The Oak House coffee, beer, and wine bar branched out to Durham this June. But so far, its profits are lingering behind Elon. After the Elon location gained popularity, co-owners Phil Smith and Ryan Vet started discussing expanding The Oak House.
Because Smith grew up in Durham and Vet is a current resident, the two decided there was no better place to continue The Oak House’s legacy.
“Even like my high school friends that still live in the area, like it’s a big deal to them. And family friends from long ago. It’s kind of a thing for me to have a connection with this business in downtown Durham,” Smith said.
Despite the slow financial start, Smith and Vet said it is still early. Elon’s location did not gain its popularity and loyalty overnight. And regulars like Elon masters student Alonzo Cee consider The Oak House home, no matter the zip code. Although Cee is typically found in Elon, he had visited the Durham location as well.
“It really was like quintessential Oak House," Cee said. "Like you saw people working there on their computers, yourself, people drinking beers casually, like talking with friends. It was a good place to be and it felt, it felt just as much like home."
Durham’s The Oak House is located downtown in One City Center. And according to Vet, it isn’t going anywhere.
“Our plan’s to be here for as long as Durham will have us," Vet said. "We hope to be a staple in the Durham community, just like we are in the Elon community.”