Beyu Caffe expanding to former Joe Van Gogh location on Duke University's campus

Elaina Athans Image
Wednesday, July 25, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Demolition wrapped up a few weeks ago and the space is now just a shell. Crews are starting the electrical work and plumbing, and soon decisions be made on cabinetry, countertops and light fixtures.

The construction should be finished in less than two months in what has become a personal project.

"It's still a dream come true to come back on campus," said Beyu Caffe owner Dorian Bolden. "I'm a Duke alum and being able to go back to a spot where I remember meeting up with friends while I was a student on campus is really cool."

The Beyu Caffe is expanding its footprint in the Durham community and the owner is opening its second location inside Duke University's Bryan Center.

The new business is called Beyu Blue and it's going into the former Joe Van Gogh location, which was the site of a national controversy.


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Two coffee shop workers fired after playing vulgar music at the Duke campus location.

The shop closed in May after a University President complained about explicit lyrics in a rap song being played inside the store. Two baristas were fired.

"It's my understanding is that they both left on great terms," said Bolden. "You now, to have someone who has been in business 10 years, being a Duke alum and kind of coming back on campus and bringing this really cool cultural community vibe. Hopefully, people will see that's kind of a happy ending that even through all the controversy, there's a light at the end of the tunnel."

Bolden graduated from Duke in 2002. Right after receiving his diploma, he left the Bull City for the Big Apple to work as a Wall Street stockbroker. When his father passed away in 2005, Bolden packed up and moved back.

A few years after relocating, he opened Beyu Caffe in the heart of Downtown Durham.

He considered moving into the Bryan Center a few years ago.

"When this opportunity came up, it just was perfect timing. The team is perfect. We have a great culture here, a great staff. The environment is just perfect to be able to go back home to Duke," he said.

Bolden hopes to start serving up coffee and food to fellow Blue Devils in August.