History


Located in the historic Durham Food Co-op building

Design with a Story

You can probably already tell that we at The Cookery are passionate about creativity, and the stories behind our community.  The Front Room's historic architectural features have a multitude of stories to tell, recounting Durham's rich history and nodding to Bull City's manufacturing and tobacco industrial roots.

The Front Room bar features a deconstructed tobacco warehouse shutter bar top, a facade made from an old Durham water tower, and a foot rail made of a track from Durham’s former trolley line.  This electric streetcar ran from downtown’s Five Points to Lakewood Park, passing by where The Cookery stands today! Patrons can even see the original pencil lines in the bar top used to align the nails that hold the shutters together.  The water tower, which once stood where Measurement Inc. now resides, that was cut into thirds and hammered out to create a flat surface. 

The beautiful mezzanine railing is comprised of metal crescents from the Heart of Durham Motel, and the center piece is a catwalk from the old Liggett Meyers building.

The Cookery building, which was built in the early 1900s, features original brickwork that recounts it's many lives in the food industry. Beginning as a grocery store and transforming into a culinary incubator, the walls show varying stages of brickwork that once bore doors, a drop ceiling, and housed various food businesses.  In fact, a year after The Cookery launched it's commercial kitchen, an original Pepsi Cola mural was uncovered on the eastern side of the building, which was painted when the building served as a neighborhood grocery!

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ORIGINAL PEPSI COLA MURAL UNCOVERED

ORIGINAL PEPSI COLA MURAL UNCOVERED

DECONSTRUCTED WAREHOUSE SHUTTER BAR TOP & BAR FRONT MADE FROM AN OLD WATER TOWER

DECONSTRUCTED WAREHOUSE SHUTTER BAR TOP & BAR FRONT MADE FROM AN OLD WATER TOWER

OLD TOBACCO WAREHOUSE SHUTTERS

OLD TOBACCO WAREHOUSE SHUTTERS


To read more about The Cookery's building transformations, CLICK HERE to visit Open Durham, a wonderful website that chronicle's the history of countless Durham buildings.


Banner image and top Front Room photo by Megapixie Photography
Bottom photos by F5 Photography and Jessica Arden Photography