Nothing about this fall sports season looks “normal,” but here in Durham, we’re thankful that we HAVE SPORTS! While we are still under local Safer-at-Home ordinances, we wanted to put together your go-to guide for watching college football in a pandemic in Durham. The Bull City offers no shortage of places to experience the excitement of NCAA Football, from modern sports bars with televisions everywhere you look to more intimate local hangouts. If you’re more comfortable staying at home during this time, there are plenty of takeout and curbside options available, too.
While we’d love to be cheering on the Blue Devils from Wallace Wade Stadium, or the Eagles at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium, here we’ve outlined your guide to watching sports in Durham this year.
Where to Watch (Safely)
If you’re comfortable with dining in with social distancing or watching on a patio with fresh air here are the spots with go-to sports grub! We encourage you to check in advance each business’s website or social media accounts in advance to make sure you’re aware of what safety precautions are in place.
Located at 900 West Main Street downtown, Maverick’s Smokehouse and Taproom features multi-state BBQ, a full bar, and numerous TVs. There’s also as an outdoor patio (equipped with a second bar) and a projector they put to use for the big games, weather permitting. The patio is complete with fire pits so you can enjoy the outdoors even if there’s still a chill in the air. Mavericks is currently open for curbside, takeout, catering, and dine-in with social distancing.
Next door to Maverick’s you’ll find Devine’s Restaurant and Sports Bar, a local sports fan’s haven that’s been open since 1978. Find a menu full of all-American favorites, beers on draft, and a large outdoor patio. Devine’s is currently open for dine-in and takeout.
Across the street from Maverick’s and Devine’s you’ll find Clouds Brewing in Brightleaf Square. Most breweries are known for beer first and television selection second, but Clouds spacious new location is an exception as 33 HD screens line every wall and even the ceiling in some places. Throw in a full menu and craft brews and this is a great place to relax and catch the college football action. Along with all other restaurants in Durham, Clouds is operating at 50% capacity and has removed service at the bar and the self-pour beer wall.
Just up from Brightleaf Square along Main Street you’ll find Skewer’s Bar and Grill, which is open for dine-in with limited outdoor seating and takeout. Call ahead to have your wings ready for kickoff
Ranked by Complex magazine as one of the 25 best bars near a college campus, Dain’s Place, located in the Ninth Street district, is an obvious choice for Duke fans who are looking to join in a cheer with their dark blue brethren. Did we mention more than 80 American microbrews are available? Don’t sleep on the tots. Dain’s is open for dine-in and take out with social distancing. Pro tip: before or after be sure to pop into Flying Bull Brewery just a few storefronts away to try out Durham’s latest local brewery. Just around the corner you can also catch a game at The Tavern and spread out across their patio or 6,000 square foot space.
Tobacco Road Sports Café serves fresh, local food surrounded by a wall of TVs – all in a location overlooking the Durham Bulls Athletic Park across from the American Tobacco Campus. You’ll find memorabilia supporting Atlantic Coast Conference teams as well as fans heavily representing the teams in blue. Tobacco Road is open for dine-in and takeout with a patio made for social distanced football viewing!
Outside of downtown, Bralie’s Sports Bar and Grill have been a longtime local favorite with two locations. Fill up on fresh wings, big burgers, Philly cheesesteaks while catching a game or two.
Not sure if your favorite spot in Durham is open for dine-in service yet? Check out Discover Durham’s helpful webpage where you can search by specific restaurant or sort by restaurants offering dine-in, takeout, or curbside delivery.
Good Eats for the Stay-at-Home Fan
We get it – you might not be ready yet to interact in person yet with others, as much as you want to gather in support of your favorite team. For those of you looking to win the day at home while still supporting local restaurants, here are a few great takeout options.
No football game is complete without wings and nowhere knows wings better than Heavenly Buffaloes. Heavenly Buffaloes is the recipient of the Indy Week’s Best of the Triangle award for Best Wings in Durham County consecutively from 2015-2020 and is open for takeout.
Maybe whole hog barbecue is more of your thing. You can order online from Picnic, a north Durham staple nationally renowned for its hand-pulled ‘que. The Original Q Shack, touted for offering “BBQ tender as a mother’s love,” also offers some stellar special sides, like roasted jalapeno and blue cheese grits. Craving ribs? The Blue Note Grill’s just so happen to fall off the bone and are available to order online.
Where to Snag Your Gear
No matter where you find and devour your gameday food, you better be donning your Duke blue to cheer on the Blue Devils! Here are spots known to have Duke gear for the whole family.
As the largest retail store on campus, the Duke University store offers everything a new or seasoned Duke fan could need for the upcoming football season.
Looking for Durham specific gear for any occasion? Stop by women-owned Hometown Apparel on Ninth Street near Dain’s Place and other local favorites. Their apparel is screen printed in Durham, NC with pieces meant to bring joy to the Durham community.
Yes, sports will look different this year but there will still be college athletes giving their all on the gridiron. We’ll still be the fans cheering, coaching and yelling from the couch, or bench or patio. This season is all about opportunity! The opportunity to watch and cheer from anywhere! Convert that neighbor to the right color blue with your raucous back porch cheering or invite a friend over for social distanced party subs. Tag us in your photos for us to see you showing love and for a chance to be featured across our accounts.
“Duke kicks off its 108th home season of football when it welcomes Boston College on Saturday. Under head coach David Cutcliffe, Duke is 10-2 in home openers ”