ROGERS PARK — Pop-up markets, arts studios and seasonal murals are coming to vacant storefronts on two Far North Side commercial corridors battered by the pandemic.
The chambers of commerce in Rogers Park and Edgewater have secured funding from a new city program to open pop-up markets and other storefront activations along Howard Street and Bryn Mawr Avenue this holiday season, according to the business groups.
In Rogers Park, the money will allow for the creation of the Howard Street Makers Studio. Edgewater’s Bryn Mawr Avenue will be home to two pop-up shops as part of a new event called Winter Bryn Mawrkets.
The efforts are part of the city’s “small business storefront activation” program, which last month awarded $2 million to 18 neighborhood-based business groups to bring more foot traffic and storefront activity during the holiday season.
Bryn Mawr Avenue and Howard Street have suffered from the pandemic, with Bryn Mawr Avenue having lost anchor businesses and Howard Street dealing with rollbacks on issues of safety and economic development. With the events, the local chambers are trying to attract neighbors to existing businesses and generate buzz for potential new businesses, the groups said in statements.
Here is what’s planned for the storefront activations.
Winter Bryn Mawrkets will bring two pop-ups plus art installations to vacant storefronts on Bryn Mawr Avenue near the Red Line.
The larger market will open at 1052 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. in the historical Belle Shores Apartments building. It will include gifts and seasonal goods, including art, cosmetics, grooming products, pet supplies and sustainable backpacks from a local company, among others.
A second pop-up will open at 1040 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. that will feature rotating artists showcasing their art, selling items and actively using the store as a studio, according to the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce.
Both pop-ups will be open 3-7 p.m. Fridays and 1-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday through Feb. 12. The shops will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas, which are on a weekend.
Artists will also decorate vacant stores along Bryn Mawr Avenue with murals and art installations. The Edgewater chamber is also hosting events during days the markets are open, including artist demonstrations, face painting, balloon artists and a visit from Santa.
Winter Bryn Mawrkets expands on previous efforts to attract neighbors to the corridor. That includes last summer’s Bryn Mawrkets, which saw young entrepreneurs set up in vacant storefronts, and last year’s pop-up holiday market.
Howard Street east of the Red Line tracks will come alive with new storefront murals and a pop-up market dedicated to showcasing local artists and makers.
The Howard Street Makers Studio will open Dec. 3 at 1609 W. Howard St. It will be staffed by rotating artists-in-residence, who will open the store at least four days a week and offer events such as movement classes, art workshops, sip-and-paint nights and open art studio time, according to the Rogers Park Business Alliance.
A ribbon cutting for the pop-up is 12:30 p.m. followed by an open house until 5 p.m Dec. 3. There will be a chance to create your own art, plus food and drinks.
Chicago artist Barrett Keithly will paint windows in vacant stores at 1531 W. Howard St., 1609 W. Howard St. and 1631 W. Howard St. The murals will begin going up in late November, according to the chamber.
The market will be open through February. For a list of participating artists, click here.
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