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New owners take over, start businesses in downtown Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – Chef Kristofer Reid is getting ready for the grand re-opening of his new business.

“We painted the whole place, we put up new artwork,” Reid said. “We got all new equipment in the kitchen.”

He's the new owner of Liberty Oak Restaurant and Bar.

It’s a business that's been in downtown Greensboro for nearly 20 years that Reid officially took over in June.

“It's always been a dream of mine to own my own restaurant,” Reid said.

He's one of more than a dozen business owners either taking over or starting a new business downtown.

“With what's going on in downtown right now and the way things are building up and all the new construction coming downtown, I figured it was just the perfect opportunity,” Reid said.

With lots of new development underway, like the Hyatt Place hotel slated to open next year, the Steven Tanger Center for Performing Arts and other projects, city officials say they're seeing a rise in new businesses, mainly restaurants and bars.

"Our office meets with someone multiple times a week, usually looking for spaces downtown," said Jodee Ruppel with Downtown Greensboro Incorporated.

Ruppel says since January, 13 new businesses have opened downtown, with another four currently under construction.

Last year, about 25 businesses opened downtown.

"We're on track this year to surpass that," Ruppel said.

It’s the kind of momentum Reid says he didn't want to miss out on.

“We want to get in before it's too late,” Reid said.