By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
Besides the many events it is running this summer, the Downtown Development Authority is revitalizing the historic district in many ways.
The DDA has partnered with Excel Cleaning Bros to wash the facades of downtown businesses, this week and last, following the M-24 reconstruction. “We really wanted to be able to help the businesses shine after all the dust has been kicked up for the past year,” said DDA Executive Director Kelly Westbrook.
The clean-up program allowed businesses that opted in to utilize Excel’s services at 50% off with the DDA taking on the other 50% to have their façade power washed, windows cleaned and awnings scrubbed. The service was limited to the first 30 businesses to respond, and 30 asked for the service.
“I hope to continue this program as an annual give back to the businesses or bi-annual depending on how the businesses feel their building are looking!” Westbrook said.
The DDA also recently awarded numerous design grants to help businesses improve their facades and signage. As a result, many of the awnings downtown will be replaced. Evergreen’s Coffee and Bake Shop was the first, with a new green awning featuring their logo put up last week.
The new sound system downtown is up and running, too. The speakers will play music Monday to Thursday from 4:30-8 p.m., Friday from 4:30-8:30 p.m., Saturday from 11-8:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.
And, the Social District is in effect. Six establishments have been approved, so far, to serve alcoholic beverages patrons can carry on the sidewalks surrounding the four downtown quadrants. Beverages are served in a plastic cup with the social district logo.
Look for signs along the sidewalks marking the district’s boundaries. Since it is a state highway, crossing M-24 with a drink is prohibited. Toss your cups in the trash cans on the corners, then cross to enjoy the bars and restaurants on the other side. (It is still okay to cross Burdick Street, north/south, with a drink.) Drinks are prohibited in Centennial Park, per village ordinance.
The participating bars and restaurants are HomeGrown Brewing, Gravel Capital Brewing, Red Knapp’s American Grill, Victoria’s Wine & Dine, The Oxford Tap and 24th Street Sports Tavern.
By James Hanlon