American Tobacco Campus: In the Spirit of 2023

The American Tobacco Campus experienced a year of growth and reconnection in 2023, with a few unexpected surprises. We were visited by a beaver nicknamed ‘Barry.’ We made an appearance on Saturday Night Live with Burt’s Bees. And, we found ourselves in the New York Times’ latest feature on Durham.

You’ll find all the highlights here in our Annual Report.

On the culinary front, the additions of Five Star, Ekhaya, Seraphine, and The Waiting Room brought new flavors to campus and took dinner and drinks to another level. Meanwhile, PRESS, Parker & Otis, Boricua Soul, and Ekhaya made ATC a brunch hotspot. New businesses brought more workers to campus with BlueMatrix expanding in the Power Plant, and the Chamber Orchestra of Durham moving to the Washington Building. The campus vibrated with energy from Cristo Rey, DurhamTech students, and the opening of Kate’s Korner, ATC’s first childcare center.

The YMCA took the lead on campus wellness, offering free classes and organizing community events like the Volunteer Challenge and Wiffle Ball Tournament. Social and cultural events brought us together: Beats N Bars Festival, Duke Arts music series, Durham Night Market, and CoCo Drip Market, to name a few. Fans came out in droves from Durham Bulls games and DPAC performances, plus Bull City Race Fest and the inspiring BARRIER BREAKERS history exhibit. The Fourth of July Celebration at DBAP drew our biggest crowd yet and the 19th Annual Tower Lighting was a close second.

2023, what a year! And there are more good times ahead as the American Tobacco Campus celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2024. Stay tuned for all things #ATC20Years, and thank you for being a part of our story.

Read our annual report here.

Maker of Durham’s award-winning Honeygirl Mead, will open tasting room in early 2024

The American Tobacco Campus today announced that Ment Beverage Co., the celebrated creator of Honeygirl Mead, will expand its presence with a new location at the American Tobacco Campus in 2024.

Ment Beverage Co. is gearing up to unveil Honeygirl Meadery at 312 Blackwell St. Construction is underway for the new 3,000 square foot tasting room and production across from the Durham Performing Arts Center. Once in the new location, Ment Beverage Co. will expand its product offerings to include mead, cider, locally brewed beer, distilled spirits and nonalcoholic sparkling beverages. Customers will be able to enjoy beverages on site and to stroll around the grounds as part of the Bullpen social district. Ment will also have products available for takeaway.

The new space, designed by architect Dan Huffman of Huffman Architecture and David Sears and Mark Valand of IS Design, will feature two bars, comfortable indoor seating and outdoor patio space. Robert Hoyt, vice president at York Properties, represented Ment Beverage in the negotiation of the lease.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ment Beverage Co. and Honeygirl Meadery to ATC. They are an incredible, local company with a top-notch product.,” said Adam Klein, Director of the American Tobacco Campus. “We are committed to showcasing the best of Durham. There’s a spirit and energy to this brand that we really appreciate and that our campus community is going to love”

Ment Beverage Co. owner Robert Battle said moving the campus was an easy choice given the incredible support and community that already existed. “We can’t wait to be part of this space and introduce more people to our products, made right here and sourced from North Carolina ingredients. Our goal is to continue the high-quality Honeygirl mead and offer new, exciting beverage options for our current and future customers.”

To get a taste of Honeygirl mead, visit the Ment Beverage Co. pop-up at the Tower Lighting Ceremony from 6 pm to 8 pm on November 29, 2023.

More information HERE.

Louisiana-inspired kitchen and bar

Now Open!

Seraphine is a Louisiana-inspired kitchen and bar, offering an updated interpretation of traditional classic dishes and cocktails in a lively and elegant atmosphere. ATC’s second restaurant by Brad and Graham Weddington of NanaSteak, Seraphine is an instant hot spot for outdoor dining with patio seating and its own water fountain. Reserve a table or walk right in for cajun staples like gumbo, shrimp and grits, beignets and a top notch bar program. 

