The Unsolicited Endorsement: Shows at College Hill

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by Kelly Fahey

College Hill Sundries is my neighborhood bar. I go there at least twice a week, and it sort of feels like an extension of my home. Lately, they’ve been really upping their game. Newly renovated bathrooms and a wider selection of drinks are among the improvements, including an entire refrigerator for higher-end craft brews.

Another upgrade that I’ve been able to enjoy firsthand is the reinstatement of shows on the back patio, which also has relatively new benches. Apparently, while I was still kicking it in high school, local bands like the Bronzed Chorus played some of their first shows at the bar, named for the neighborhood around it near UNCG’s campus. Until lately, I only knew it as a dive bar, so it was a surprise to stumble upon Daddy Issues playing on the patio over the summer, followed by the rockabilly outfit Bloodshot Bill. It put College Hill on my radar as a music venue, and I patiently awaited the chance to spend another Sunday on the patio listening to live music.

Last weekend my desire was met in the form of legendary garage rocker Dexter Romweber of the now-defunct Flat Duo Jets performing for an awestruck audience at College Hill.

It’s a pretty big deal to have Dexter Romweber at your neighborhood bar. Since forming the Flat Duo Jets in the early ’80s in Chapel Hill, he’s toured with the likes of the Cramps and Cat Power, and is cited as a huge influence by folks like Jack White.

On top of a rock icon playing, there was free barbecue and burgers, and local and regional openers Wahya’s and S***ty Boots: clearly not your average Sunday at College Hill.

I’ve seen many music venues come and go during my short time here, so my hopes aren’t too high. Still, I could really get used to having indie-rock legends playing on my block on a regular basis.