Durham >Food & Dining > Alivias Durham Bistro
900 West Main Street, Durham, NC | Directions 2770136.000288 -78.909227
Neighborhoods: Brightleaf, Downtown
Buyer Beware – Make certain you check your bill before you pay at this downtown Durham restaurant. It used to be one of our favorites, but 2 of the last 3 visits they have overcharged us on menu items. We like their food, but do they think we cannot read?
Refused to serve me, while serving other customers – I came into Alivia's at 10 PM, and was informed the kitchen closed at 10 and that I could not order food. However, 20 minutes later, I saw another group (who'd come in at least 10 minutes after me) ordering food. I attempted to order as well from the exact same server immediately thereafter, but was denied. I've been to Alivia's before and the food's just passable, but this was pretty ridiculous. I'll just stick to the Fed from now on, which always has delicious food and which also never has service problems like this.
Check Out the Spicy Chicken Sandwich – There were so many things on the menu that looked great that I had a hard time choosing my lunch dish. I finally settled on the Spicy Chicken Sandwich with the chipolte ranch dressing. It was great! The salad I chose for my side was very fresh and tasty as well.
The waitress was pleasant and attentive without hovering or becoming impatient when it took us a while to order.
Give this restaurant a try for a nice casual lunch!
Good place to try! – Been going here for awhile and give it thumbs up. Great fire-pit seating outside. Friendly atmosphere. Menu is limited, but what's there is good. John is new manager and is making a positive difference in many ways....it's worth going several times to see how things are new and getting better. Talk with John....he'll listen!
Best Bartender in Town – Alivia's has the best bartender in Durham - Jason K! If you are looking for a great martini, manhattan, no matter what it is, he can make it for you and it will be awesome!
Can't give it a 5 – I am very optimistic about this business. I love the location of Alivias. Their food, beer, and atmosphere are top notch. There is one server I am not particularly fond of though. She is very rude to us and has messed up my order several times. Whenever I get her now, I ask for somebody else and the management tells me no. That's not good customer service. I sure hope they really do listen to customer complaints. I try not to let this bother me, because this is a rather classy place, but unfortunately it is the direct link. I do recommend trying them out in the end.
nice outdoor dining – Went to Alivia's the other week because it was so nice outside, and we wanted to eat outdoors. The whole restaurant opens up to the outside! Our food was very good. We HIGHLY recommend the provolone cheese appetizer! It was awesome. Additionally, Alivia's has a pretty good beer and wine selection for those of us that enjoy microbreweries and craft beers.
Bad food and service save your money – I ordered some chicken wings once at Alivias and I am very patient. I went to the bar about 45 minutes later and my server had no order in for me and then I was told the kitchen was closed? Are you serious? I will never be back unless just for a beer. It's hard to mess that up but we will see.
Alivia's Keeps Getting Better and Better! – I have been a fan of Alivia's since it openned & I do not understand why there are so many wanna-be critics that think that its ok to act like they're leading experts on local restaurants.
Before getting married, I worked in restaurants most of my life & have worked in a few that were newly openned. I have an appreciation for the hard work & dedication that it takes for a new place to succeed & one thing I can say for Alivia's is that you can tell they're continuing to adapt to the ever-changing restaurant market. By listening to their customers, listening to the economy, & giving back to the local community, Alivia's seems to be committed to becoming one of the best places to be in Downtown Durham.
I have attended a couple of their fundraising events which have been quite successful. Pooches on the Patio (they have this quite frequently, weather permitting) raises money for Independent Animal Rescue & is a must for any dog lover. My wife & I took our daughter & our lab-mix Sam to 3 of the Dine with Your Dog events & had a blast. I also attended an event they hosted to raise money for Autism. The turn out for each event was quite nice & they raised a good deal of money for both organizations by donating 10% of their sales & taking donations at the door.
I can also say that over the last few months, I've noticed different changes & improvements each time I walk in. The two young men, who I believe to be the managers, are working on improving the place almost every time my wife & I've been there. We love the new firepits out on the patio. They're perfect for enjoying a fireside drink with a date or a few friends & the new decor behind the bar is very nice.
I guess what I'm saying is that if you've been to Alivia's before and weren't fully satisfied, stop in again & give them another shot. It's obvious to me that Alivia's is headed in the right direction & committed to becoming one of Downtown Durham's Best for Food & Drink.
Best place in brightleaf – i am distressed by the extent to which this restaurant is underperforming in the other reviews. It is easily the best place in brightleaf square and one of my favorite places in durham. it's outdoor seating can't be beat, the food is good and cheap (they now offer their lunch menu for dinner, allowing a good meal to be had for under $10). The drinks are a little on the expensive side ($4-5 for a beer) but are priced comparably with the other bars and restaurants in the area.
i agree with others that at times the service is slow, but they're a new place, so that's to be expected.
I do have one complaint: they used to have their menu written above the bar, giving the place a sort of "cafe" feel that served it well. They have since painted over it and replaced it with silkscreen portraits. They are kind of boring.
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