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The Blue Note Grill


709 Washington St
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: (919) 401-1979
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Google Reviews

Photo of T. Baker T. Baker
Jun 16, 2019 4

Food was pretty good. Really enjoyed the burgers and fried pickles. Loved the live music.

Photo of Roger Underhill Roger Underhill
Jun 29, 2019 5

A listening room with space for dancing and good drinks. Does it get any better? Don't think so. We had a blast and will be back? Gotta try the food you know?

Photo of Nicolle Tulve Nicolle Tulve
Jun 23, 2019 5

Food was excellent. I had the ribs. Just falling off the bone awesome! And the fried okra was the best I've had in a while. The girls and I went to hear The James Armstrong Band. Great jazz. Quite a wonderful entertainer. Crowd loved him. And don't forget about the drinks. Well made. Our waitress did a great job. Everything about this place was spectacular! Highly recommend for a night out.

Photo of Timothy Timothy
Mar 21, 2019 5

Blue Note is a cool place to go with friends. I feel like people tend to forget about it, but it is good! Their food never fails. Plus, at night they have live music/bands. A cool chill place to check out.

Photo of Dale Wahl Dale Wahl
Jun 15, 2019 5

Great music (Mel Melton and the Wicked Mojos). Delicious BBQ. Loved the ribs. Bit of an older, retiree crowd that night but everyone was having fun, dancing, and super friendly.

Photo of michal Jackson michal Jackson
Apr 14, 2019 5

Great food. Nice atmosphere. Family friendly. My first time going since they moved from my neighborhood a few years ago. Can't wait to again.

Photo of Wayne Rogers Wayne Rogers
May 3, 2019 5

Most excellent place. Great tunes by Wishbone Ash. Great waitress, excellent food. Very accommodating service! Can't say enough. The manager Bill very nice.

Photo of Kristina Keeter Kristina Keeter
May 21, 2019 5

This place is always amazing. Sorry for the half-eaten poor lighting photo, but the 1/2 rack of ribs + two sides plate is the best thing to get here! It comes with hush puppies and my favorite sides are the sweet potato waffle fries (which come with a DELICIOUS cinnamon butter to dip them in), Mac & cheese, and collards. Another great entree choice is the “cow jumped over the moon burger,” and the “redneck cheese fries” are a great (and HUGE) appetizer to share if you have more than a couple people.

Photo of Bob Johnson Bob Johnson
Apr 13, 2022 5

I've never eaten in the restaurant. But the bar/performance space is fantastic. Bill has an eclectic taste in live music, and it's always good. The bar is well stocked, and well staffed, and the food they offer is fantastic. Pick a night with some good live music, arrive a little early, order the chips with pimento cheese dip, and the deviled eggs, and your favorite cocktail - you will thank me later.

Photo of Aimee McNally Aimee McNally
Mar 9, 2022 4

We saw a couple of blues bands here, had dinner, and danced. While the dance floor was cement, it was acceptable since there aren't many places with live music and dancing right now. Our server, Kathy, was excellent and very friendly. The black bean burger and fried pickles with ranch were delicious. We had the buffalo cauliflower hoagie (DELICIOUS!) and The Nosh (celery stuffed with pimento cheese is a local delicacy). Our meal was rounded out with a refreshing Blue Note cocktail. Additionally, we tried a whiskey lemonade and a few local beers. There was one band we heard whose sound was unnecessarily and uncomfortably loud, so you might want to bring earplugs just in case.

Photo of Sheronda Haskins-Harris Sheronda Haskins-Harris
Jan 20, 2022 5

It was an amazing experience! Never a dull moment, excellent service, delicious food and tasty drinks at reasonable prices. The staff are all professional and friendly.

