One of the things that I love about Clematis Street – and I’ve said this many times in this column – is that it’s a true downtown area.
It’s not a mall that’s professionally managed by some out-of-state company that manages hundreds of properties throughout the country, but it’s hundreds of individuals who have invested in our downtown. Like all businesses, some stay for a long time, some pack up and move on.
Unfortunately, 2017 started with the news of several downtown businesses closing. Recent downtown closures include The Bee, Bar Louie, Shout Karaoke, Liberty Book Store, Tin Fish and Burger & Beer Joint. Macy’s at CityPlace has announced it will close in March.
Tin Fish and Bar Louie have been anchors on the east end of Clematis Street for around five years and Macy’s has been in CityPlace since the very beginning. It’s hard to see places that we’ve come to enjoy shut their doors, and I know there’s been talk about whether this is “the end of Clematis Street.”
While I don’t know the details of why these businesses closed, I do understand that if you’ve been on Clematis Street as long as I have you’ve seen a lot of businesses come and go.
At the same time, if you come to Clematis Street regularly, you’ll also agree that on any day of the week it’s busier than it has been in quite a while. The interesting thing is that it’s not just the most popular businesses that bring the crowds. Each day we get news of new businesses opening downtown.
To give Palms West Monthly readers even more reasons to spend time downtown, I’ve compiled a list of all the exciting new places that are coming or just opened in the Clematis Street district.
The popular breakfast and lunch café is moving from its current location just south of Forest Hill Boulevard to 206 S. Olive Ave. – the old Palm Beach Café spot.
Construction work has gone on for several months, and once its doors open I predict it will be a hit in Downtown.
Simplicity in Mind
This women’s clothing store, founded on the minimalist’s approach to life, is opening its doors at 200 S. Olive Ave.
Simplicity in Mind offers a uniquely curated selection of handmade merchandise produced from small vendors throughout the United States.
Rossano To Go
Opening up at 105 S. Narcissus Ave., this pizza and sandwich shop is owned and operated by Italian model and reality TV star Rossano Rubicondi. The space was formerly occupied by Nature’s Way Café and rumor has it that they’ve acquired a fire rescue vehicle which will be used for local deliveries.
I’m very excited about MidiCi, coming to 218 Clematis St. It’s a fast-casual pizza concept that started in Los Angeles in 2015 and quickly had locations popping up all over the country. MidiCi features an open kitchen, fresh non-GMO ingredients and Italian hand-made wood-fired ovens that cook a pizza in 90 seconds.
The Butcher Shop and Beer Garden
The Butcher Shop and Beer Garden, opening at 209 6th St., is a beer garden-style hangout featuring artisanal meat dishes, craft brews and a butcher shop.
It has a very cool space on 6th Street where it plans to duplicate the success of its original location in Miami’s Wynwood arts district.
West Palm Beach Brewery & Wine Vault
Opening soon in the former Hard Exercise Works space at 322 Evernia St., it will feature a brewery and a tasting room. Outside seating will be used to host food trucks and picnics where people can bring their own food and enjoy it in the beer garden.
Total Movement is a fitness program for adults focusing on fun and challenging intense workouts for all fitness levels. With a number of workout locations on or near the Waterfront on Flagler Drive, go online to themovementwpb.com for a list of times and locations.
I’m hearing through the grapevine that the space that formerly housed The Bee at 123 Datura St. is being turned into a speakeasy-style bar.
Intimate setting, drinks, no dance floor but music and DJs. The concept is inspired by 310 Bowery in New York.
We’ve been waiting for Lost Weekend to re-open after it closed on the 200 block of Clematis Street in 2014. It looks like our wishes will come true in the next few months as major construction at 526 Clematis St. winds down.
If we know anything about Rodney Mayo’s restaurants, it’s that it may take some time getting here, but when they open, they’re done right.
Kapow Noodle Bar, opening its newest location soon at 519 Clematis St., is currently the No. 1 restaurant in Boca’s Mizner Park.
Another of Rodney Mayo and the Subculture Group’s creations, this craft cocktail and noodle bar is expanding to Clematis Street and taking the space that formerly housed the former Longboards eatery.
The expansion of Subculture coffee is now complete. The new space, previously occupied by Café Sweets before it reloceted to Evernia Street, opened in early January and provides the dedicated Subculture crowd with more space as well as food and juice options.
Now you know what I know. Clematis Street is still the place to be and is bringing in more visitors and attracting exciting, fresh businesses.
I look forward to seeing what new restaurants and businesses continue to move into these new prime spaces and look forward to continue letting you know about what’s hot Downtown.
Pictured above: Aioli is moving from its current location just south of Forest Hill Boulevard to 206 S. Olive Ave. Photo by Mariela Harris/Palms West Monthly