Feb 7, 2024 - News

Cat's Cradle expanding to a new venue in Carrboro

The front entrance to the music venue the Cat's Cradle

The front of Cat's Cradle music venue in downtown Carrboro. Photo: Zachery Eanes/Axios

Cat's Cradle, perhaps the Triangle's most famous music hall, appears to be readying a new space in downtown Carrboro.

Why it matters: The storied music venue, which has bounced around Chapel Hill and Carrboro for more than 50 years, is where generations of Triangle residents have gone to see national touring acts.

  • It's also been a fruitful breeding ground for local bands to build larger followings, from indie rock icons such as Superchunk and Ben Folds Five to newer bands like Mipso or Watchhouse.

Driving the news: Permits filed with the town of Carrboro show that Cat's Cradle's longtime owner Frank Heath owns an under-renovation building at 107 Brewer Lane, about a quarter-mile walk from the venue's Libba Cotten Bikeway location.

  • Heath, who has not yet responded to request for comment, bought the former warehouse for $900,000 in 2020, according to property records, as well as an adjacent lot for $500,000.
A photo of a brick building being renovated at 107 Brewer Lane in Carrboro
107 Brewer Lane is under renovation. Photo: Zachery Eanes/Axios

Between the lines: The venue's current location — which includes a 750-capacity room as well as a 200-capacity back room — has long been eyed by developers due to its prominent spot on Main Street.

  • Development plans have been proposed in the past for the small strip mall, but nothing has ever come to fruition.

Details: Permits submitted last fall for the Brewer Lane location call the building the "Cat's Cradle New Performing Arts Space" and detail plans for nearly 11,000 square feet of floor space across two floors.

  • Inside would include a 275-square-foot stage; five bars; two balconies; bathrooms on each level and a green room.
  • Triangle Blog Blog has noted the existence of the permits.

What we're watching: The music venue has not announced any intentions to close and a timeline for any such move is not known.

  • But work is underway on the Brewer Lane building, which is fenced off for construction and has had its roof removed.

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