The 2013 business guides, printed this spring, reflect an upsurge in new restaurants and retail businesses throughout the downtown district. More than a dozen businesses opened in 2012 and early 2013: Alex & Ani, Bodega Malasana, Circe, Civil, The Eddy, Ellie’s Bakery, Figidini, Hanley’s Ale House, Marquee Cafe, Metro Cafe, Noon Design Shop, Providence Coal Fired Pizza, Quickly, RISD Expose, Veggie Fun, and Yogurt Queen. Thirty-five new establishments have opened since early 2011, and several more are expected this summer.
WRNI, the local public radio station, featured stories about this growth on June 5th and June 10th. In a June 14th interview with Dave Fallon and Mark Murphy for The Bottom Line, Providence Foundation executive director Dan Baudouin said that demographics worked in our favor, with the downtown environment attracting Millennials, Baby Boomers, and entrepreneurs. He believes that people are still looking for unique products and retail experiences, which can be found here.
With occupancy rates nearing 100% on about residential 3,000 units, the downtown housing market remains strong. While the retail vacancy rate has dropped significantly in the past 10 years, Dan acknowledges that there’s still room for growth.
Download the 2013 business guide, or pick up a printed copy at the visitor center in the Rhode Island Convention Center. An updated directory can also be found within the Neighborhood Guide section of this website.
(Noon Design Shop photo: Marianne Lee)