The Bullpen: Durham’s New Social District, Effective December 1, 2022

Durham’s downtown social district, aka “the Bullpen,” went into effect on December 1. The Bullpen extends from the corner of W. Main St. and Buchanan Blvd. to Golden Belt. In this district, people can walk with specially marked to-go containers of alcoholic beverages purchased from participating establishments, from 11am to 10pm, seven days a week. Drinks must be disposed of before leaving the district.

Durham City Council unanimously approved the creation of the district in October, with the goal of driving foot traffic to downtown businesses. Many other North Carolina cities and towns–including Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte, and Greenville–also established social districts in the past year, following the September 2021 passage of state legislation allowing municipalities to designate areas where alcoholic beverages can be purchased from a licensed ABC permittee, and then taken outdoors.

For more information about rules and participating businesses, see https://

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