Over the past several months, business has been booming out on Geer Street in Durham! This neighborhood hot spot which already counts Fullsteam Brewery, Motorco, and the Accordion Club amongst its local businesses, has had several major announcements for a future arcade bar and ax-throwing entertainment place. So I was excited (and surprised) to hear about one new business that had snuck under my radar screen, Hutchins Garage. I had spotted a couple of quiet announcements on social media but had no clue what it would be about besides a bar. Luckily a visit to Durham left me with some free time on my hands so I spun out to Geer Street to see what was going down at the new Hutchins Garage!
With only a handful of parking spaces up front, be aware that this end of Geer Street is getting pretty tough for finding a parking spot! From the front, Hutchins Garage exudes a minimalistic face with a creamy utilitarian brick storefront along with several, white pane garage doors. A small doorway (an old service door?) to the far right is the main entryway in this small and jam-packed parking lot. There is parking on some side streets so you may need a bit of time to find a spot and do a short walk when you visit.
Stepping inside, I was amazed at how nicely redesigned the interior is at Hutchins Garage. Small dining area in front of me and a bar to the left in the first room. The building is all concrete and painted brick walls staying true to its industrial and automotive origins. The space is sprayed in industrial green in the first room along with fascinating blown-glass lamps overhead. There’s also a handful of quirky neon signs displaying “HOT and “Pizza Made Me Do It” showing off some tongue-in-cheek humor. Some industrial signage and details (phone) remain in the space in homage to its past life as an automotive garage.
The second room is where diners can order their pizzas for dine-in or take-out eats. Overall it’s a very comfortable space for hanging out and meeting up with friends! While Hutchins Garage is primarily categorized as a bar, its short menu of salads, pizzas, sandwiches and more makes it a destination for a quick dinner or late-night bite (open until 2am). I’m curious to see how the menu may morph over time!
Over the course of several visits, I’ve had a chance to dabble across their menu, a bit. Enjoyed some arancini and of course, their pizzas! While you can certainly start with the margherita pizza base and build on it, I tend to order up their custom house pies since they usually sound interesting. On a recent visit I did a beautiful pie with ham, sausage and Calabrian chiles which was wonderfully spicy. But even the base margherita pizza here at Hutchins Garage is excellent with great cheese coverage and snips of basil. At $11 for a margherita ($4 for 2 toppings, $5 for 3 toppings) it’s all pretty reasonable for a substantial individual pie. I’d say they were 14″ to 15″, thin-crust but not Neapolitan. The pizzas here are more of a traditional Italian with a crispy crust, really delicious and well done.
All in all, I have been pretty impressed by Hutchins Garage over the course of several visits. Great space, great food, well-trained staff, and this neighborhood in Durham was in need of good za! The decor is fantastic and remains true to its automotive origins. And the pizzas are top-notch! So welcome to Bull City, Hutchins Garage. You’re doing both the bar part and pizza part of your business really well, so glad to have you in the hood!