Restaurant News & Reviews

Bulldega set to open in downtown Durham this spring

Future site of Bulldega, a bodega and market opening this spring in downtown Durham.
Future site of Bulldega, a bodega and market opening this spring in downtown Durham. Matt Lardie

Bulldega, a bodega and market, will open later this spring in downtown Durham’s City Hall Plaza.

The business is the work of Yvette West, who rehabbed the downtown Durham building with her husband. She and her son-in-law, Jay Connor, are opening the business to bring affordable, accessible groceries to the downtown Durham.

Both West and Connor envision Bulldega as offering a variety of price points that appeal to a diverse crowd of downtown Durham clientele, from workers at City Hall across the street to residents of the downtown core to visitors staying at The Durham Hotel and 21c Museum Hotel nearby. The pair plan to host monthly community events, free and open to the public and featuring guest speakers from a wide array of disciplines.

But at its heart Bulldega is a grocery store. They will focus on sourcing as many local and regional products as possible but also plan on carrying staples — think the toilet paper, cleaning products, bread, and milk that downtown residents now have to drive west to Harris Teeter or Whole Foods, or east to Los Primos Market or Sav-A-Lot to purchase. Connor, who most recently was at the former Six Plates Wine Bar in Durham, will run the shop’s beer and wine program.

Durham Catering Co. will be providing grab-and-go snacks and lunches, such as salads and wraps, for the market. West plans on complementing the breakfast and lunch service provided by next-door-neighbor The Bagel Bar.

The aspect of the shop that excites both West and Connor the most, however, is the living herb wall the pair plan to install. The wall will be both a design element of Bulldega as well as part of the shop’s grocery offerings; rather than buying prepackaged herbs, customers will be able to snip just what they need.

Info: 104 City Hall Plaza,,

Matt Lardie is a Durham-based food and travel writer. He writes the Eat Write Go blog: Reach him at