published Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Shops celebrate opening on Cleveland's First Street Square

  • photo
    Charles Nelson, left, owner of Trailhead Bicycle Co., and Andrew Barnett work on a bicycle Saturday during an open house and grand opening for businesses around First Street Square in Cleveland, Tenn.
    Staff Photo by Randall Higgins

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Most of the nine businesses that now cluster around First Street Square, Cleveland's newest park, held a combined open house and grand opening this weekend.

First Street Square, a project of the city, MainStreet Cleveland and Cleveland Utilities, was completed last summer just off Inman Street and became the home of the summerlong Five Points Market.

Some shops already were in the area between Inman and First streets long before the park was ready. Others relocated or opened for the first time.

There's still plenty of space in what, decades ago, was Cleveland's central shopping district, said MainStreet Executive Director Sharon Marr.

"It's great to see the park is doing what it was intended to do: provide green space and parking space that brings shops back to this area," she said.

Across Inman Street is the Museum Center at Five Points and the old railroad depot, which is being restored to serve as a hub for the city's fixed-route bus system.

Kendra Bailey moved her business, Ever After Bridal & Formal Wear, to First Street Square on its fifth anniversary this month.

"We expanded so we could accommodate our customers. We were bursting at the seams," Bailey said.

"I had a shop in California for 10 years, and we were in an old brick building downtown also. I love the brick and ambiance of old buildings. When I walked in I fell in love with it," she said of her First Street Square location.

"We took something old and turned the inside into an elegant boutique that you might see in Paris, complete with chandeliers in all the suites and dressing rooms," she said.

Trailhead Bicycle Co. was in First Street long before the park was built on the site of a former dry cleaning shop.

"This is becoming a go-to downtown location," said Trailhead owner Charles Nelson. "I think there is going to be a domino effect. We never expected the growth and development we have seen the last year. We are pleased with not only what the city and MainStreet has done with the park but with everyone else sort of gathering around."

First Street Square shops include:

• Ever After Bridal & Formal Wear, 251 Inman St.

• ReDecor & More, 155 Inman St.

• Hyderhangout: Quilt Fabric & More, 219 First St.

• Trailhead Bicycle Co., 225 First St.

• Museum Center and Gift Shop, 200 Inman St.

• Catch Restaurant, opening soon at 227 Inman St.

• Creative Arts Guild, 295 Inman St.

• Dara's Hair Studio, 237 Inman St.

• Wheeler Technologies, 211 First St.

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