On a recent Sunday, chatter from people waiting on the sidewalk for tables at Dame’s Chicken and Waffles wafted on a fall breeze across a tree-lined plaza where several people sat, read and sipped coffee. Across the street, a group celebrating their friends’ anniversary wandered into the barroom of Pizzeria Toro to drink cocktails and eat Neapolitan-style slices.

In the past decade or so, downtown Durham has become a destination for diners, carousers and art lovers after years as a business district that was mostly lifeless on nights and weekends. The influx of trendy establishments has helped Durham shed its former image as the grittier sibling to North Carolina’s capital city Raleigh or the bucolic college town Chapel Hill in a tri-city region known as the Triangle.

Red more in the Bowling Green Daily News.