Boricua Soul to Open at American Tobacco Campus Eager to Serve Up “New Ideas and New Flavors”

Former Food Truck and Pop Up Will Open Its First Brick and Mortar Restaurant This Summer Featuring Puerto Rican/Soul Food Fusion Fare

(Durham, NC) – April 18, 2019 – Boricua Soul, one of the first businesses to occupy American Tobacco’s popular PopUp @ ATC space, is taking its experience to the big leagues and opening its first ever brick and mortar restaurant. The eatery is expected to debut by August with 1,800 SF in the Crowe Lobby and will open up to the campus lawn via foldable doors, allowing for patio seating.

Tastemakers Toriano and Serena Fredericks — who, previous to their pop-up experience, ran Boricua Soul as a much-in-demand food truck — will transform restaurant space in the Crowe Building. There, they’ll continue to serve up their acclaimed take on Puerto Rican dishes enhanced with exciting twists developed around West African, Native Indian and European ingredients and techniques that came to Puerto Rico and the American South as a result of the African slave trade.

In addition to a full lunch and dinner menu, Boricua Soul will also welcome music, poetry and other live performances to a stage that will be programmed year round.

Click here for a video laying out Boricua Soul’s journey. Click here for photos of the cuisine.

“We are so excited to be working with American Tobacco to bring our restaurant dream to life,” says Serena. “With a comfortable space designed to share delicious food amongst family and friends while you experience live performances in a world-class setting like the campus, I believe we’re creating a restaurant that will become a home for repeat customers.”

American Tobacco has been working with Boricua Soul since their successful run in the PopUp space in September 2018 to develop an exciting offering unlike anything in the city.

Adds Toriano, “Puerto Rican and cuisine in the American South are both unique and so familiar. We hope the spin that has created legions of fans to our food truck will continue to delight new customers as well as pay homage to the family members who taught us everything we know about both delicious cuisines.”

The restaurant is the first in a series of announcements that bring to life the revisioning of American Tobacco’s restaurant and retail offerings created in partnership between teams from the campus and global leader CBRE.

“Boricua Soul represents a commitment to seek out and support the best and brightest restaurateurs and entrepreneurs for the limited spaces we have on a campus that welcomes 4,000 daily workers and residents and more than 1.3 million annual visitors,” says Adam Klein, chief strategist, Capitol Broadcasting Company. “Tori and Serena are incredible leaders in the Durham community who make this city remarkable. We’re diligently working to bring new flavors, new ideas and new opportunities to not only the campus but to Downtown Durham.”

Boricua Soul will take up approximately 1,800 sf. The space will feature a stage and large foldable window door to open the restaurant to the campus.

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Growga to Launch ‘Mindful May’ Event Series at American Tobacco

Wellness Startup to Take Over Campus’ Famed Lawn for a Series of Fun, Free Events Designed to Introduce Mindfulness Via Activities for the Whole Family

(Durham, NC) – April 10, 2019 – American Tobacco is partnering with American Underground-based wellness startup, Growga, to launch a series of free, family events on the campus’ famed and beloved amphitheater lawn this spring.

The series will launch as part of Growga’s mindfulness-focused campaign for all Triangle families to celebrate a ‘Mindful May.’ Growga’s teachers will lead families through fun activities designed to not only bring them closer together but also reinforce key mindfulness tactics that will help both kids and parents work through the stresses of an increasingly hectic daily life.

Parents who register will also receive exclusive daily content such as free meditations, kids mindfulness activities, and interviews with mindfulness experts. They will also receive an invitation to a closed Facebook group which will provide additional tools to help them along their month-long (and beyond) mindfulness journey.

Launching on April 13 as part of the Durham 150 Celebration, Growga will offer the following classes at American Tobacco Campus:

  • April 13 – Durham 150 Celebration – In partnership with Aetna, Growga will showcase mindfulness techniques through engaging activities.
  • May 4 – 5:30 pm – Star Wars Yoga and Jedi Mindfulness – Will coincide with Star Wars Day at the Bulls
  • May 7 – 11 a.m. – Google I/O Extended Breakout Session @ American Underground – Mindfulness for Coders (Separate registration here)
  • May 18 – 10:30 am – Growga Family Fun: Celebrating the International Day of Families through Partner Yoga, Community, and Mindfulness
  • June 15 – 10:30 am – Growga Family Fun: Expeditions – Growga will take families on an imaginative journey around the world and practice fun movement and pretend play.

All classes will be free and donations accepted for Growga Gives, a philanthropic arm of the business designed to fund scholarships for children and schools unable to pay for Growga classes.

