FIND IT ALL DOWNTOWN
BY JEAN MARIE JOHNSON, WITH NOTES FROM MARY CHARLOTTE HINKLE
The same things that make downtown Winston-Salem a desirable destination to visit are also what make it an attractive place to work, reside, and do business. There’s an unmistakable creative and collaborative spirit in restaurants, shops, arts venues, and innovative businesses centered here. The vibe is consistent, and despite COVID, continues to catch on.
With a pleasant year-round climate as the backdrop, the arts and culture thrive 12 months of the year in our downtown. Case in point: a visit to the arts district offers over 90 shops and galleries where you are sure to find more than a few treasures that suit your taste.
Arts, Books & Gifts …Galore!
In galleries such as Artworks, the longest running cooperative gallery in Winston-Salem, you can peruse and purchase the works of both emerging and established artists, most of whom are local. If you’re one who craves the immersion that a real-time bookstore has to offer, be sure to visit Bookmarks, the quintessential independent bookstore which has been apart of our community since 2004. Or if you need a truly unique (and sassy!) gift, try Urbn Grl on Burke Street. Check the shop and gallery websites or simply call for specifics you need. Your patronage means so much to our creative community. And while COVID has meant some pulling back and adapting, there are still a variety of events to attend, most of which are free to the public.
Feeling Hungry? Thirsty?
Here’s a statistic that will make your mouth water: our downtown district offers more than 75 restaurants and coffee shops, eight breweries, and 30 bars and nightclubs. There’s something to please everyone’s palette or craving. You might find your way over to Lil Dipper on North Patterson for a “low-guilt” vegan ice cream. Or, maybe you fancy a banana and Nutella pancake at one of downtown’s newest brunch spots, Young Cardinal Café & co. For a “farm to fork” urban dining experience complete with craft cocktails, there’s Jeffrey Adams on West 4th. The options are nearly endless and always evolving to reflect today’s tastes and the creative passion of our chefs and their patrons. Of course, for the time being, many of your favorites are likely to offer limited inside dining, outside dining, takeout, and curbside pick up. Be sure to check their websites or give them a call for current hours and COVID protocols.
Make Time for a Walk!
Another way to immerse yourself in the uniqueness of our downtown is to grab your walking shoes for a pleasant stroll through other attractions including Old Salem, the West End Historic District, and the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. These areas of our city offer a colorful peek at our history, as well as a glimpse into the future of how we are evolving.
A Place to Call Home… or Go to Work
Of course, there’s a flipside to the commercial buzz and it’s more personal. Our downtown is currently home to 10,000 people and residential development is still underway. With 4,100 housing units already established, there are another 275 proposed, including a 244 unit apartment community across Trade Street from Winston Junction Market and Earl’s. And While our downtown streets may not be back to their usual traffic volume just yet, this area is also home to 1,500 businesses that employ 22,000 people.
The Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to downtown’s forward momentum. The Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership (DWSP) is working behind the scenes to ensure the city center’s success. By supporting businesses and organizing events, the not-for-profit group is helping to make downtown Winston-Salem a vibrant place for all. Make no mistake about it, #DTWS is BOOMING!
Now more than ever before, our downtown offers all of us the opportunity to connect with the past, engage in the present, and marvel at the future. Here’s one stop to make on a regular basis: downtownws.com. Whether you participate in real-time or shop our local businesses online, the heartbeat of Winston-Salem is alive and well downtown.