Happenings in the Heart of the Bull City
February 2022
  • News
  • Event Highlights
  • Biz Tools: Traffic Report
  • Biz Tools: Pedestrian Counter
  • Biz Tools: Merchant Map
  • Hello and Goodbye
  • Ambassador Stories
  • Clean & Safe Stats
  • Meetings, Trainings & Forums
Downtown's Small Businesses Need Our Help to Survive

It has been a long two years with false starts and false hopes. Downtown Durham’s 185 small businesses, run by your neighbors and friends, have fought the good fight. They’ve helped us weather this unprecedented time by providing great food, goods and experiences that brighten our days, services that improve our lives and comforting spaces for us to gather with friends and family.

But the challenges created by the ongoing pandemic have been unrelenting, and in some ways our small businesses are in a more precarious position than ever. The loans that kept them afloat last year are coming due; office workers are not around, which means the daytime traffic that so many businesses depend on is not rebounding; and most grants and other resources have dried up. It’s a perfect storm that threatens to wipe out too many of our small businesses just as we’re reaching what is hopefully the last stretch of the pandemic.

Goorsha restaurant owner Fasil Tesfaye sums up the situation perfectly:

"We are facing multiple challenges – from omicron to weather and customer fatigue. It’s been more than two years that our customers have been there to support us through the pandemic. We are grateful for all of it. That’s what keeps us going. Now it feels too much to ask for more support – especially when more people are affected this time around. Still, we are dealing with product shortages and cost increases on top of everything else. All of these factors combined make it a challenging time to operate a restaurant."

COPA restaurant owner Elizabeth Turnbull concurs:

"Your local restaurants are not okay. Omicron, winter and rising costs have created a deadly combination for our businesses. Without swift, bold action from leaders and enormous support from customers, many of us won't be here when spring rolls around."

There’s a lot each and every one of us can do to help ensure that the places we love are here to welcome us long after we’ve beaten this pandemic. While Covid remains a serious challenge, we are not in the same place we were two years ago. We have more tools, more knowledge and better protection. We have options. Based on our comfort level and personal risk factors, we can dine-in, carry out, order delivery, shop in stores, order online, attend events or gather with friends.

Downtown businesses have taken steps and implemented policies to make all of these options as safe as they possibly can. In keeping with the Durham County state of emergency order, masks are required indoors and most businesses require staff to be vaccinated or take part in regular testing. Some also require proof of vaccination for indoor customers. As a result, each of us can choose to patronize businesses based on practices we feel most comfortable with and in ways that meet our need to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. But we need to support the businesses we love today.

Downtown’s small businesses are going to keep doing everything they can to make it safe for you to eat, shop and play here. Your support is crucial to getting our locally owned businesses through these next few months of winter, and hopefully the last few months of Covid.

What can you do? Dine in, carry out or get delivery – whatever is most comfortable for you. Come out to shop, eat, drink and play today, and as often as you can. There are some cool things starting this month to make your visit downtown even better. Restaurants in the loop have created a Small Plates Crawl on Thursday nights, and we at DDI are hosting Downtown Durham Feast, a month-long contest where you can win prizes for eating and drinking downtown. Check out the articles below for more info on both of these initiatives.

Thank you, as always, for supporting your downtown and especially the small businesses that make it such a great place. You are the key to their survival.

Nicole J. Thompson
President & CEO
Support downtown’s small, locally owned restaurants and bars, and win prizes!

During Downtown Durham Feast month, everyone is invited to eat or drink downtown, and enter to win a weekly grand prize of a one-night stay at a downtown hotel, a gift basket with samples of goodies from downtown retailers and a $100 SpendaBull e-gift card, accepted by many downtown merchants. 

And as an extra special “Thank you,” we’re offering a bonus grand prize each week to some of downtown’s best customers.

