DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Recognized as an emerging lunch destination, East Durham is getting national love as part of the New York Times' '36 Hours in Durham,' that highlights the Bull City's ongoing transformation.
"It's refreshing to see East Durham covered in a different light," Mike D's BBQ owner Michael De Los Santos said.
What was once a food desert is now flourishing with places like Ideal's Sandwich and Grocery on Angier Avenue marked by long lines.
"This place is popping pretty much ever since they opened," Zach Sirotto said.
East Durham wasn't always this way, according to Samuel & Sons Barber Shop owner Samuel Jenkins.
"It has went from a crime-infested area to now, you actually see people walk in the door. You see kids going out in the street. You see everybody's trying to help each other," Jenkins said.
The New York Times features describes Durham's growth as reaching "a new stage," with a downtown that's "brimming with new restaurants, boutiques, bars and breweries."
Business owners say the booming growth won't impact what makes Durham special.
"The business owners who are from the Bull City or who have been here for a long time, sort of represent that charm of the city, as long as that doesn't get pushed out," De Los Santos said. "I think we'll continue to have that Bull City charm, even if there's a bunch of people moving in."