Photo of Vicky Hernandez Vicky Hernandez
Jan 20, 2022 5

Super great restaurant, this was my first night here. I take my food and customer service very serious and let me tell you this place really blew my mind, the customer service here came naturally you can tell they care about their customers. Super great music , great vibe and just all around friendly, if you’re looking for a great place to unwind this is it. We had oz and he was very nice

Photo of Kristina Keeter Kristina Keeter
Nov 13, 2021 5

This place is always amazing. Sorry for the half-eaten poor lighting photo, but the 1/2 rack of ribs + two sides plate is the best! It comes with hush puppies and my favorite sides are the sweet potato waffle fries (which come with a DELICIOUS cinnamon butter to dip them in), Mac & cheese, and collards. Other great entree choices are the cow jumped over the moon burger & the chicken quesadilla. Also, the “redneck cheese fries” are a great (and HUGE) appetizer to share if you have more than a couple people.

Photo of Scott Steinhart Scott Steinhart
Oct 6, 2021 5

I had already posted a review, however, something happened and it's no longer here, so this is round 2. The Blue Note Grill was a great experience. We have BBQ place back in New York, however they have nothing on The Blue Note. The chili is an absolute must have. The ribs... I can honestly say, the best I've ever had. Tender meat, falling off the bone... Yes, please. Our server, Kirsten was an absolute ace! She was very friendly and attentive and went out of her way to make sure we were having a good experience. Oh, and the music... Open mike with talented performers... Amazing feel-good music... People were dancing, laughing, and just having a great time! This is now a must visit place for me when I return to Durham. So, thank you Blue Note Grill... Thank you for great food, friendly staff, and making this northerner feel at home!

Photo of act19cja act19cja
Dec 10, 2021 5

Food was excellent I had the half of rack ribs, which just fell of the bone, the baked beans were delicious, and the coleslaw. Was delicious as well. The hush puppies with the honey butter or sweet spread that they had was scrumptious. The service was good and attentive, and pleasant. And the red oak amber beer was just the type of amber beer that I like. I would definitely visit again.

Photo of Foodie Run Foodie Run
Nov 6, 2021 5

I love this place food. The variety is different and worth trying. The Mac n chz is made the right way it should unlike some restaurants that think they can. Also the Custer service I'd dynamite I love it. Thanks blue note.

Photo of Echelon 1984 Echelon 1984
Sep 11, 2021 5

We just moved into the area and got to have brunch here. Super excited to come participate in the blues jam. Owner and server were very friendly and welcoming.

Photo of Harmonica Bruce Harmonica Bruce
Aug 17, 2021 3

My waitress dinged me 20% on my bill for bad service (see picture I posted). Not very cheap, but pretty good food and good musicians. Servers need better training.

Photo of Kimberly Graham Kimberly Graham
Aug 14, 2021 5

Everything was amazing! Liz was our waitress and she was so friendly! She did a great job. We got several different food items, definitely recommend the fried pickles. Drinks were phenomenal, would recommend the blue note cosmo.

Photo of Cyndi Dallura Cyndi Dallura
Jul 20, 2021 4

Great band playing 80's 70's music. Food was good, service staff was slammed as well as two bartenders. Had some new people working the door which turned people away by telling them there's a wait of hour?! Wait why? There's tables outside, inside, some people just wanted to come in for beer,...20 minutes you said? Nahhh...I can be home in that amount of time and food. Use to be running better.

Photo of Saundra DeGeneste Saundra DeGeneste
Jul 14, 2021 5

Love everything about the Blue Note! Their ribs are the best! Very meaty and tender. Their cocktails and side dishes are also good. Live music is the best!!! Wait staff is friendly and accommodating

Photo of Ed H Ed H
Jun 19, 2021 5

Love the food and I will return for the entertainment. This place has been on my list of places to try for almost a year. I was not disappointed. The ribs were delicious and fell off the bone, well sauced and the options for sides was extensive and delicious.

Jun 17, 2021 4

Dont eat a lot of red meat ,pork. Did try some shrimp that was good. The black beans left me disappointed. Taste was bland. Wanted to sell them my recipe! Great musical environment with blues on Tuesdays and open mic on Wednesdays. Good hangout spot.

