Press release from this morning’s ritual perusal of the as-usual overflowing inbox. Enjoy.

Historic Rigsbee Street LGBTQ Nightclub Closes; Will Reopen with New Look and Name

Club Steel Blue, the latest business to occupy the building at 711 Rigsbee Street, will cease operations at that address effective today.  All shows and activities for the next few weeks have been canceled while the new owners Renee Batchelor and Rosemary Allegretta complete renovations and secure new licenses.

“I am pleased with Renee and Roe’s vision and am really excited that this will remain a LGBTQ setting,” said building owner Theresa Harris.

711 Rigsbee Street is a local institution of the Triangle’s LGBTQ crowd.  For more than two decades — long before Fullsteam, Motorco and Geer Street Garden brought a renaissance to Old North Durham’s Warehouse District – a variety of businesses operating at 711 Rigsbee Street have been a gathering place for the LGBTQ crowd. The new owners plan to open later this month with a new name, a new atmosphere, and a tremendous appreciation for their customers. “We’re aiming for a relaxed neighborhood bar where members of the LGBTQ community, their family and friends can have great drinks, enjoy music and play games most evenings.  On Friday and Saturday nights, we’ll still turn out the dance parties with talented DJs and shows,” said Allegretta.

“Many people over the years have developed friendships and built long-term relationships at this address,” notes Batchelor.  “We’re reinventing the bar so that this historic icon can continue beyond the 20+ years it has served our community.”

So, what will the new hot spot be called?  The Bar…Durham. “We’ve talked to lots of people who’ve been coming here for years.  And regardless of the business name, many folks refer to it exactly the same way.  ‘Let’s go to The Bar.  Or, meet me at The Bar.’  The overall vibe will continue to be created by our customers past and new,” said Batchelor.