Drink beer, eat burgers, hang out. That seems to be the mantra of the new Hubcap Grill on 19th Street a few blocks west of Durham.
The line in front of the order window was short and steady on opening night Monday, and the crowd resembled the same laid-back eclectic mix that's usually seen at owner Ricky Craig's original burger joint downtown.
Forty-something labels of craft beer fill the shelves, and a menu displays new options for specialty burgers and fries, like a Texas BBQ burger, a patty melt and a ranch BLT burger. (Unfortunately the debit card reader was down and I forgot cash, so for the time being it's still a mystery whether the new kitchen turns out the same thin-pattied magic as the downtown spot, but I'm not worried.)
The large, messy patio area is in the same vein as the open yard at Moon Tower Inn, except with more picnic tables and less dirt (and more ants, but I digress). The ping pong and horseshoe weren't set up yet when I was there (they were working on it) but there's always the bean bag toss. Or just sit down with a beer and listen to the jukebox — it's as well-stocked as the beer fridges.
In short, does the Heights Hubcap live up to expectations? I think so. For a post-work spot that's perfect for forgetting about your day, it doesn't get much better than this.