A social district is coming to downtown Durham. The new area will allow people to take alcoholic drinks to go in certain outdoor spaces. 


What You Need To Know

The City of Durham voted yes to creating a social district in downtown

The measure will allow bar and restaurant customers at participating businesses to take their alcoholic drink to go

The district will need to be defined by the city, and the new rules may take effect before the year is out


On Monday, Durham City Council approved an ordinance to amend city code and allow for the new rule. Now, restaurants and bars can choose whether they want to offer the to-go service for alcohol. Stores, art galleries and other businesses in the district will be able to opt in to allow customers to come in with alcoholic drinks.

People could start taking their drinks to go on Dec. 1. City officials must still mark the boundaries of the new social district. 

Last year, the General Assembly approved a law that allows cities and towns in North Carolina to create social districts that serve as spots where people can buy alcohol and take it to go. 

This does not mean someone can open a beer on the public sidewalk. Businesses will be able to sell alcoholic drinks to go in labeled plastic cups.

The City of Durham is one of nearly 20 municipalities, including Raleigh and Greensboro, that have successfully created social districts.