As we continue our dive into diversity series here at Urban MJ, this week’s blog post is in celebration of one of Downtown Raleigh’s original settlers of the Warehouse District. Many of you, if you’re local to the Raleigh area, are familiar with the Downtown scene staple, Legends Nightclub.
Known as one of Raleigh’s best nightclubs, Legends has become a nightlife staple. The popular nightclub just celebrated its 28th anniversary and we thought what better way to celebrate than to dive into the Legends history. What started out as an old repair shop in the late 50s, has now grown into one of Raleigh’s largest nightclubs and has made a huge impact on the city.
Legends stands for diversity and acceptance, but did not always have an easy time doing so. A short time after opening, Legends was facing lawsuits from the city with claims that Legends was performing illegal entertainment. The Legends owners were faced with a year and a half long battle with the State Supreme Court, just to be able to keep their doors open. Their long and costly battle has been well worth it. Legends has given many locals a place to express themselves and speak their truth. Legends is also a big supporter for many nonprofits such as the LGBT Center of Raleigh, Alliance of AIDS Services of the Carolinas, A Place at the Table, and many other organizations. Their passion for diversity has had a positive impact on our community and continues to be a true model of diversity.
Legends has also played a major role in the economic development and urban revitalization of Raleigh and the Warehouse District. The nightclub is THE original entertainment retail in Downtown Raleigh. Not only did Legends start the movement of gay nightclubs into the Raleigh area, but also had a major impact of the movement of other retail into the disctrict as well. When Legends began, the Warehouse District was nothing like it is now. . When they started, it truly was like the name, only home to warehouses. Land prices have skyrocketed from about $500,000 an acre to now about $8,000,000 an acre. The success of Legends proved that the Warehouse District was going to be a good place to be located and they are now neighbored by the Dillon, Raleigh’s first food hall, and soon to be open, Weaver Street Market. There are also huge real estate plans for towers to be built all around it. Legends and its contribution has essentially turned The Warehouse District into “The Creative District”. Its own real estate has dramatically risen in value, but Legends plans at least another 28 years.
Legends Nightclub in Raleigh, NC has been the leader in LGBT nightlife in the Triangle. Many clubs followed once Legends proved successful, but Legends reigns as the original gay nightclub. If you visit Legends today, you can clearly see that all of Raleigh loves it. You will find men and women, gay and straight, of all ages. Legends has become a nightclub that welcomes all people, regardless of what your preferences are. As their website states, “Legends Nightclub Complex is what you want it to be!” And it is THE place to visit for a drag show. Legends was the first in Raleigh to house drag shows and to become a drag professional nationally, you would have to go through Legends for that kind of recognition.
As their success has grown, so has their space. Legends Nightclub now has four large sections: The Spotlight Theater where all the drag shows happen, an outdoor patio bar, and an indoor bar with an arcade area, and their indoor dance club area. So whether you just want a drink, play some arcade games, or see a drag show, Legends is the place to go.
Congratulations to Legends Nightclub and cheers to your 28th birthday! If you have not checked out this welcoming place in Downtown Raleigh, it’s a must see!