“As part of Mindful May at American Tobacco, we want to invite all families from the community to join us at a destination they know and love to take part in fun, technology-free, silly, and, ultimately, valuable activities that are going to help them reset some of the anxiety that is keeping them from truly thriving,” says Emily Behr, owner and founder, Growga. “Growga’s mission is to reverse the staggering statistics facing kids and adults today: one in five people will have an anxiety disorder by the time they are 18 and the median age for these diagnoses is now six-years-old.”

Launched in late 2017, Growga has grown from one class Emily taught at her neighborhood community center to more than 60 monthly classes taught by 13 teachers across Chatham, Durham, Wake and Alamance counties with more territories coming online soon.

“As American Tobacco focuses on the types of new businesses and entrepreneurs we wish to partner with on campus, we recognize that companies like Growga and startup leaders like Emily are the type that are going to truly differentiate us and continue to make us one of the most renowned destinations in the country,” says Michael Goodmon, senior vice president, Capitol Broadcasting Company. “And, personally, as the father of four young kids, I worry constantly about the unprecedented stresses our kids face today. Going outside to hit a ball or chase your friends around has been replaced with screentime and kids having their own online calendars. We need more Growgas to show not only our kids but all of us, that we need to change or else the problems we face personally and as a community are only going to get worse.”

Growga’s offerings include mindfulness classes for parents and kids from birth to high school, as well as corporate training to support mindfulness in the workplace.

Adds Emily, “At Growga, we want everyone, adults and kids alike, to realize that a more mindful existence is getting back to a less busy, less stressed way of living and enjoying life. It isn’t sitting in an expensive studio, practicing meditation for hours on end with high-priced gurus. Mindfulness is about turning off the distractions for a little bit of time on a consistent basis to realize your true intentions, desires, and goals. At Growga, we try to accomplish that by mixing in well-researched and established techniques into fun activities like play, music, art, movement, and drama.”

Growga teaches classes across Durham, Orange, Chatham, Alamance and Wake Counties at locations including: Community Power Yoga, Yoga Garden PBO, Downtown Yoga & Barre, Sprout Farm, and within organizations such as the YMCA of the Triangle (youth programs), Partnership for Youth Opportunity, and schools across the area.


Durham Tech to open new Culinary Arts program in American Tobacco

New program will use former Art Institute space in Tobacco campus

Durham Technical Community College has signed a lease for a commercial kitchen space at the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham to house the College’s new Culinary Arts degree program.
The program is scheduled to begin Fall 2019. The lease for the Tobacco campus space is projected to start in early June. The space was formerly occupied by the Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham.
“Durham is nationally recognized for its food and restaurants, and the demand for trained culinary professionals is strong. We are committed to meeting employer demands in a number of areas, and we understand the value of having a culinary program in Durham to prepare students for these excellent opportunities,” said Durham Tech President Bill Ingram.

Being able to house this program in the heart of downtown Durham, the hub of our outstanding food scene has the potential to lead to numerous partnerships and will place our students at the center of Durham’s vibrant culinary scene.”
There are more than 1,000 food and beverage operations in Durham and Orange counties, according to Discover Durham, Visit Chapel Hill, and Visit Hillsborough.
Students who successfully complete the new Durham Tech program will earn an Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts.
The program will offer a short-term stackable credential certificate in restaurant management. The Restaurant Management certificate may allow students to become nationally certified by the National Restaurant Association in the following topic areas: ServSafe Food Safety, Controlling Foodservice Costs, Purchasing, Hospitality Human Resources Management and Supervision, and Hospitality and Restaurant Management.
Classes in the Culinary Arts program will cover culinary skills, menu design, baking, catering cuisine, cost control, food safety, and more.
“We will educate and empower the students for excellence with the needed knowledge and principles of the culinary world but also to develop them to become managers,” said Altarius Moody, Director of Culinary and Hospitality Management. “Students will learn all aspects of the kitchen from execution to production, determining strengths while learning to mitigate weaknesses before hitting the job market.”
Durham Tech currently offers culinary Continuing Education classes.
“We’ve been working for months with Durham Tech to develop not only a use for this unique space but a program that will facilitate the creation of a whole new generation of world-class chefs based right here in Durham,” says Michael Goodmon, senior vice president of Capitol Broadcasting Company. “Durham Tech is one of the best and brightest community assets we have in the Bull City, and we’re thrilled to be welcoming their students and instructors to campus.”
Stephanie Turner: Durham Tech Marketing and Media Relations Coordinator
919-536-7246, ext. 5202;


Mini golf opens soon in downtown Durham, complete with beer, wine and frozen cocktails

“Durham’s mini golf course and bar has booked its tee time.

Bull City Mini’s owners announced they will open May 11, aka National Mini Golf Day, in the American Tobacco Campus, next door to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Bull City Mini will open in the former Bullpen bar space at 359 Blackwell St., a shift from original plans announced last fall. Married owners Julie Bryce and Ben Owens previously said there would be an outdoor course on the lawn by the Aloft Hotel and Durham Performing Arts Center.

