I love letting you know when something new is coming to downtown, giving you the backstory on the people behind the business and spreading the pre-opening excitement just a bit. That said, I sometimes hear that readers knew a business was going to open, but didn’t tune in when it actually happened. It’s sometimes nice to circle back and show what the recently opened business looks like once open and to remind everyone that they are indeed doing business.
I wrote a few weeks ago that Cruze Farm Ice Cream would open a pop-up shop at 412 South Gay Street, with the intention of announcing a permanent Gay Street address later this summer. The store opened today and response was, if anything, predictable – lines formed quickly. Fortunately for their neighbors, this year’s version of their pop-up has plenty of space inside for the lines.
Two perfectly cute young boys joined the girls and young women in serving up the ice cream and other delicacies. The funniest thing I saw was several blocks away on Union Avenue. Two couples walked as rapidly as possible, each with an ice cream in each hand and badly loosing the battle with the elements as their ice cream melted more rapidly than they could walk to their delivery destination. Expect to see more of this all summer.
The French Market opened a couple of weeks ago and has been busy since. I’ll confess to providing a large amount of that business. My whole family from Urban Boy (age 2) up love the new space. We’ve brunched, lunched, dined at night and simply hung out for the coffee.
It was a good move for the business as reflected by the sometimes long lines (that move much more quickly at the new location) and full or nearly full restaurant at peak meal times. Once the patio is opened, the place is going to be firmly entrenched as a downtown favorite all over again.
Dustin and Jared must have done the fastest switch in downtown history as they moved Rock Paper Hair Studio from its previous location on the 700 block of Gay Street to its new home at 11 Market Square. They’re still working on some of the details, like the sign for outside the shop, though the Local Motors sign has now been removed.
Business never slowed as they closed the old location on a Saturday and opened the new location the following Tuesday. (They are closed Sunday and Monday.) They’ve also gotten the added bonus of walk-ins who did not know them from their previous location. They’ve got First Friday art on the walls and they are rocking the new location. Urban Woman makes her first appearance there this week.
Zoran says business has been great since he opened E.D. Bailey Barbers last week. He’s had a number of customers, many of whom, he says, saw the article I wrote. (If you didn’t read it, you should, his story is amazing.) He’s even had a repeat customer in that short amount of time – a young man who wanted his hair freshened a bit after a week. A father and son were in the shop when I arrived.
There’s another side story to that story: I dropped in last week the day before he officially opened to introduce him to Urban Woman. After introductions between the two, he turned and introduced us to another man who was with him in the shop. He said, “Let me introduce you to my friend Zoran.”
We did a double take while they grinned. It turns out that Zoran the second, has lived in Knoxville for years. He read the article I wrote and stopped in to introduce himself. He’s also a biker, also from Serbia and says they were born about a mile apart. Both left as civil war broke out. It’s a small world, after all. Knoxville has two Serbian-born Zorans.
Finally, I stopped in to take a peek and give you a look at Bat n Rouge, the eye lash and make-up shop that opened its new location on the 100 block just last week. Most of the young women were present and working when I arrived and, as you know if you read the article, Haley has built a successful business already and that can only get better now that she has such a great location.
So, there’s your follow-up for several of our newest businesses. All seem to be doing well and they are looking great. If you find the chance, stop in and give them a good word. Support them as you are able.
Happy weekend, everyone. I’ll check in next with you on the radio, Sunday morning on WUTK, 90.3 at 10:00 AM when I’ll have musical guests Eli Fox (formerly of Subtle Clutch) talking about his new album and Taylor Kress of Jubal talking about their newest release. Good music and good conversation for your Sunday morning. Join us on the radio or at WUTK online for the live stream.