The Blind Barbour – A Modern-day Speakeasy with Handcrafted Deliciousness

Our area has an impressive array of chefs and restauranteurs who come from every corner of the world to show off here in the Triangle.  However, we’re incredibly lucky to have many of these culinary connoisseurs who hail from the Tar Heel State originally, too.  This Hometown Heroes series will feature food service establishments of every realm from restaurants, food trucks, food products, culinary services and beyond.  We will include just enough information on these local foodie superstars to give you a “quick bite” that we hope will inspire you to go out and try their food for yourself.  In this case, we’ll give you a quick “sip” as you learn more about The Blind Barbour.

The Blind Barbour - Homemade Syrups

The Blind Barbour – Homemade Syrups

How did your local venture start?

Joey Barbour is the owner and bartender behind The Blind Barbour.  Located off Medlin Road across from Taste and just off Lake Boone Trail, The Blind Barbour is somewhat hidden in Raleigh.  Joey and his fiancé, Michelle, opened this custom tavern in February 2016.  Joey’s been slinging drinks in restaurants and bars around the area for years, building a tab full of knowledge and experience of the beverage industry.  His affinity for well-crafted drinks and playing host naturally led to him opening his own spot.

What makes The Blind Barbour unique to the Triangle?

Joey says they “pride themselves on the ingredients we feature.  All of our syrups and mixers are made in house.  Eventually we’ll be making our own bitters, too.”  In an area with so many bars, The Blind Barbour is truly a modern day speakeasy, drawing from the prohibition era for the inspiration behind the bar’s name.  Asking to see “the blind pig” at a speakeasy granted you access into imbibing in an alcoholic beverage.  Combining this phrase and Joey’s surname gives us The Blind Barbour.  The Blind Barbour also offers an impressive array of whiskeys and even holds monthly flight and tasting options.  Joey says, “If you don’t see a drink or whiskey at the bar you like, let us know.  We’ll order whatever it is you like.  We want this to feel like the bar where you come in, know you’re going to get great service and feel at home.”

The Blind Barbour - Michelle and Joey

The Blind Barbour – Michelle and Joey

What makes the Triangle “home” for you?

Hailing from Raleigh, Joey says working in the Triangle all his life is what he’s used to and grown to love.  He and Michelle designed their bar to be “someplace we would want to hang out at.  We want people to come in and have a high end, nice drink.  Our customers should feel relaxed and comfortable enough to have a conversation with us or just sit back and enjoy their drink.”

Where can we find out more about The Blind Barbour?

The Blind Barbour has a plethora of info available on their website, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.


Tessa Nguyen is a chef and registered dietitian working in the Triangle area. She is an alumna of Johnson & Wales University and Meredith College. When Tessa isn’t traveling and discovering new food spots, she teaches culinary nutrition cooking classes at Duke and works as a consultant in the health and wellness industry. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter @ChefTessaRD.

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