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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bicycle Tour of 10 East Biz District

Did you know you could find all this on E 10th St?

Last week, I went on a bicycle tour of some of the businesses in the 10 East Biz District.  The tour was held by the East 10th Street Civic Association, and highlighted both some of the newer businesses that have opened as part of the ongoing development of this district as well as some long-time businesses that contribute and give back to the neighborhood.  Much of this development was spurred by the 2012 Super Bowl Legacy Project, but that was not the end of it, as progress continues to be made with more homes being renovated, more people moving back, and more businesses starting or relocating here.  Some of the highlights of the tour for me were:

  • Audrey's Place Thrift Store  Audrey's Place has been on the Near Eastside for more than 40 years, and in their current location since 1991. I could spend hours browsing the collections here.  Some of the things which caught my eye:
  • comic books from the 1970s,
  • an old Avon cologne bottle shaped like a VW Beetle,
  • vintage Coca-Cola collectibles,
  • a 1961 edition of the Harbrace Handbook of Style (I was really tempted to buy it to see what, if anything, differed from the 1986 edition which I have in my office right now).
    Infused spirits at the Tick Tock
  •  Tick Tock Lounge  We couldn't go inside with the minors in our party, so Tammy was kind enough to set up on the tables outside and serve us some refreshing lemonade while she talke d about what makes the Tick Tock so special.  Tammy grew up on the Near Eastside, and she's successfully operated restaurants at other locations.  When this building came available, she jumped at the chance to come back home.  The Tick Tock donates breakfast to people participating in the annual neighborhood cleanup, and often holds fundraisers for other projects in the area.  They are well-known for their infused spirits, which they make themselves, and for their signature Bloody Mary made with bacon-infused vodka and garnished with bacon and tater tots.  I have not yet tried that Bloody Mary, but I am a big fan of their smoked fish spread.
    Pretty teacups at Tin Comet
  • Tin Comet Coffee  They graciously donated cups of coffee beans for our tour swag bags, and handed out juice boxes to the kids.   They have delicious coffee and tea, and blend up fun drinks like the Dirty Hippie.  They are also just a cool place to hang out, with books to read while you sip your drink, vinyl LPs spinning on the record player, and fun events like story slams and live music.

  •  Little Green Bean Boutique  Run by my friend Heather, this store offers gently used children's and maternity clothing, and locally hand crafted items.  Our swag bags included coupons for $5 off a $25 purchase, and I will definitely put that to use.  Heather puts together the best gift bags for baby showers.  She hosts fun events as well, such as the Valentine's Pinterest Party, and the Christmas Market.

      Produce at Pogue's Run
    • Pogue's Run Grocer  A member-owned food coop; Pogue's Run offers organic produce, natural products, bulk grains and spices, and locally sourced food items. They provide healthy food to a neighborhood where it traditionally has been hard to find.  They also offer cooking and gardening classes, and they have a very popular deli counter, serving locally produced Smoking Goose meats.  Everything I've tried here is so good, it's hard to pick what to recommend.  They gave us all sandwich punch cards which were all filled up, so we could come back and treat ourselves to a free sandwich, which I did the very next day.

    • Gordon's Ice Cream Parlor  I saved the best for last in my list.  I cannot tell you how much I love this place!  I have been wanting an ice cream parlor in this neighborhood for a long time, and Gordon's is everything I wished for.  They have 36 flavors, and they change them every 2 weeks.   My current favorite is Berry Me, but I'm sure in 2 weeks I will find a new one.  The link above in their name goes to their Facebook page, and I highly recommend you Like it, because you definitely want to know when they are offering specials.  Buy one, get one for $1 milkshakes?  Yes, please!

    Moon Block Building
    I am lobbying for a sporting goods store in the neighborhood next.  It's really the perfect fit.  There are lots of runners & bikers in the area.  The 10 East Biz District meets up with the Monon Trail, Mass Ave, and the Cultural Trail at Connect10, so plenty of other runners & cyclists pass through..  Fitness and sports activities include Near East Soccer Alliance, Englewood Recreation which hosts rooftop hockey, Metta Yoga, Brookside Dance Academy, and the Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center; and there are 3 races held here every year (Race for Roofs, Brookside Bash Color Dash, and Arsenal 5K).  And of course there are the many athletic teams at Arsenal Tech High School, including the 2014 4A State Basketball champs!

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