun in the Triangle
Museum of Life & Science

433 West Murray Avenue, Durham
Finalists: Tic Toc Escapes, Bull City Escape, Raleigh Room Escapes

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Best Place for Indoor Fun in the Triangle
Wheels Fun Park
Indy: An old-school roller rink complete with arcade and concession stand, DJ booth and disco ball, with mini-golf and go-karts outside? One that periodically transforms into a nocturnal haven for Disco Sweat, in which the fine folks from Nightlight in Chapel Hill unleash the friendly mayhem of their dance parties on wheels at Wheels (with beer)? Don't you love living in the Triangle? (Bonus rec: We all tend to do hot things when it's hot and cold things when it's cold, because humans are funny like that, but on days too blistering for the beach, don't forget, we've got an indoor ice-skating rink at the Orange County Sportsplex in Hillsborough.) —Brian Howe

Best Place to Get Specialty Cocktails in Durham County
Alley Twenty Six

320 East Chapel Hill Street, Durham
Finalists: Bar Virgile, The Durham Hotel, Arcana

Best Place to Get Specialty Cocktails in Orange / Chatham County
The Crunkleton

320 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill
Finalists: Lantern, LaPlace Louisiana Cookery, Belltree, BowBarr

Best Place to Get Specialty Cocktails in Wake County

213 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh
Finalists: Watts & Ward, Bittersweet, William & Company

Best Place to Hear Bluegrass in the Triangle
Wide Open BlueGrass

Finalists: Blue Note Grill, Pinecone, Community Church Concert Series

Best Place to Hear Blues in the Triangle
Blue Note Grill

709 Washington Street, Durham
Finalists: The Carolina Theatre, The Kraken, PineCone

Best Place to Hear Hip-Hop or Soul in the Triangle
Cat's Cradle

300 East Main Street, Carrboro
Finalists: Beyú Caffé, Pinhook, The DURM Cypher, The House

Best Place to Hear Jazz in the Triangle
Beyú Caffé

341 West Main Street, Durham
Finalists: C Grace, Sharp 9 Gallery, Mystery Brewing Public House, Watts & Ward

Best Place to Hear Noise /Electronic music in the Triangle
Nightlight Bar & Club

405 1/2 West Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill
Finalists: Pinhook, Kings/Neptunes, Ruby Deluxe, Wicked Witch

Best Place to Hear Rock'n'Roll in the Triangle
Cat's Cradle

300 East Main Street, Carrboro
Finalists: Slim's, The Kraken, Blue Note Grill

Best Place to Hear World or International Music in the Triangle
Duke Performances

2010 Campus Drive, Durham
Finalists: Motorco Music Hall / Parts & Labor, The ArtsCenter, The Fruit

Best Place to Shoot Pool in the Triangle
The Green Room

1108 Broad Street, Durham
Finalists: Circa, Player's Retreat, Zogs Pool, Sharkys

Best Strip Club in the Triangle
Capital Cabaret

6713 Mount Herman Road, Morrisville
Finalists: Pure Gold of Raleigh, Teaser's Mens Club, Diamond Girls

Best Theater Company in the Triangle
Raleigh Little Theatre

301 Pogue Street, Raleigh
Finalists: PlayMakers Repertory Company, Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern, NC Theatre

Best Theater to see an Indie Film in the Triangle
The Carolina Theatre

309 West Morgan Street, Durham
Finalists: Chelsea Theatre, Rialto, The Cary Theater, Silverspot, Alamo Drafthouse

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Best Theater to See an Indie Film in the Triangle
Alamo Drafthouse
Indy: Raleigh's new Alamo Drafthouse just opened at the end of April, but it's already earned its spot as one of our favorite area theaters. Sure, it offers a luxury viewing experience for fresh blockbusters and a full food-and-drink menu, but its Triangle-specific offerings make it extra special. The theater's Video Vortex is an almost-old-school video-rental emporium, where you can borrow a DVD or VHS for free. (No VHS player? No problem—Alamo will rent you one of those, too.) The Vortex's vast selection appeals to super-nerds, families, and casual movie fans alike. Special one-off screenings and its weekly Terror Tuesdays and Weird Wednesdays add extra (and often cheap) incentives to swing by, too. What could've been just another chain parachuting in has so far established itself as a friendly new hub for Triangle movie-lovers, which merits its own round of applause. —Allison Hussey

Best Theater Venue in the Triangle
Durham Performing Arts Center

123 Vivian Street, Durham
Finalists: The Carolina Theatre, Raleigh Little Theatre's Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theater, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts

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Best Theater Venue in the Triangle
The Fruit
Indy: We're fine on venues for big-ticket professional theater, from DPAC and Progress Energy Center to PlayMakers and Memorial Hall. But what about spaces scaled and priced for local, independent theater? Raleigh's got it the best, with Sonorous Road, NRACT, and others. But Chapel Hill's never had much, and Durham's in decline, losing Common Ground last year and Manbites Dog Theater soon. The most likely candidate to pick up the slack is still relatively new: The Fruit, and its twenty-two thousand square feet of "eclectic industrial textures," as the venue aptly describes itself. The cavernous, labyrinthine warehouse—which really did used to house fruit—is a grungy theatrical funhouse, full of endless possibilities for Durham's boundary-pushing artists, many of whom were kind of over black boxes anyway. The Fruit has already been used to wonderful effect by groups like Little Green Pig and DIDA, and you can expect many more to follow suit. It's as open-ended and fluctuating as the city surrounding it, and it has that most chimerical Durham dream: copious free parking on nights and weekends. —Brian Howe

Best Trivia Night in Durham County
Growler Grlz

4810 Hope Valley Road, #110, Durham
Finalists: Tomato Jake's Pizzeria, Pinhook, The House

Best Trivia Night in Orange / Chatham County
Mystery Brewing Public House

230 South Nash Street, Hillsborough
Finalists: Linda's Bar & Grill, The Northside District, Carolina Coffee Shop

Best Trivia Night in Wake County
Kings Dining and Entertainment

141 Park at North Hills Street, Raleigh
Finalists: Hammered Trivia, The Stag's Head, Krafty's Burgers and Brews
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