The Southtowne Area of Eugene is jumping these days with activity: A new bike store is opening, an old restaurant is new again, and a nonprofit organization is trying to tie up all the area businesses to market the area as a destination.
Paul Moore has opened Arriving By Bike, a new bike shop at 27th and Willamette across the street from Turtles in the space previously occupied by Bounce Gymnastics. The store has been open for a little more than a month and takes a somewhat different approach than a typical bike store. Paul is, for the moment, featuring accessories to make biking a transportation lifestyle. This includes everything from the typical bike lights and locks but also trailers to haul gear, child seats, saddle bags and back packs for commuting. Paul had been kicking around the idea of this store for 10 years and got serious about making it happen in 2006. He considered a couple of locations including the empty Jr. League of Eugene building at 28th and Willamette before stumbling across the current location that Bounce had vacated when they moved. Paul may eventually incorporate bike sales into the mix although he did not know when or what lines he would feature, he is more concerned with getting people geared up to incorporate biking into their daily lifestyles, whether they are commuting or simply running errands around town.
Willie Saleebe, of Willieâ€™s on 8th and The Waterfront fame, has taken over and reopened the spot where Three Square was. He renamed the restaurant A Change of Heart Bistro. Serving lunch and dinner and brunch on the weekends, this spot is tucked in on Oak around 28th behind True Value Hardware. There is new outdoor seating at the south end of the restaurant where you get a great view of Spencerâ€™s Butte. Hopefully Willie can make this fly long term, the brunch I had there with a couple of friends was great, good quality food at reasonably prices, and the crab cakes were delicious.
A group of merchants in the Southtowne area have banded together to create a â€œvibrant commercial districtâ€ through branding and advocacy. The group, officially named Southtowne Business Association (SoBA) started over a year ago as an idea between Jean Stover of Supreme Bean and Brie Malarky of Winestyles for the Woodfield Station businesses. They wanted to create a group to tie together some of the local merchants and drive traffic to the area. The idea quickly grew as other businesses surrounding Woodfield Station expressed interest. The group is now officially a 501Â©3 organization committed to creating a shared, cohesive, neighborhood brand image. This will include everything from events to marketing and promotions. They will also try to partner with government to improve the safety, livability and transportation within the district.