Seraphine is located at 324 Blackwell Street Suite 402 in the Washington Building, Bay 4. Directly adjacent to the South Parking Deck, next door to Parker & Otis. 

For menu and reservations, click HERE.

ATC and Crayons2Calculators Fill that Bus!

American Tobacco Campus (ATC) and Crayons2Calculators came together in support of Durham Public Schools with The Fill that Bus! Supply Drive. 

This drive is about more than school supplies–it’s about giving our teachers the materials they need to succeed in the 2023-2024 school year. Durham Public School teachers play a very important role in our growing city, shaping young minds and creating brighter futures. 

ATC rallied to Fill that Bus! collecting two full boxes of supplies and raising over $2500 online, with Pallet Alliance and Johnson Groninger leading the charge. Small acts can make a big difference. Thank you to everyone who contributed. 

We are proud of our community’s support for Durham Public Schools, and grateful to Crayons2Calculators for their leadership. Together, we’re making Durham into a better place to learn, work, and live – a place where every student has a chance to shine.

Campus Volunteer Challenge–the results are in!

AMERICAN TOBACCO and the YMCA partnered for the first-ever Campus Volunteer Challenge. In just four weeks, volunteers from various campus companies dedicated a remarkable 185.5 hours of their time to benefit 15 local nonprofits.

The Challenge brought together Clorox, ATC Management, Beghou Consulting, CMG Consulting, CEP Compression, McKinney, Three Oaks, and YMCA in a friendly competition. They worked towards supporting nonprofits that serve our local community, including Durham Rescue Mission, Note in the Pocket, Interfaith Food Shuttle, Eno River Association, NCFC Youth, Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC, Alston Ridge Elementary School, Dress for Success, Urban Ministries, Pauli Murray Center, Diaper Bank, Porch – Durham, Miracle League of the Triangle, and Fresh Start Durham.

We are proud to recognize Clorox as the winner of our inaugural Campus Volunteer Challenge. Clorox led the way with the highest overall volunteer hours and engagement per employee. We applaud their commitment to community service, and appreciate the high standard Clorox sets for our next competition.

Thanks to the incredible generosity and enthusiasm of the campus community and The YMCA, the Campus Volunteer Challenge will become an annual event. Next year, it will run for two months. Through collective action and the power of giving, we are making Durham an even better place to live, work, and play.

Now Open! Ekhaya

Zweli’s Ekhaya is now open! From the celebrated Triangle chef Zweli Williams, Ekhaya which means “home” in Zulu or Ndebele, brings bold Bantu Fusion tapas to the American Tobacco Campus. This eagerly-awaited elevated dining experience serves up the bold flavors of South Africa in a warm atmosphere. Make your reservation, make yourself at home.

Building Location: Crowe Lobby/The Patio

Address: 406 Blackwell Street, Suite 100, Durham, NC 27701

For menu and reservations, click HERE

Now Open! The Waiting Room

The wait is over. The buzzy new destination craft cocktail bar is open in the American Tobacco Campus at 300 Blackwell St…Owners and operators, Nick Singh and Buddy Maynard dreamed up The Waiting Room as a go to spot to hang out while waiting for a table at any one of downtown Durham’s hot local restaurants.

The community spirit of The Waiting Room shines through, as they welcome you for any part of night out, a nod to all the wait-worthy local businesses in Durham

Located in downtown Durham’s oldest commercial building, guests will be welcomed by brick walls, a hand-built bar and cozy, bright nooks to drink, nosh and conversate. The Waiting Room is all classic vibes modernized in a warm, inclusive space.

And then, of course, there are the cocktails. Did we bury the lead? The Waiting Room aims to flip the script on pairing drinks with food, instead crafting a thoughtful menu of small plates to pair with their expansive, expressive and impressive cocktail offerings. Featuring nearly 200 selections of liquor, including those from local distillers, their cocktail menu features signature and classic drinks –an Old Bull or an Old Fashioned– and knowledgeable and attentive bartenders who will help you find just the right sip for your mood. Alcohol free? The Waiting Room also features a focused and delicious selection of creative NA options.

