This year saw 12 storefronts filled in downtown Aurora plus one that joined an existing tenant. Of the 13 businesses, eight are new, four relocated, and one reopened.
New in downtown
Undisputed Vintage celebrated their ribbon cutting in April. Located at 14 W. Downer Pl., the storefront joins the Metropolitan Business College building lineup that includes All Spoked Up and Tredwell Coffee. The vintage store favors pop culture and sports apparel from the 1990s.
Craft Urban opened a second location at 41 S. Stolp Avenue this summer. The seasonal American craft kitchen and bar features daily specials, a happy hour at the bar, and plentiful indoor and outdoor seating. Also located in Geneva, the Aurora location also offers a variety of events and its popular ramen night.
Also this summer, Alice’s Corner Bolivian Cuisine moved into 37 W. New York St. bringing their familiar empanadas to a downtown storefront. Owners Alicia and Oscar Butron have long been staples at Aurora Farmers Market and Geneva French Market. At their restaurant, they serve a full menu with daily specials.
Kathryn’s Place celebrated an August ribbon cutting at 61 S. Stolp Ave. The new juice bar serves up shakes, fresh and raw juices, and a natural foods menu. Located behind QT3 Fitness, the juice shop honors owner Quint Thompson’s mother.
Adriana Vazquez and Richard Mulligan opened Nuna Ceramics Art Studio, 77 S. Lake St., in September. The studio offers products, memberships, and hand building and wheel throwing workshops and classes. Learn more at www.nunaceramics.com.
Hoof + Horn moved into 14 W. Downer Pl. in Wyckwood House’s previous location this fall. The metaphysical store relocated from Yorkville to bring its witchy items to downtown Aurora. The retail store specializes in crystals, reiki, healing, yoga, meditation, herbs, candles, and ritual supplies. They also have a line of home decor and houseplants.
The Cornucopia Shop opened this summer and celebrated with a ribbon cutting at September’s First Fridays. Owners Kate and Dave Lasota brought their gift basket business to 63 S. Broadway, next to the city’s Development Services Building. The storefront is packed with a wide variety of gifts such as candy, dips, cheeses, teas, and more. They often sample a few of their teas for store visitors.
JKA WF Chicago Karate Institute opened at 60 S. Broadway.
Relocated in downtown
Wyckwood House expanded into a new storefront and added a cocktail bar this spring. The new location in the renovated school district building at 80 S. River St. features a larger women’s boutique with a line of men’s apparel as well as a cocktail bar and liquor market. Owner Shannon Gutierrez also added an event coordinator to her staff to host private events in the cocktail lounge.
The Cotton Seed Creative Exchange relocated from Broadway to 64 S. River St. Owner Yvonne Toney-Thompson provides a curated shopping experience focused on local makers, artists, and small businesses. The retail store features boutique gifts, new books, used vinyl, custom apparel, and more.
This fall, Sammy Wammy Floral expanded into a larger storefront at 32 N. Broadway. The family-owned business specializes in fresh floral designs and custom orders for all seasons and occasions.
State Farm moved into a street-level storefront at 26 N. Broadway. Formerly, agent Medhat Sbeih operated upstairs across the street. The new location offers an enclosed meeting room and multiple desks.
Reopened in downtown
Culture Stock, 122 W. Downer Pl., reopened inside Simply Destinee this summer. The used bookstore is a social venture that operates as a hub for cultural activities and community programs while serving as a used book and media reseller. The bookstore was originally located at 43 E. Galena Blvd. along Water Street Mall. In their new space, Culture Stock hosts open mic nights and other community events.
In addition to filled storefronts, the Terminal Building and the Hobbs Building both held ribbon cuttings for their renovated apartments downtown.
Other downtown happenings included SciTech Hands On Museum partnering with APS Training Academy in the Bank Building at 105 E. Galena Blvd. and Christkindlmarket opening its first season at RiverEdge Park.
Coming in 2023
Premil will be relocating to what they have dubbed “The Garage” at 5 E. Downer Pl. in the first floor of the Stolp Island Parking deck. Premil features brand merchandise, sneakers, sportswear, and apparel.