Now the golf will be a weather-proof, seven-hole course, with four indoor and three outdoor holes.”

Read more in the NEWS AND OBSERVER.


Bull City Mini Golf to Debut at American Tobacco on May 11, National Mini Golf Day

Local Couple to Open Biz in Former Bullpen Space with Community-Designed, Durham-Inspired Mini Golf and Bar

(Durham, NC) – April 1, 2019 – Triangle residents will have a new option for recreation when Bull City Mini opens in Durham on Saturday, May 11th featuring community-designed mini golf holes and a bar serving local beer, wine and frozen beverages for adults and kids.

The seven-hole, indoor-outdoor course will occupy the former Bullpen space on Blackwell Street at American Tobacco Campus, adjacent to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The course will extend outside onto the patio, flanked by an outdoor living room to enjoy a drink before or after playing, or relax as spectators. Picnic tables, comfortable outdoor seating and murals by local artists Candy Carver and Britt Flood will encourage patrons to put down their phones and focus on the fun of being with friends and family.

When Bull City Mini opens its doors on National Mini Golf Day, there won’t be any doubt as to the provenance of the project. Over fifty people submitted entries in the community-wide call for Durham-themed hole designs. Selected winners include a team of local middle school students, a ninth-grader from Chapel Hill, several working artists, a team of Duke medical school student, Triangle-based tech professionals and a handful of creative Durhamites inspired by the project.

The holes aren’t just locally-designed either. Long-time Triangle fabricator and design shop, Point Concepts, is fabricating the holes. Point Concepts was founded by North Carolina State University industrial design graduate, Dan Schwab in 1992  to create branded environments, and museum and tradeshow displays. Their clients include Red Hat, Citrix, Blue Cross Blue Shield, UNC Rex Hospital and BASF.

For husband-and-wife duo, Ben Owens and Julie Bryce, this project is a dream and side hustle two years in the making. Durham locals and both full-time working parents, chasing the idea of locally-inspired, community-designed mini golf has led them across the country, into partnership with bona fide mini golf experts who have consulted on other locally-conceived, artist-designed projects in Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Spartanburg, and now into their first ever foray into brick and mortar retail.

Golf at Bull City Mini will cost $7 with drinks and snacks offered a la carte. The team plans to add additional holes in the coming months as space allows. For images, please click here.

“A Sense of Place”

For Ben and Julie,  a 2017 cross-country road trip with their newborn son and dog sparked the idea for Bull City Mini.

“On a predictably hot July night in Austin, Texas, we played mini golf at a course where Ben remembered playing as a kid. Not only did we stretch our legs and enjoy an hour of recreation delightfully detached from our cell phones but this particular course allowed alcohol, so we played with our respective wine and beer in hand,” says Julie. “I noticed how intergenerational the clientele was – grandparents and grandkids, high schoolers on dates, and everyone in-between. The next morning, I turned to Ben and said ‘Durham needs what we did last night’.”

Julie, a professional marketer, and Ben, an engineer and data scientist, started formulating a concept and then a business plan during those long stretches driving home to North Carolina.

“Our first call was to the course we played in Austin. Her answers confirmed this was a viable, if not crazy, idea. After our first conversation with mini golf experts, designers and course reviewers, Tom Loftus and Robin Schwartzman, we realized that mini golf was experiencing a resurgence as device-weary people like us want something to do that doesn’t involve a screen, special equipment or much preparation or planning,” says Ben. “Inspired by other courses we researched and played, we decided we wanted to build a course with a sense of place, inspired by Durham and designed by members of the community.”

The course will feature seven community-designed holes by artists, students of all ages and members of the community. “We received over 50 entries in our call for hole designs. Narrowing the list to seven for this first course was difficult. The ideas were fantastic, but we weren’t surprised. This is our city and we know how creative its citizens are. The people here are one of the main reasons we love calling Durham home,” says Julie.

“We both work in tech and spend more time than we’d like to admit staring at a screen, so we’re committed to building a business that encourages offline recreation and fosters opportunities to reconnect with loved ones in real life,” says Julie.

Bull City Mini will be an extension of the successful PopUp at American Tobacco program which has brought exciting new concepts to the campus via a rotating series of retail and restaurant experiments.

“Durham has rightly earned a reputation as “Foodiest City in the South” but we know locals and visitors alike want more than good food and drink. Great downtowns have something for everyone, including the opportunity to play. As American Tobacco continues to hone our restaurant and retail vision for the next decade, homegrown entrepreneurs like Ben and Julie are the type we are looking for to help develop new concepts that will delight our existing 1.4 million annual visitors and attract another million each year,” says Michael Goodmon, Senior Vice President, Capitol Broadcasting Company. “I can’t wait to take my family for a round of golf before a Bulls game this spring.”