In the last year, a half-dozen new businesses have opened their doors along White Center's main drag through 16th Avenue SW.

"I came across the opportunity and had to pounce," said Nate Rezac, who just opened his Two Shoe's BBQ restaurant in the space of a former Vietnamese deli. "This really seems to be an untapped area."

Across the street, Beer Star just opened.

Down the block, there's Zanizbar, Noble Barton, Company Store and others.

"It's gotten a lot better," said Tammy Gunderson, a longtime resident and bartender. "We have a lot of new businesses coming."

Six months ago, Aaron Goss opened his bike shop on 16th Avenue SW after he got priced out of his former location at Morgan Junction in West Seattle.

"I felt like White Center was up-and-coming," said Goss. "This is the cool place to be. I had a gut feeling."

The main drag is not totally cool -- yet.

There are still boarded up shops and adult video stores.

But now, there are pony rides for kids and live outdoor country music at Two Shoe's BBQ.

"It's bringing new life to the neighborhood," said Cathy, a longtime bartender. "They're rejuvenating the heart of the town."