Durham businesses hoping for lift with thousands coming for graduation

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Thousands are coming to the Triangle for graduation weekend.

Many businesses--especially those affected by the explosion in Downtown Durham--are hoping for a big weekend.

"It's been slow," said Vianay Fuentes, assistant manager at El Rodeo. "People are starting to come back."

The full reopening of North Duke Street, according to businesses, has helped already.

"It has actually brought more people in than we thought," Fuentes said. "Everybody has been still calling to make sure we're open or if we're closed or if our parking lot is open."

Details, another shop in Brightleaf Square, said graduation usually is one of their best weekends of the year.

"People start coming in Friday and Saturday will be busy," said Doug Hahn, owner of Details. "We're keeping our fingers crossed that the weather stays clear.

Other people living in the area are still dealing with the aftermath of the explosion one month later.

Anne Patterson lives in West Village and still doesn't have a window.

"They say at the earliest they have a time frame of July so we're going to have to live in the dark for a while," said Patterson.

She said she had to replace her rug as well and had a ton of glass in her apartment as well.

"People who live here have been connecting with one another," she said. "But I think more than anything, it's been a headache. Thankfully the street just opened because traffic has been a nightmare especially around commute times."

Torero's and St. James Seafood still remain closed after the explosion.
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.