One step backwards, two steps forward on Milwaukee Avenue

2620-food4less-vacant-11-6-08-003Store closing

Last weekend, Food for Less closed its doors. It was a short-lived venture, and there have been probably three other similar dollar stores in the same space in recent years.

To my dismay, the building owners have reinstalled the window grates, once again creating a perception that Milwaukee Avenue is unsafe (see Spring cleaning).

The new “for rent” signs have an Indiana telephone number. I find this interesting because over and over again when I have talked with the business and property owners on Milwaukee Avenue, those that do not live in the neighborhood were surprised that I do live in the neighborhood. They have a perception of the area as not being safe. I’ll grant you that we still have more than our fair share of crime. With Milwaukee Avenue, though, it seems to me a chicken or the egg situation. What comes first: a change in perception or reality?

2616-18-cheetah-graces-close1Cheetah Gym is on again!

Some time ago I noticed that the large “for lease” sign in the window of the old Grace’s Furniture building had been taken down (see Not without a mooring), and today I learned that Cheetah Gym has signed a lease — again — for the building. While “mattress bunny” (see Milwaukee Avenue Art Walk is here!) will have to finally come down, this is really good news for Milwaukee Avenue. So much promise, which I’ll write more on later.

Possible cocktail gallery

I also learned today that there is a possibility that a “cocktail gallery,” a combination art gallery and bar (I don’t have details, but envision a coffee house type environment with adult beverages) will also fill a vacant space on the 2600 block of Milwaukee Avenue. I imagine it will take some time, what with requiring a liquor license and all, but that there may be some additional night life on Milwaukee Avenue is also good news .

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