searching for strong’s

strong’s was a laidback coffee shop on franklin street with good music, decent sandwiches, and wireless internet from campus that reached into the front half of the building. i spent countless hours there during grad school, people-watching and computer hacking. however it went out of business months ago (all i’ve heard is that they weren’t making enough money), and now it’s being remodeled and renamed the jack sprat cafe.

tonight, after visiting the bickett gallery in raleigh with jane, i was doing some proactive reminiscing, thinking about the wireless internet cafe i would create. and i realized i was creating something largely based on my memories of strong’s (both positive and negative):



wow, you went to bickett? I’m surprised you found it.


I’d like to respond with my wishes for the perfect movie theater:
Gets the big indie films the weekend they come out, not 6 weeks later

Serves at least 4 microbrews and popcorn with real butter

Has “old theater” ambience with curtains and antique lighting

At least 4 or 5 movies showing at any time

midnight shows available

coffee shop attached (preferably like justin’s)

big enough screens to be worth admission

There are a lot of triangle theaters that I love that have some of these things, but the main thing lacking is the selection and the size together.

Strong’s actually closed?

That makes Jason sad. So very sad.

part of this reminiscing was thinking that if i (we) don’t make these places (spaces) happen, no one else will.


I know why Strong’s bathrooms were gross.


so what’s your plan for making these places (spaces) happen?

I’d add a small corner with toys, away from the serious studying, that the kids could be barricaded in, so their parents can sit down for once and enjoy their coffee.

kansas: ?
abe: i think i’d need to buy/rent such a commerical space and shape it according to these sorts of values. of course i personally, i don’t have any experience running a business all myself, so i’d rather do it as a part of some team. i could help manage the technical and interior design issues. and help with food.


Yeah, you all sound like you want to create a sort of 21st century factory. Like andy warhol and the velvet underground. Like a big space for left wing IT indy kids.

sigh. Here you guys are in the Triangle, sad that you don’t have a good coffee shop. Here I am in Sewanee sad that I don’t have the coffee shops that you DO have. We have two: The Blue Chair and Stirling’s. Both have good food, but the service at one totally sucks and the space at the other is too cramped. You can’t have a conversation there without everyone in the joint hearing. But, The Blue Chair’s profits go partially to the Blue Monarch, an organization that helps abused women and children. In fact, a lot of the women who work at the cafe have been helped by the Blue Monarch. There’s another idea for staffing your cafe.

Sounds good, let me know when you open it – I’ll be there. Meanwhile, Weaver Street (on a warm, sunny day) is an excellent second choice.

ruby, i love the weave, and in many ways it has become my post-graduation strong’s (being in walking distance from my apt). but they’ve got to proliferate the power outlets. and of course by they’ve i mean “we’ve” (the owners).

i’ve sent an email to, but there’s got to be a better way to get in touch with the management/board members.

katie, it never really occured to me to think of “left wing IT indy kids” as compared to, say, the progressive librarian set, but it sure sounds cool.


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