Photo of Brian Brian
Jun 13, 2021 5

Ordered delivery from here and was absolutely blown away! Ribs were absolutely fall-off-the-bone tender, beautifully sauced, and absolutely delicious. Pulled pork was juicy and flavorful. My only gripe would be that I would have wanted a bit more pulled pork for the price point, but it was so tasty I hesitate to really complain about it. The hushpuppies were a m a z i n g and I'm glad I ordered plenty of them, because my wife and I would have had to fight over each one. The coleslaw was light delicious, and the fried okra was perfect as well. All-in-all a great meal and I highly recommend this place!

Photo of Dan D Dan D
May 25, 2021 5

Delicious BBQ spot. Not busy for a weekday lunch. Great music playing and lots of room for live music when the time starts back up

Photo of Lisa Foley Lisa Foley
May 17, 2021 5

Such a good environment! Was low key and chill, but still fun! Lively bluesy music and great band! Will definitely be coming back!

Photo of Michael DePalma Michael DePalma
Apr 14, 2021 5

My wife and I had an excellent time at this spot! The food was delicious, and the service was even better. My wife is wheelchair bound so things can be a little challenging at times. Our server (Grayson) went above and beyond. She's the reason we'll be back whenever we're in town.

Photo of Tracy Micheal Tracy Micheal
Apr 17, 2021 5

This is one of the best places to go for a great tasting meal with wide variety and on Wednesday night they even have an open mic with house band. Now that entertainment. I love this place.

Photo of Dick Turnipseed Dick Turnipseed
Mar 31, 2021 5

Really enjoyed the experience at this establishment. Food was wonderful and the music was a real plus. Keep up the great work folks.

Photo of Matthew Hall Matthew Hall
Mar 11, 2021 4

Good good. I think Covid made the atmosphere funky. I will definitely try it again when the world opens up.

Photo of Emily Margolis Emily Margolis
Mar 2, 2021 5

I love open mic night on Tuesdays. It's great to see live music again!

Photo of LuAnn Polk LuAnn Polk
Feb 23, 2021 5

Great food, great music, lots of different top shelf liquors. Their stew and pulled chicken sandwiches are terrific.

Photo of Susan Susan
Feb 24, 2021 5

Amazing talent on a Tuesday night! Loved it! BBQ was really good too! Will definitely be back!

Photo of Ahmed Partee Ahmed Partee
Jan 4, 2021 5

Great. The waitress Kate is as good as the place and she was very welcoming and hospitable. Office loved the ribs.

Photo of Phillip Burton Phillip Burton
Jan 10, 2021 5

The Red Knights had our late Christmas party there last night. Service and food was great. The full rack of ribs were awesome!!

Photo of isaiah Cooper isaiah Cooper
Dec 16, 2020 3

On a Friday night it has the atmosphere of a dinner party, which is pretty unique, but the food while good, is not as good as comparably priced places.

Photo of B. Bowen B. Bowen
Nov 7, 2020 5

Definitely had a great time with some enjoyable live music. They did a great job working to keep everyone socially distanced and the staff was hustling and the food was delicious. I would highly recommend the ribs and the chili. Everything we ate was very flavorful and the portions were hearty. You will not come away hungry!!

Photo of Holly Sullenger Holly Sullenger
Feb 16, 2020 5

Amazing music and fantastic food. We have seen Jo Gore twice and loved each performance. Dinner and drinks were great each time.

Photo of Julia's art Julia's art
Sep 26, 2020 5

Great food, great music and service I am definitely coming back...

Photo of Zach Brown Zach Brown
Sep 27, 2020 5

We had our first night out in months at the Blue Note. The food was terrific, sure and the band was excellent but this night, none of that was really the point. The proprietors were consciencious enough to put on a great evening and put everyone at ease. Plenty of distance, plenty of masks, all without feeling overwhelming. If they can throw this kind of party during a pandemic, I'm sure they be a blast when all this is over.

Photo of G Denis G Denis
Sep 5, 2020 5

Great food, great vibe, great staff and definitely highly recommended.

