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The Double Door Inn Charlotte


The Double Door Inn

A Charlotte institution for good music and good times

On December 22, 1973 the Double Door Inn opened for business in the picturesque Elizabeth neighborhood of Charlotte, N.C. Owner Nick Karres original intention was simple: provide a comfortable and safe place for locals to hang out, have a drink and enjoy a good time. It wasnt long before music made its way into the unassuming pub however, and as the saying goes: the rest is history.

At first the stage was a fertile ground for local singer/songwriters. Then Nick had the chance to host the Dixie Dregs and this would be the show thatd hook him. The Dregs would also contribute to the Double Doors fame as a great room to play by spreading word of the new club to other artists.

Soon bands like The Nighthawks, The Thunderbirds and Roomful of Blues were regulars on the calendar and as fate would have it, blues music became the clubs niche. Others that would help lay the foundation for this local mainstay included Stevie Ray Vaughn, Willie Dixon, John Hammond, Junior Walker, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, and Bob Margolin.

One of the clubs most famous moments was in the early 80s when Eric Clapton stopped by after a show at the original Charlotte Coliseum and sat in with the Legendary Blues Band. But the stories about the Double Door Inn and the shows that have taken place there are endlesslike the night that only six people showed up for Stevie Ray Vaughns first appearance in town!

The Double Door Inn also enjoys the distinction of bringing the first reggae and zydeco acts to the Queen City. Once the home to the “Americana Showcase” every Tuesday, the club has left its mark on the music scene by introducing local music fans to such acts as Dave Alvin, the Blazers, Alejandro Escovedo, Bill Kirchen, Deke Dickerson, Duane Jarvis, Ray Wiley Hubbard, Fred Eaglesmith, Wayne Hancock and the Drive-By Truckers among many, many others.

Presently, the Double Door Inn welcomes a variety of genres to its stage including soul, jazz, funk, bluegrass and fusion. Artists like Laura Reed & Deep Pocket, New Monsoon, Oteil and The Peacemakers, Col. Bruce Hampton and Zach Deputy have appeared, just to name a few.

Regulars that have entertained crowds on weeknights through the years include The Monday Nite All-Stars, Robin Rogers and the Bill Hanna Jazz Jam.

So much has changed in Charlotte since the Double Door Inn opened and as the city continues to evolve with each passing year, and the once quiet area known as Elizabeth continues to be engulfed by new development, one thing remains constant: that little white house that sits on Charlottetown Avenue where pictured covered walls could tell a thousand tales and the music you experience there still makes it feel like home.

Some good friends (or saviors as Nick likes to call some of them) the Double Door Inn would like to thank for their support through the years: Mike Martin, George Mandrapilias, Basil Coston, Missy McCall, Todd Smith, Tracie Phillips, Tracy Abernathy, Rick Ballew and Micah Davidson.