Every parent needs a night out every once and a while to relax and have a little time away from the kiddos. Sometimes I'm able to head out after the boys are in bed for a little relaxation and conversation with the other moms. Sometimes my husband and I are even able to get out with a little help from other parent friends that are happy to switch babysitting nights with us. When my husband and I managed to get away one night last week we found a great little spot that was perfect for a parent's getaway.
What it is: Straw Valley Cafe is definitely a hidden treasure that just opened near the intersection of 15-501 and I-40. If I hadn't explored it myself, I wouldn't believe it was there. It's stuck in between 15-501 and the mega shopping center of New Hope Commons that houses Walmart, best buy, etc. We headed into the New Hope Commons shopping center and found the back parking lot of Straw Valley cafe located in the same building as Once and Again Consignment. We walked into the nondescript spot where you can order your food. You could choose from coffee, wine, delicious desserts, and even some sandwiches. Since we were heading over after dinner we opted for wine and a big piece of chocolate peanut butter cake. Then, we headed off to explore the Straw Valley Cafe.
Straw Valley has quite the backstory. Apparently, there was a time when 15-501 wasn't completely built up. At that time, in the late 1960's Straw Valley was built. At that time, it was the Straw Valley Craft House, an art studio and shop. When the shopping center came in, the artists went out and the building has been empty. Recently, it was purchased by Scott Bednaz and restored to it's former glory. So, when my husband and I started wandering with wine and sweets in hand, we were amazed.
Once we walked out of the cafe where we ordered the food, we headed behind the cafe building to another building which was the original craft house. It looked like a very well-decorated house, all of the rooms were decorated with fabulous art and furniture. You could head in and sit in any of the well decorated nooks like you were at a very fabulous party in someone's house. If inside wasn't your thing you could keep exploring outside on the grounds which were equally fabulous from the artistic fountains to the Buddha grove with bamboo and the huge courtyard with tables, a stage, and plush looking cabanas waiting for reservations. My husband and I chose to sit both inside and outside just to check it all out. It was a perfect place to relax, and while we were exploring and relaxing in our surroundings we also enjoyed our wine and cake, and that was some GOOD cake! While we were there we saw lots of other patrons from couples relaxing to individuals finding a quite space to work on the computer, to groups of friends out for a night out. I will definitely head back with my mom friends the next time we can sneak out for a little peace and quiet.
What we liked: We loved all of the unique art and nooks and crannys to explore in this place. There was a little spot for everyone, and we couldn't believe that this gem was right next to New Hope Commons and had been there all along! Oh, and as I said before, the cake was divine!
What we would change: We noticed that the wine list was a little small, but there w as still plenty to choose from. In addition, I would say it's not kid-friendly with all of the nice artwork around, so it would definitely be better to stick to this destination as a moms or parents night out.
Website and other important information: http://strawvalleycafe.com/about/
Address: 5420 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27704
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30am-10pm, Friday and Saturday 8:30am-11pm, 9am-9pm
(One of the little pathways between the house and the cafe shop)
(A glimpse into one of the rooms)
(the back patio)