The landscape downtown continues to change. Just as there has been a spate of new apartment development announcements, there have been a number of new retail locations opening or added to the pipeline.
"It is exciting to see so many new locations opening downtown in recent months," said Cleve Ricksecker, Capital Crossroads SID Executive Director. "Independent retail stores generally need smaller, less expensive 'white box' space that is clustered with other retailers. Gay Street is currently the best location downtown for clustering retail activity, but there are plenty of other locations where retail can thrive if property owners understand and respond to market demand."
Here is a quick rundown of the newly open or soon-to-open spots making downtown even more vital.
51 East Gay Street
In the works since early in the year, Vinyl Frontier is expected to be open on Independents’ Day (September 15) and then open officially on September 22. This will be a unique retail location offering music, concert posters, photography, graphic novels, animation Blurays and more. Owner, Justin Crockett hopes shoppers will find a shopping experience unlike those you’ll find in more traditional shops (hint: he describes the décor as Gothic Apocalypse).
39 Below 39 E. Gay Street
Opening during the high heat of summer, Carolyn Maloney tapped into the “looking for a sweet treat” and “man it’s hot out here” markets. 39 Below is a self-serve frozen yogurt shop, featuring eight different flavors daily with many toppings and sauces to complete a yogurt masterpiece. The shop is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
"The response from the downtown community has been tremendous," said Maloney. "Every day we have people come in and thank us for opening a frozen dessert place downtown. When I see the downtown skyline I feel so independent and yet so connected to something at the same time."
105 North Grant Street
Slated to open in September, Grass Skirt is the latest venture of the Columbus Food League (previously Betty’s Family of Restaurants). Liz Lessner, whose Tip Top Kitchen and Cocktails, Dirty Franks and The Jury Room are already downtown favorites, will bring Polynesian food, fun and flair to the downtown restaurant landscape. You can visit their Facebook page for updates.
95 North Grant Avenue
Since the announcement that Hills Market would be opening a store downtown, residents and workers have been counting the days. The 12,000-square-foot full-service grocery will meet what has been considered a critical retail need in the urban core. The store is expected to open in early October.