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Last Call At The Double Door Inn: A Look Back At 43 Years At Charlotte's Home Of The Blues

Aired on Wednesday, December 21, 2016

It's been recognized as one of the oldest blues clubs in the country. The Double Door Inn recently celebrated its 43rd anniversary in Charlotte. It will also be its last. The property is being sold, but there's still time to catch one more show before the lights go out on the Double Door stage. 

Credit Pat Shanklin/Double Door Inn archives
Eric Clapton (bottom) with the Legendary Blues Band, June 1982.

Nick Karres and his brother Matt initially opened the spot as a neighborhood bar in 1973 in an historic building that was originally a residence. Since then, the Double Door has become an institution for local musicians and national acts. Talents like Stevie Ray Vaughan, JJ Cale, Steve Earle, Buddy Guy and none other than Eric Clapton have graced the stage of this intimate little venue. North Carolina favorites The Avett Brothers used to play there frequently before they hit it big.

It's another cultural casualty of a growing city experiencing explosive development. Before they close their double doors for good, guest host Sarah Delia and guests will take a look back at the popular venue's history in the city and discuss what's being lost with the shuttering of yet another Charlotte music venue.

WFAE's Sarah Delia spoke with community historian Tom Hanchett about the life and legacy of The Double Door Inn. Here's a segment of their conversation.


Tom Hanchett - Community Historian, retired Staff Historian of Levine Museum of the New South. He writes about history and culture at HistorySouth.org

Daniel Coston - Local photographer and writer; he has photographed some of the country's most popular musicians and documented Charlotte's music scene for 20 years. He's co-author of Charlotte's Home Of The Blues: 40 Years Of The Double Door Inn

Nick Karres - Owner of The Double Door Inn, which he opened in 1973 with his brother Matt originally as a neighborhood bar.

Bill Noonan - Local musician who has played the Double Door many times over the years in several bands. On Friday night (Dec. 23rd) The Bill Noonan Band will play at The Double Door Inn one more time.

Want to see one last show? Check out the Double Door Inn calendar here

Credit Erin Keever
Musician Bill Noonan, photographer Daniel Coston, host Sarah Delia and Double Door Inn owner Nick Karres in WFAE's studios.

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Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.
Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.