Shops will be a poppin’ in downtown Colorado Springs starting Nov. 1. For the second consecutive year, the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs, through its Pop-Up Shops program, is helping entrepreneurs open temporary brick-and-mortar storefronts during this holiday season.
Unbranded, a men’s and women’s clothing boutique, will open at 109 North Tejon St. It will be Unbranded’s second location, as owner Wyatt Reed has a permanent presence in Cañon City. A makers’ market housing four separate businesses will open at 125.5 North Tejon St. Together, they are We Live Studios, and are comprised of Amos Leather Works, Café Motique, The Universe Conspires and The Worley Co.
Amos will feature handcrafted leather items; Café Motique is a vintage apparel retailer; The Universe Conspires is a sculptural jeweler and The Worley Co. is a clothing retailer.
According to Sarah Harris, director of business development and economic vitality for the Downtown Partnership, there were fewer vacant spaces to fill compared to fall 2014.
“This time last year, as far as real estate, we had 15 storefronts and more than 40,000 square feet available around our main core — Tejon, Bijou, Kiowa Boulder (streets). This year we have significantly less space available.”
Harris said about 11 storefronts are vacant and a number are under contract negotiations. The average-sized space is about 4,000 square feet, larger than most lessees want, Harris said.
Along with the Pop-Up Shops, Tailored West, a clothing retailer, is expected to open in a permanent location at Kiowa and Tejon streets before the holidays. Nanci Kezar is the mother of Reed from Unbranded and also operates a store in Cañon City.
Also coming to downtown before 2016, Harris said, is the seafood-and-steak eatery Bonny and Read, which will be opened on Kiowa Street by Rabbit Hole owner Joe Campana. Lee Spirits Co., a gin distillery and lounge, is opening at 110 E. Boulder St. and, if gin isn’t your thing, check out the Ohana Kava Bar, which should open before 2016 at 112 E. Boulder St.
Businesses expected to open by early next year include Bar K, a cocktail bar on Costilla, as well as Sushi Heaven, which will open in the 100 block of N. Tejon St., Harris said.
The pop-up shops will be operational beginning Nov. 1 and will stay open through Dec. 27. The program’s mandatory hours of operation are Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Sundays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Harris said each of this year’s participants have expressed interest in extended hours.
She said, while the intent is to fill open space during the holidays, and not facilitate long-term leases, two of the five shops that began as pop-ups last year — Rocky Mountain Soap Market and Playground Kidz — are still operating downtown.