Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pop goes the West Village

Photo by Marvin Shaouni
(originally published 11/13/12 in Model D)

It's an exciting time in West Village. The cozy, dense, architecturally rich neighborhood just west of Indian Village is seeing a much-needed retail boom at the same time it's getting some attention as an urban gem, glittering with character, history, and potential.

Following the massively successful pop-up Tashmoo Biergarten, which opened last fall and continues to introduce the neighborhood's distinct charms to vast numbers of craft beer enthusiasts (and the people who love them), two more pop-ups made their mark last month: cafe and bakery Coffee and (______) and locally-designed clothing boutique PRAMU. Both opened in the Parkstone, a solid, 11-story brick building built in 1925 with apartments on top and (previously vacant) retail space on the ground floor. Next Spring, four new (permanent) establishments will be opening in the same building, and each offers a different reason to celebrate: Detroit Vegan Soul, Red Hook, Tarot and Tea, and Craft Work. (Read all about them here, and take a look at the spaces they'll be occupying here.)

For residents, these new neighborhood destinations, made possible by a partnership between the Villages Community Development Corporation and the REVOLVE program of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, will be more than just places to eat, drink, or have your cards read. As PRAMU and Coffee and (______) demonstrated, they'll be valuable gathering places, places to get to know your neighbors, and reasons for friends from other parts of town to visit. They'll also be places to get to by foot, and in a neighborhood that residents commonly refer to as "walkable without anywhere to walk to," that's a big deal.

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