WEEK ONE • FEB. 14-20
General Drawing (for everyone) 
Bonus Drawing: First Responders and K-12 Teachers

General Drawing (for everyone) 
Bonus Drawing: Downtown Employees 
(Folks who work at any business located within the Business Improvement District)

General Drawing (for everyone) 
Bonus Drawing: College and University Students, Staff & Professors

General Drawing (for everyone) 
Bonus Drawing: Downtown Residents (within a two-mile radius of CCB Plaza)

How It Works
From Feb. 14 – Mar. 13, send us a copy of your receipt every time you visit and make a food or beverage purchase at one of downtown’s restaurants, bars, breweries, meaderies, cideries, distilleries or wineries, and we’ll enter you in one of two weekly drawings.

You can submit one receipt per day per merchant. (So if you eat dinner at a restaurant, then get dessert at an ice cream shop or bakery, then get drinks at a bar or brewery, that’s three separate receipts and three entries.)

There are lots of chances to win a grand prize, so join us for the Downtown Durham Feast, and eat, drink and win!

City Center Restaurants Host Small Plates Crawl Thursday Nights

Beginning this week, restaurants and bars in the downtown Durham loop will host the Small Plates Crawl, a weekly event to draw more dine-in guests to their establishments.

Each participating restaurant and bar will feature something special around small plates. Some venues will highlight a special small plate, others will offer discounts and some will provide pairings from their bar.

Visit durhamsmallplatescrawl.com for more info and a list of participating restaurants.

Free COVID Testing is Now Available at DPAC

DPAC has partnered with Curative to offer no-cost COVID-19 testing daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Schedule an appointment at curative.com.

Many thanks to DPAC and Curative for bringing this important service to downtown Durham.

Take Our February One-Minute Survey

For this month's survey, we'd like your thoughts on outdoor activities you'd like to see this spring and summer in downtown.

Please take just a moment to complete the survey, and enter to win a $50 SpendaBull card!

Congratulations to Sherri for winning last month's survey prize drawing!

COVID-19 Information

Stay up to date on weekly case counts and averages, as well as state and local restrictions.

The Downtown Durham Event Calendar is the place for downtown venues, retailers, restaurants and residents to promote events. Submit your upcoming events today!
Get a special chance to taste six vintages of Moulin Touchais Côteaux du Layon Chenin Blanc, a dessert wine produced by an eight-generation, family-operated vineyard in the heart of Loire Valley. Taste your way through time!
It’s B-I-N-G-O at The F-R-U-I-T, hosted by Durham's own trans Latina princess Miss B Haven! Are you feeling lucky?
Come to this monthly outdoor market featuring work from local artists, artisans, makers and vintage sellers, plus live music afterwards.
Third Friday Art Walk & Gallery Crawl
Visit galleries and other art venues downtown and beyond on February 18 and every third Friday of the month! Find a complete list of Third Friday events, and submit your own, at thirdfridaydurham.org.

This month's featured artwork:
Kate Loughlin, Meditation
417 Foster St. 
The Traffic Report lists events and happenings that may affect foot traffic and/or parking. It includes road closures and major events happening downtown.

Subscribe to the calendar or view the report online for the most up-to-date information.

DDI's pedestrian counters were installed to assist businesses in determining appropriate hours and staffing levels. For additional information, like hourly counts or trends, BID constituents may request a custom report. Contact Rebekah Mixon to request a report.

Location 1: 21c Hotel
Visitors per Day

Average Week
Visitors per Hour

Busiest Day
12-1 p.m.
Busiest Hour

Total Visitors
Location 2: Chesterfield Building
Visitors per Day

Average Week
Visitors per Hour

Busiest Day
4-5 p.m.
Busiest Hour

Total Visitors
Location 3: Foster on the Park Apartments
Visitors per Day

Average Week
Visitors per Hour

Busiest Day
3-4 p.m.
Busiest Hour

Total Visitors
Location 4: Marriott City Center
Visitors per Day

Average Week
Visitors per Hour

Busiest Day
5-6 p.m.
Busiest Hour

Total Visitors
Bundles of this great customer service tool are available to downtown merchants, and you can also download an always up-to-date, printer-friendly version and browse the web map at downtowndurham.com/map.

