Building a Time Machine for Durham's Food Landscape

Building a Time Machine for Durham's Food Landscape

Proceed with caution

This project has been removed from our site and is no longer available for viewing.

Remember Another Thyme Kim Son Honey’s? The Know restaurant and book store? As Durham gains more notoriety for its “foodie scene,” it’s easy to forget restaurants of the past. So here at Savas Labs, we’ve created a helpful Durham restaurant time machine.

With this tool, you can click back through the years (from 1995 through 2015) to see which restaurants were open when, and where. No longer do you have to wonder:

Map showing the Pan Pan Diner, at its original location on Hillandale Road
  • Where was the original Pan Pan Diner located? (Hillandale Rd and I-85 -- misspelled as Hillondale in the health inspections dataset)
  • Where was Ninth Street Bakery before it was on W Chapel Hill Street, and when did it move (776 Ninth Street, 1997)
  • Is it true when people say that there were no restaurants downtown in the 1990s? (not exactly, but there were a lot fewer)

Click here to take a look! And we’d love to hear what you think! You can reach us on twitter at @savaslabs, or email [email protected].


The data comes from Durham’s new open data initiative, which provides a dataset of restaurant inspections going back all the way to 1990. We cleaned their data and mapped it using Leaflet, an open-source JavaScript mapping framework – how we did that will be the subject of a future post! The gorgeous basemap is Stamen Design’s watercolor tiles, but if you find yourself lost you can click the “label streets” button to get a little bit more geographic context.

The full sourcecode for the map is available on github at savaslabs/durham-restaurants-map.