Laura and Dan Martier, Bird Dog, performing at Art’s Place.

It’s time to give a shout out to Art’s Place in Outer Banks on the Beach Road in Kitty Hawk. Best burgers on the beach, a great Sunday brunch and reasonably priced beer and wine. All of that and it’s been around for almost 40 years…and yes, there really was an Art. That would have been Art Glidden, who started the iconic local’s hangout with Bill Askew. Neither Art nor Bill are part of the restaurant now, but the new owners have really upped their game. The burgers are actually better than ever but even better, Monday evenings it’s jazz night at Art’s Place in Outer Banks and on Wednesday it’s open mic night.

It’s All About the Music at Art’s Place in Outer Banks

It’s a great funky feeling being in Art’s Place in Outer Banks and listening to live music. There’s not much seating and what passes for a musician’s stand is the space the round top table rested before it was hauled aside to make room. It’s intimate and it’s wonderful. 

We were there a few nights ago when Dan and Laura Martier were playing jazz. They call themselves Bird Dog, which is a pretty cool name. What’s important to know about the couple, though is their musical pedigree. Laura is an extraordinary vocalist who is equally as comfortable in jazz, show tunes or country. Dan is as good a drummer as there is…anywhere. He tours nationally with the Tim Reynolds Trio—that’s the Tim Reynolds that plays lead guitar for Dave Matthews. That evening of music was fantastic. But it was just one of many great musical events that take place there. Yes, it’s tight. Yes, it’s hard to squeeze in sometimes. But for anyone who wants to experience what the real Outer Banks is like, it’s a must do event. And the sign out front? The one that says, “Locals Welcome, Tourists Tolerated?” Ignore it. Anyone ordering a drink becomes a de facto local.

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