Favorite Lil' Dive Bar: The Accordion Club

Favorite Lil' Dive Bar: The Accordion Club
Words by Isaac Ray Norris
Photos by Geoff Wood

The Accordion Club, owned by Scott Richie, resides on Greer Street in Durham, North Carolina. Scott had walked up and down this particular strip of road many times noticing potential left and right. But as the saying goes, potential just means you haven’t done anything yet.

So Scott did something. He bought one of the buildings on Greer Street and created this lil’ dive bar. At the time, Scott was tending bar at venues like the now-closed Whiskey and (still open) Vin Rouge, but he wanted to create something that was a bit more relaxed and communal.

“There were a lot of nights that I’d get off bartending, walk home and wish there was a place where I could get a beer and kind of disappear, maybe get a bite of food and a six pack to go. It’s turned out to be exactly what I wished was always here.”

The bar offers a variety of approachable spirits and beverages, along with some pretty unique bar foods. A native of New Mexico, Scott insisted one of the bar’s specialties be the hatch green chile stew. Think of it as a Southwestern chicken soup. A hard product to find on the east coast, the chiles for this dish are ordered by the palletful—a whopping 1,800 pounds each.

The bar is named for the musical proclivities of Scott’s grandfather, a musician in Durham well-known for his accordion playing. There were months of planning for the opening of the new bar, but Scott always knew it would be called The Accordion Club in recognition of his grandfather’s talent. The name is indicative of the communal feel that was Scott’s aim in opening the bar.

“Opening this bar was my shot at owning my own place, and I don’t have to payback anyone. My grandfather was a neighborhood bar kind of guy. This is definitely a place he would hang out, and I love that.”

Next time you find yourself in Durham, stop on Greer Street and search for The Accordion Club—one of Good Grit’s favorites.