(Courtesy Nathan Adams)
The Durham Fruit and Produce Company was established at Ramseur and South Dillard Streets in 1926 as a wholesaler of, well, fruit and produce.
Through the latter half of the 20th century, the building was used for light industrial uses, including a transmission shop.
Seems like it was the latter part of 2005 that James and Michelle Lee began transforming this bleak space into a quirky, vibrant collection of oddness, music, spirit, verve, and feather boas. 305 South quickly became many people's introduction to the idea that, indeed, cool things could happen - not just downtown, but east of downtown.
2006 (Photo by Gary Kueber)
10.09.06 (Photo by Gary Kueber)
I saw some great shows at 305 South, but I must say that I mostly enjoyed driving by this spot late some Saturday night and seeing a crowd of people having a great time enjoying the show - since before the club, the only crowds around this spot were the guys unconscious outside the TnT store one block away.
11.19.05 (Courtesy Lisa Brockmeier)
(Photo by Peter Stephan)
Unfortunately, 305 went belly-up. Onerous bathroom code requirements were too much for a likely low-profit operation to afford, and the club was shut down. They soldiered on for awhile, but weren't able to pull together the funds to meet the ordinance. And that's a shame. Because it quite obviously worked, and worked in a natural, funky way that the developments we court have yet to achieve. Losing 305 South is a significant loss for downtown; I wish they could have held on until HOPE VI was built out and Golden Belt was complete and been part of a larger renaissance of the east side. As time goes on, it becomes clear just how ahead of their time they were.
As of 2012, the building has been converted into "office space" with an unattractive mustardy paint uniformly coating the outside.
06.25.13 (Photo by Gary Kueber)