Photo of Lynne Gensor Lynne Gensor
Sep 10, 2020 5

A long-time favorite place of mine, The Blue Note Grill remains great despite Covid restrictions. Everyone stays masked, the seating is physically distanced and the ribs remain the best in Durham.

Photo of bill rowland bill rowland
Sep 21, 2020 5

Times are tough for a lot of small businesses around Durham, and the Blue Note Grill is no exception. If you're looking for a good hamburger, pulled pork or ribs, please give them a try. Oh, and try their hush puppies, they are delicious!

Photo of Ciro Mcalpine Ciro Mcalpine
Sep 4, 2020 5

Went on a Wednesday night for Brett Chambers Open Mic - realistically, I didn't expect anything too special. I was very pleasantly surprised. It was fun, there was plenty of good soul and R/B music, very friendly people a mix of ages and races and excellent food.

Photo of Austin Alwood Austin Alwood
Sep 6, 2020 5

Fantastic service and food, as always. The aroma of the barbecue smoking as we walked up was mouth watering. And the Q, collards and lightly battered fried okra were delicious.

Photo of Naveed iftikhar Naveed iftikhar
Jul 15, 2020 4

Lunch outside during Covid times was lovely and socially distant. Nice food and service.

Photo of Deidre Jones Deidre Jones
Jun 22, 2020 5

I love their bread pudding. Their food is good too but I really just keep coming back for the bread pudding!

Photo of Marcia Holloway Marcia Holloway
Jun 18, 2019 4

I decided to take my fiancé here for his birthday since he loves ribs. I was trying to find a place we had never been to before, so I found this place thanks to Google. The food was really good. Their ribs literally fall off the bone & had a good smokey flavor. The green beans & baked beans were delicious. We also ordered the pickle fries...which I absolutely loved, they were just right & I like how they were actually shaped like fries. For dessert we had the bread pudding shooter, which was sooo good & the perfect portion for our almost full tummies. There are other things I want to try from their menu, so I'll definitely go back. I only deducted a star because the mixed drinks & cole slaw were not too pleasing to our taste buds. Service was great as well.

Photo of Cynthia Mark Cynthia Mark
Jun 20, 2020 5

I've been ordering from local restaurants to help help where I can. Blue Note Grill was the BEST food I have had in months. Hot , tasty and generous!! Please eat here!!

Photo of Caroline Smith Caroline Smith
Jun 14, 2020 5

Great service and they take special care to be covid-safe. We really appreciated that!

Photo of Peter Larsen Peter Larsen
Mar 12, 2020 4

The Blue Note is awesome. Some of the best open mics I've attended have been here. The food is surprisingly good. Crowds of all ages come to dance and have a good time

Photo of Brian Field Brian Field
Feb 16, 2020 5

My first time there and I definitely will be going back. The food is awesome...at least the BBQ I had. The service was excellent. That is becoming a rare occurrence. I went to hear some music and the stage is just right for this place. Not to loud, at least the act I saw. I look forward to seeing my favorite Blues Artist there...All around great place for music and good Q. Check 'em out. Be sure to check their website for upcoming acts. I love this place!

Photo of Rich Haag Rich Haag
Jan 22, 2020 5

A great BBQ joint. I had the pulled pork plate and daughter had the sides plate. The hushpuppies are fabulous. On keto so I couldn't have all they gave me and it was upsetting. I had one and absolutely loved it. Pork was tender and sides were well made. Recommend the close slaw and beans with bacon. Side salad looked very fresh and delicious. Overall a great place. We were lucky enough to be there for a bluegrass jamboree which added to the comfortable atmosphere. If that's a regular event, go when they have it. The music made the meal so much better.

Photo of Brandi Ricci Brandi Ricci
Feb 9, 2020 4

Love the place but too many people during events; can't move or breathe without bumping into someone. Food is always great, music is too. Dogs are allowed outside. I'm a repeat customer

Photo of James Parker James Parker
Feb 14, 2020 5

Visited for lunch on a Wednesday and got the BBQ plate with collards and okra for $9. Food was straightforward but tasty and was a great portion and price for lunch. The music selection was great and made me want to come back on a weekend to see a live band.

