There are a couple of retail change-ups taking place on Elmwood Avenue within a section of the street that has come a long way over the last decade. D’Avolio is on the move once again (see history), and this time the business has purchased a building that currently houses Clutch (see store). D’Avolio will be moving out of The Neighborhood Collective in order to gain an Elmwood street presence (and property ownership security). I spoke to the owner of Clutch, Sue Marfino, who told me that she’s going to take some needed downtime from a business that she says remained fruitful throughout its six-year stint. If it were not for the building sale, Clutch would still continue to operate. “You will probably see Clutch come back again in some form in the near future,” Sue told me. “Everything happens for a reason.” The inventory at Clutch will be gradually discounted over the next few months.
Over the years the 800-block of Elmwood has become very desirable. I still remember a time when there were hardly any businesses on that section of the street. It took a couple of small businesses to make the jump past Auburn (as the 700-block blossomed) to start the trend. Then The Lexington Co-op moved in, causing other businesses to jockey for position nearby.
Today the 800-block of Elmwood is a destination unto itself and continues to change, despite the lack of available storefronts. Maybe this would be a good time to see some needed connectivity between Lafayette Avenue and Bidwell Parkway. There are a number of residential houses that are itching for commercial conversions. That’s the way to grow the district. The question is, “Will it be the business owners or the developers that set out to increase the commercial stock of the street?”