A walk through the Arts District: What a difference a few years make

Las Vegans know the Arts District as the place that hosts First Friday and unique locally-owned shops and restaurants.

Some might also remember a time, less than a decade ago, when the area did not seem up for that kind of development.

“When we came in, the alleys were dirt,” James Trees, owner of Esther’s Kitchen, told FOX5. “We used to joke around that you could fire a cannon off down Main Street and you would never injure anybody.”

Trees took a chance on the Arts District seven years ago, opening up his restaurant on California Avenue a block away from Main Street. He says it was a challenge to gain footing in the area.

“When we first opened, we couldn’t find an Uber driver who knew how to get to the restaurant,” he said, laughing.

Eventually, Trees grew his customer base, getting rave reviews of his food. As a result, he recently found himself needing to upsize, moving just one door down the road on the corner of California and Main.

“If you have not been to Esther’s Kitchen for lunch hour – man, sometimes that place is so busy and packed,” Las Vegas City Councilwoman Olivia Diaz said on a walk with a FOX5 camera crew down Main Street.

Diaz described the changes she’s seen in her district.

Full article on Fox 5 Vegas.