Greensboro’s Lewis Street busy with opening of new businesses

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Boxcar Bar and Arcade on West Lewis Street looks the same on any given weekend night.

“Very, very busy and it stays busy,” said manager Jenna Rice. “We continue to get new people in all the time. Our line will stretch down the block sometimes.”

It's the same story a few doors down at The Bearded Goat on East Lewis Street.

"You just see on the weekends a wide variety of people,” Assistant Manager Chris Vargas said. “I just think it's really cool.”

Both businesses have opened on Lewis Street in the past year along with about half a dozen others.

“It's very different now,” Vargas said.

Vargas says the street has come a long way in the past two years.

“I remember walking through the crime scenes and seeing all the detectives and everything,” Vargas said. “Gave kind of a bad name to Lewis Street, but we changed that.”

From November 2014 to 2015, back to back violent incidents happened on Lewis Street, in or near the former Lotus Lounge which is now Boxcar.

One man was shot and killed, another stabbed in the neck.

The club closed for good in 2015.

"At night, people were more hesitant to come down here," Vargas said.

Besides the violence, Vargas also says there wasn't a lot to do.

“There were no businesses besides antique shops,” he said.

But with seven new businesses on the street in the past year and a half and more on the way, many say the area has done a complete turnaround.

“It's more lively,” Rice said. “More people walking around in general.” ​