Photo of Jml nc Jml nc
Jan 20, 2020 5

I immensely enjoyed The Blue Note Grill last evening! My fave blue grass band, Doc Branch, was headlining from 5pm-7pm. They never disappoint! My friends and I reveled in the food.... Blue Note's fall-off-the-bone ribs are to due for, trust me!

Photo of Brian Burnett Brian Burnett
Jan 7, 2020 5

My wife luckily found this spot . We wanted to go see some live music and have dinner and this was a great option. The food was fantastic , the redneck cheese fries are a must and the sweet tea is good as well. A good family spot also.

Photo of Carl Carl
Jan 6, 2020 3

Nice atmosphere, good location, average food.. I've had much better BBQ than what I had here. Bartender was great, all the people were very friendly. Nice beer list. I wold not go again for the food

Photo of Jim Garrett Jim Garrett
Dec 30, 2019 4

It was a clean nice place. I had BBQ and the flavor was not what i was used to. I like the vinegar flavor of NC-BBQ, this had a watered down taste.

Photo of Shannon Brooks Shannon Brooks
Dec 8, 2019 4

Had a pretty good experience here during a work lunch. Could have got some more food for the price but everything tasted good.

Photo of Teresa  Cousins Teresa Cousins
Dec 4, 2019 4

Plenty of parking, nice rustic environment, affordable, best smoked pulled chicken nachos I’ve ever had! I would give 5 stars if they had 1/2 servings. I hate to waste food and dont like to take home leftovers

Photo of Felicia Cooper Felicia Cooper
Dec 5, 2019 5

Had a blast here for my friend's birthday dinner on Wednesday night. The music, the food, the drinks, the atmosphere, the service was Awesome and I couldn't asked for a better time. I love that they allow local Artists to come on stage and perform. I will be coming back with my hubby.

Photo of Denise Williams Denise Williams
Nov 26, 2019 5

This was my first time at the Blue Note Grill and it will NOT be the last. The Redneck Fries with Bacon was spectacular! The BBQ pulled pork was really good as well. Especially with the Vinegar based sauce. I definitely will recommend this restaurant to anyone.

Photo of Scott Stahl Scott Stahl
Nov 7, 2019 5

The ribs were great and the atmosphere was homey. The restrooms were extremely clean and well-maintained. With excellent towel and soap dispensers. Among the nicest I've seen for laid-back bar and Grill

Photo of Marko Marisic Marko Marisic
Aug 31, 2019 5

One of the best venues for live music in the triangle. The atmosphere is essential to the soul of downtown Durham. The barbecue is excellent. I love the Blue Note and highly recommend it.

Photo of Richard Ambrose Richard Ambrose
Oct 5, 2019 3

Service was outstanding.. food was not to my taste. Nice place to visit once.

Photo of Grace Lutter Grace Lutter
Sep 12, 2019 5

Service was excellent, as well as the food. I had the black bean nachos, and they came with the works. It was topped with cheese and a spicy ranch sauce. I also had the fried avocado, which were amazing as well.

Photo of Stephen Clark Stephen Clark
Jul 20, 2019 5

I was able to have my post wedding party here. They let me use the private room for our family and provided excellent service. The food was great and everyone had a good time. I think it was the best choice of venues. Thanks for the help in making a great memory.

Photo of Angela Roberts Angela Roberts
Jun 1, 2022 5

I had a couple of cocktails and the pulled pork plates. It was so delicious and was even better when paired with great conversation with both bartenders. Parker and Oz are super friendly and knowledgeable! I often dine by myself since I am new to the area and extra appreciate the conversation. They told me about all of the amazing events that they have there as well so make sure to check out their calendar on the website!

Photo of Sam Littlejohn Sam Littlejohn
Jun 4, 2022 5

Came during the afternoon just to eat and was not disappointed. Worth a trip just for the BBQ - smoky and delicious. Service was excellent. Will be back one evening to check out the music - and for more BBQ!