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Businesses Pop Up in The Arcade Around the RNC

[photo: Michelle Faust/ ideastream]

by Michelle Faust

There’s a noted difference between the throng of people on East 4th Street and the more relaxed pace in the Victorian-era shopping center just across Euclid Avenue.

The Arcade, which has been largely vacant, is hosting seven temporary retailers, as pop-up businesses with short-term leases, ranging from one to three months.

Allison Tinerello and Nick Sword sit working on twin laptops in front of their store logo that reads: Cleveland in a Box. The young entrepreneurs started the gift box company that specializes in Cleveland goods about a year and a half ago. The temporary store-front option allows them to test the waters and see if locals will shop there before deciding on their long-term plan.

“I think we wanted to wait until the convention craziness to pass first to make sure it wasn't busy, solely, just because of the convention and the hype--that it would be a little more long-standing,” says Tinerello.

She thinks many of the visitors are using her business to get a sense of the parts of the city that they won’t see during the convention.

“It's a lot of people from out of town and they're using this as a way to explore the city even though they can't go all over,” says Tinerello.

Shop owners say they enjoy meeting the visitors, but locals can be a more steady customer base.

At Monica Potter Home, Stephanie Dietelbach says the shop was busier last week, “People on their lunch breaks coming downtown and those people are not coming into work this week.”

Next door, at the Powder Room spa, manager Monica Velasco describes business during the convention as, “like a steady-slow. It's not dead and it’s not… nobody's busting down the doors.”

Velasco says some of the visiting reporters and delegates have come in for facials, but in some cases it takes creative marketing and talking to people on Fourth Street to bring customers into the shopping center.

“It’s just beautiful with the natural light and everything,” says Velasco. “It just seems like a really good fit for us.”

Like many of the businesses, the management will consider a permanent move to the Arcade after reviewing the books from this test period.