DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- In an effort to help boost business in downtown Durham, Downtown Durham, Inc. is launching The Streetery every Friday and Saturday night. Portions of some downtown Durham streets will close to expand outdoor dining. There will also be performers.
More than 25 restaurants in the city of Durham worked with Downtown Durham, Inc. to make The Streetery festival possible. It'll run every Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. through Dec. 19.
"We've talked with the individual restaurant owners and they are struggling, as everyone knows, during this COVID pandemic," said Downtown Durham Inc. President & CEO Nicole J. Thompson. "This has been especially hard on our smaller businesses, on our businesses in the food and beverage and hospitality. This is a way to hopefully bring more people into the area."
Jeremy Shouse, of Pokeworks, hopes The Streetery will bring exposure to the downtown Durham restaurant.
"It's been tough, a lot of my staff members are not able to work," Shouse said. "I am grateful for the city of Durham to allow just some type of space, to create a space for people to come to feel comfortable sitting down, in an open setting away from other people, and just, like I said, just create a space where people can enjoy live music and get out of the house for a change."
"We are lucky that our city really wants to support small businesses as much as they can by being flexible and nimble and trying to make these kinds of things happen," Thompson said.
"Anything they can do to bring people downtown to have them walk around could really help make people aware there are things here, that they can support restaurants and shops and such," said Alley Twenty Six owner Shannon Healy. But he questioned why it took so long to start the event.
"Now, other places in the country and in the state have been doing this for months and months now and not to be ungrateful that they're finally doing it now, right before it gets too cold for people to want to sit outside," Healy said.
Those attending are asked to socially distance and wear a face mask.