NewBo City Market Spurs Growth at Surrounding Businesses

By Addison Speck, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Some shops and restaurants in Cedar Rapids' New Bohemia District are seeing big business thanks to the NewBo City Market. The market opened two weeks ago and Executive Director, Ann Poe, said it has been beyond their expectations.

"The response has just been absolutely overwhelming and the community has been wonderful," said Poe.

More than 22,000 people filled the NewBo City Market opening weekend.

"The vendors seem to be extremely thrilled about the amount of people coming to our market," Poe added.

For the past two weeks, as people have come down to the district to explore the market, they've also discovered many of the surrounding businesses along the way.

Restaurants to resale, the district has a little bit of it all.

"We've seen an increase of customers coming in that didn't even know we were here and I've been down here for 13 years, minus 16 months because of the flood," said Bob Jacoby, owner of 3rd Street Resale.

Just up the street is Top Drawer, a mostly consignment shop that also does tag and estate sales.

"Some people have come in lately and said, we've never seen this place before and we love it and we will be back," said Eileen Andrews, an employee at the shop. "I think the NewBo City Market is doing a wonderful job at bringing people down here."

Businesses like Top Drawer, 3rd Street Resale, and even Parlor City have all been cashing in on the neighborhood's new life.

"We open at 8 a.m. and do breakfast, which is usually a little bit quieter hours and in the last couple weeks we've gotten quiet a rush in the morning," said Stephanie Jelinek, manager at Parlor City.

Jacoby said the market has doubled his business the past couple weekends. Top Drawer is also just as pleased.

"It was tremendous," said Andrews.

Leaders of the NewBo City Market have heard that many surrounding businesses are feeling positive effects from the opening.

"That's exactly the kind of economic development we want in this revitalization area, it's perfect," said Poe. Some owners in the area even expect with the recent popularity, whatever vacant spots are left in the district, will soon be gone.

Some businesses already open are now rethinking hours and days of operation. If the market is open, they want to make sure they're open too. Many said what they've seen in the past two weeks is something worth changing for.

"It's exciting when you look out the window and there is people everywhere," said Andrews.
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