Contact Patrick Holt to order a bundle or suggest revisions.

The following businesses recently opened or closed in downtown Durham.
Restaurant, American
1105 W. Main St.
Contact: Safiyyah Williams

Co-working; retail; restaurant, coffee & tea
408 W. Geer St.
Contact: Sherei Jackson
Bar/lounge; entertainment
101 W. Main St.
Contact: Jon Williams

Restaurants, dessert
905 W. Main St.
Contact: Nat Jarasawad
February 2022: I'll Take Four Weeks of Winter Weather Over Four Months!
Erik Nystrom, Clean and Safe Operations Manager
In the 20 years that I’ve been in the Triangle, I’ve played golf on weekends in January. This year, not so much. The Christmas holidays were too warm here, and I was homesick for New England, wishing for snow and cold and all the romance of winter.

I should have been more careful what I wished for. Even I was a little surprised to have three consecutive weekends of snow, ice and crud here. Where I grew up, when it snowed, it SNOWED. There weren’t these esoteric discussions in the forecasts of “warm nose cones, mid-level latent heat, dry slots, wet slots, slot machines, isotherms and warm air advection.” It was 6-12, 12-24 or 24+ inches – much simpler.

My sister Ingrid, a superintendent of a school system just south of Boston, actually laughed at me when I told her that my kids were home from school on a Friday and Monday because of the 2.5 inches of snow that fell that Friday. She told me that her school was open on Monday after 28 inches of snow in about 16 hours the Saturday before. I guess weather is a relative thing… But I digress.
Needless to say, your Clean & Safe Team was busy during the last three weeks preparing for ice and snow ahead of the weather and the subsequent cleanup afterwards. We ended up getting just enough snow that our children and dogs could all enjoy playing in it for a couple of days. And when it was all said and done, none of us were really inconvenienced all that much, so it worked out. Let’s just hope that winter as we know it in central North Carolina is over, and I promise not to wish for it anymore while I’m living here!

When you see the team out and about, please feel free to stop and chat with them. They are always happy to see you, and they’re a good source of information for everything downtown Durham.

Please be safe and stay healthy out there, and be good to each other. The team and I appreciate the fact that this pandemic has gone on for a long time now, and we’re all ready to come out on the other side fully intact. I see the light at the end of the tunnel getting bigger and brighter every day. We are Durham Strong!
Downtown Durham's dedicated Ambassador Team provides much needed clean and safe services. From sweeping and cleaning the streets, to providing directions for visitors, to jumpstarting car batteries, our ambassadors are here to help. Have questions? Just stop one and ask. Need to submit a service request? Call 919-682-BULL (2855) or submit a request online.

Clean and Safe Service
Brickwork Laying (Square Feet)
Trash Bags Collected
Graffiti Removed - Paint
Graffiti Removed - Stickers
Customer Service (Directions, Battery Jumps, Etc.)
Panhandlers/Outreach/Social Service Referral
December 2021
Feb. 21; Mar. 7, 21
Feb. 10, 24; Mar. 10, 24
Regular Meetings: 1st & 3rd Mondays at 7 p.m.
Work Sessions: Two Thursdays prior to Council meetings
at 1 p.m.

Meetings may be held virtually.
Feb. 14, 28; Mar. 14, 28
Mar. 7
Regular Meetings: 2nd & 4th Mondays at 7 p.m.
Work Sessions: 1st Monday at 9 a.m.

Meetings may be held virtually.
Downtown Durham, Inc.
115 Market St. • #213
Durham, NC 27701
This newsletter serves the businesses, residents and property owners
We're grateful for their support of DDI and downtown Durham.

We also thank the City of Durham for entrusting DDI to provide the BID services
that keep downtown Durham a clean, safe and vibrant place.

Want to know if an address is within the BID?

Support downtown businesses with the SpendaBull gift card.

Your feedback on this newsletter is welcome.
Contact gina@downtowndurham.com with suggestions or comments.

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