d u r ha m
tour fo rc e de
ake a look at a postcard of Durham, and you’re likely to find a few iconic sights – Duke Chapel, the Old Bull tobacco sign and, very likely, the Lucky Strike Water Tower at American Tobacco Campus. The development is an integral part of the Bull City and a destination for thousands of visitors each year. ATC’s restaurants are iconic in their own right, with NanaSteak serving hungry patrons of the Durham Performing Arts Center (best place for live music, according to our readers) and local diners alike, Tobacco Road Sports Cafe offering one of the city’s premiere sports bar experiences, and the much-beloved and recently relocated Parker & Otis (in a space developed by best commercial builder BridgePoint General Contracting) sharing its equally beloved deli fare down by the ATC river. And a new slew of eateries have either recently opened in American Tobacco or announced plans to do so. Puerto Ricanmeets-Southern-fare food truck Boricua Soul found its brick-and42
This downtown district is jam-packed with Best of Durham winners
ABOVE NanaSteak’s charcoal-grilled prime rib-eye and an Old Fashioned with Old Forester bourbon, a mixture of bitters, Luxardo cherries and Luxardo syrup, garnished with an orange twist. RIGHT Caitlin Long and Nick Long enjoy drinks
and appetizers on NanaSteak’s patio overlooking ATC.
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mortar home in 2019 across from where Tyler’s Taproom was (which Parker & Otis has occupied since early 2021); Press Coffee, Crepes and Cocktails opened its doors on Blackwell Street near the Durham Bulls Athletic Park last summer; and NanaSteak, QueenBurger and Zweli’s Kitchen & Restaurant are also adding their new concepts to the campus. With American Tobacco Campus poised to expand even further – a 700,000-square-foot mixed-use project on 11 acres of the former University Ford site is slated to include a 14-story highrise residential building and 90,000 square feet of experiential retail, to be completed in 2024 – and solidify its claim as one of Durham’s premier dining destinations, we wanted to find out what made it such an attractive place to open a restaurant. So, we started making a few calls. Surprisingly, (or perhaps not, if you’re familiar with the Goodmon family and Capitol Broadcasting Co., which owns ATC) the No. 1 answer we got was “the landlords.”