To compliment your cocktail or tide you over until dinner, The Waiting Room has a thoughtfully curated menu of small plates and desserts to hit the spot. From charcuterie to caviar deviled eggs to sticky date pudding and macarons, you’ll find the perfect bite to start or end your evening.

Whether you are waiting for your show, game or table, or if The Waiting Room is your main event, don’t delay (imagine if we said “wait” again) in finding drinks, food and community at this new American Tobacco Campus destination in the heart of Downtown Durham. 

Building Location: In the Old Bull Building at the corner of Pettigrew and Blackwell Street

Address: 300 Blackwell Street, Suite 100, Durham, NC 27701

American Tobacco Tenant NET Power Goes Public at $1.5B Valuation

ATC tenant NET Power’s hard work and dedication are paying off as the energy sector disruptor went public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: NPWR) at a $1.5 billion valuation. 

Representative of the best of Bullspeed innovation, NET Power’s “proven technology generates near zero-emissions utility-scale power, delivering the world’s first scalable solution that achieves the energy trifecta: clean, reliable, low-cost power.”

A true game changer that could lead to a greener energy future, NET Power has long incubated its technology in the Crowe Building before reaching this milestone of any successful business. 

In a press release announcing the public offering, incoming CEO Danny Rice said, “Today, around 60% of global power generation comes from coal and natural gas-fired power plants that produce reliable and low-cost power. However, these plants collectively emit nearly 14 billion tonnes of CO2 per year, accounting for approximately 37% of total global emissions. By replacing these plants with NET Power’s proven technology, we can eliminate nearly 100% of these emissions while providing reliable and low-cost power that people deserve. I’m excited to help NET Power deliver the energy trifecta and become the global leader in clean power generation.”

You can find out more about NET Power and its technology HERE.

Kate’s Korner to open in Winter 2023

Kate’s Korner provides licensed full-day childcare and wrap-around services for school-age students that features an innovation lab that includes a maker space. “The Durham community has expressed the need for more convenient and dependable childcare solutions,” says Goodwin.  “Kate’s Korner is answering that call with our unique approach that creates a just and equitable experience for our children, their families and our educators.”

Kate’s Korner is an early learning/childcare center and after-school program for children ages six-weeks through 12 years old. Launched by Kezia “Kate” Goodwin brings an essential service to the working families in Downtown Durham, many of whom have been forced to find care for their children outside of the city center leading to longer commutes and reduced productivity.

QueenBurger – Now Open!

QueenBurger generated a cult following for its progressive pop-up burger bar when it opened in July 2020 as a pandemic “pivot” to the temporarily closed Kingfisher Cocktail Bar. INDY WEEK recognized QueenBurger as the “Best New Restaurant” in Durham, and EATER heralded it a “favorite”.

At ATC, QueenBurger fans will recognize their signature concise menu of double-patty “smash burgers” – made of local grass-fed Baldwin Beef, griddled onions, NC Hoop Cheddar Cheese, Special Sauce, and pickles, as well as the Carolina Burger with slaw and the sought-after beet-rich Veggie and Vegan burgers – all seared to perfection on a flattop grill, visible to guests. Shoestring fries – plain and “hot” – will be new to the line-up. Finish with artisan ice cream sandwiches from Rose’s Noodles, Dumplings, and Sweets.

Pair it all with a drink from nationally renowned mixologist and co-owner Sean Umstead who has designed a selection of original cocktails to complement the burger menu.

Co-owner Michelle Vanderwalker – the designer behind the QueenBurger and the duo’s other forward-looking brands – is responsible for the “all are welcome” aesthetic in the 1849-square-foot space with a 15-foot cocktail bar and a mix of high and low tables and booths. 

Fans of the original QueenBurger popup will recognize the colorful murals. In Spring 2023, the front street-facing floor-to-ceiling windows will be converted into foldable windows to recreate the open-air setting evocative of the initial pop-up, decked with astroturf and picnic tables. 

QueenBurger is located at 359 Blackwell St. in Diamond View III (directly adjacent to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park). Follow @EatQueenBurger and visit from 11am-8pm Monday through Saturday.