LGBTQIA-Owned & Operated Businesses in Durham
Support these local LGBTQIA-owned businesses this month and the other eleven months of the year, too.
Designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978, the original Pride flag incorporated eight different colors to represent eight different aspects of the queer community. While the colors of the flag changed over time to incorporate more groups and to recognize the contributions of LGBTQIA people of color, the meaning of the rainbow flag is the same — it's a symbol of diversity, identity, and support for the LGBTQIA community. In Durham, we proudly wave and display our rainbow flags, cherish our queer community, and support our queer-owned businesses.
Our LGBTQIA-owned and operated businesses contribute something magical to our city, and we are excited to follow the magic and support them in real, tangible ways this month — and the other eleven months of the year, too. From hand-crafted meads with seasonal fruits to hand-crafted bouquets, Durham's queer community does it all. With input from our Instagram followers, here's a list of some favorite local LGBTQIA-owned businesses in Durham for you to visit.
If you know of an awesome LGBTQIA-owned business that should be included, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arcana Bar & Lounge
This underground bar in downtown Durham supports local artists and musicians. Join them for cocktails, live performances, and frequent tarot readings. Not only do they offer delicious wines, craft beers, and modern cocktails, but they highlight the arcana (mysteries) of herbalism with a drink menu that uses herbs and an extensive collection of liqueurs.
Beer Tooth Taproom
Named after a song by Shelby Merchant, The Beer Tooth Taproom is a newly opened taproom in South Durham. They hope to "convert everyday beer drinkers into well-informed enthusiastic beer consumers through education and sensory experiences." With 36 taps of rotating craft beverages, they have something to quench every adult's thirst.
Everlou Coffee Co.
Relatively new to Durham's bustling coffee scene, Everlou has quickly become a safe space for all and a community hub. The oat milk-based shop on Mangum St. frequently hosts pop-ups for smaller, independently owned businesses and fundraisers for local causes. Check out their seasonal menus — with everything from lemon crisp lattes and sparking strawberry acai lemonade to pumpkin pie and salted maple lattes — and follow their Instagram account to know which flavors are on the latest menu.
Flowers by Gary
Owned by Gary and Michael Corsi-O'Conner, Flowers by Gary proudly serves the Durham area as award-winning, certified professional floral designers. For over 30 years, they have been committed to offering the finest custom-designed arrangements and gifts and emphasize that they are proud to serve as wedding florists "no matter who you are, or whom you love."
Craving delicious, Southern-inspired food? Head to an old gas station turned hip Southern eatery on Chapel Hill St. for some grub. With plenty of outdoor seating and a menu full of delicious options, GRUB Durham aims to cultivate community through food. They also love parties — their space is the perfect place to host private events in Durham. GRUB's sister restaurants under the same ownership group include Pipers in the Park and Nosh.
For an experience of nature unlike any other, stop by Honeygirl Meadery for hand-crafted meads, wines made with honey, and ferment with added fruits, botanicals, and flowers. Looking for a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with friends? Visit their tasting room with expanded outdoor seating to enjoy a mead by the glass or a mead flight. All you mead is love!
Indulge Catering, LLC
Executive Chef Queen-Precious Jewel and Sous Chef Jay from Indulge Catering, LLC are taking healthy meal-making to a whole new level with their passion for cooking, love for good food, and signature Indulgent Essential Spices. Together, as business partners and a married couple, they have built a highly sought-after catering business by creating healthy and flavorful dishes – all while using fresh ingredients from local vendors.
The Pinhook is an LGBTQIA-friendly and queer-owned bar and venue for music and creative events located in the heart of downtown Durham. They are "a safer space for queer and otherwise marginalized folks to express themselves and feel comfortable doing so." The House of Coxx never disappoints with drag performances, among many other affirming events held within the space on Main Street.
When the pandemic and marital separation afforded her time for introspection, Michelle Vanderwalker, co-owner of Queeny's, began to acknowledge her bisexuality more directly, a shift that impacted the way she designed Queeny’s. Not only is the small bookshop in the back of the bar named “Rubyfruit” after the 1973 lesbian coming-of-age novel Rubyfruit Jungle and stocked the shelves with inclusive literature, but she also branded Queeny’s merchandise with rainbow-hued logos.
Rofhiwa Book Café
With a special focus on Black culture and literature, this newly opened café hopes to enhance the sense of community and Black excellence that has long existed in the East Durham area. Stop by their new space for good conversation, books by Black writers from across the globe, and a wide selection of coffee brews.