We’re Open This Weekend

Downtown will be open this weekend. Check our Facebook page for up-to-the-minute event happenings.

To celebrate the St Patrick’s Day holiday, the City is allowing plastic or aluminum containers of alcohol outside from 11 am – 5 pm on Saturday, March 14th. Drinks must be purchased at a participating downtown bar as outdoor sales are not allowed.

BARS

  • Buzz Bomb Brewery opens at 10 am on Saturday and for Boozy Brunch on Sunday
  • Club Station House opens at 9 am on Saturday
  • Anvil and Forge opens with new releases at 8 am on Saturday
  • Craft Beer Bar opens at noon on Saturday
  • Gin Mill opens at noon
  • Celtic Mist opens at 10 am on Saturday
  • Floyd’s Thirst Parlor opens at 7 am on Saturday
  • JP Kelly’s opens at 7:30 am on Saturday
  • Frankie’s Brewhaus opens at 8 am with breakfast and beverages on Saturday
  • The Incubator opens at 10 am on Saturday
  • The Alamo opens at 8 am with breakfast burritos on Saturday
  • WetBar opens at 11 am on Saturday
  • Try Terra Ferment from 2 – 11 pm on Saturday

RESTAURANTS

  • Obed and Isaac’s from 11 am – 11:30 pm
  • Boone’s Saloon opens at 8am with breakfast
  • Robbie’s Restaurant will be open 11am-3pm Saturday serving their corned beef & cabbage along with potatoes & Irish soda bread
  • Long Nine Junction open from 11 am – 3 pm
  • VELE will be open for regular dinner service on Friday and Saturday (4 pm bar 5 pm dinner – 11 pm)
  • Cafe Moxo open 6:30 a – 3 pm on Saturday and free delivery for orders over $30 (every day except Sunday)
  • La Piazza open 11 am – 10 pm on Saturday
  • Di Piero’s open 5 -10 pm on Saturday
  • Order online from Head West
  • Maldaner’s Restaurant is open from 5 – 10 pm on Saturday
  • Tacology 101 open from 11 am – 5 pm
  • Anchors Away open from 11 am – 10 pm
  • Try the new Jerk Shop Go from 11 am – 9 pm
  • Saputo’s open starting at 5 pm
  • Springfield Carriage Company 8 am – 8 pm with green eggs and ham and free mimosas
  • Enjoy Coffee Cake Donuts with green icing and Green Tea Cupcakes from Wm Van’s Coffee House from 7a-7p

RETAIL

  • Willow & Birch’s online store offers 17% off through Sunday
  • Springfield Vintage is open 11 – 5 pm with 20% off all day Saturday
  • Dumb Records is open 10 am – 8 pm with bands starting at 7 pm (all ages show)
  • Murphy’s Loft is open from 10 am – 5 pm on Saturday
  • Corrine’s Closet is open from 10 am – 7 pm on Saturday
  • Studio on Sixth is open from 10 am – 5ish
  • Wild Rose is open 10 am – 5 pm
  • Reverie Apparel is open 10 am – 2 pm
  • Itty Bitty Fashion Trunk is open 10 am – 2 pm
  • The Elf Shelf open 10 am – 3 pm

Our neighborhood understands that some people may be social distancing right now. If you choose to go out, please keep your hands washed & clean and don’t shake hands.

Whatever you decide, we encourage everyone to please continue to support local business. Please consider taking one of these actions this week:

-Buy Gift Certificates
-Order Restaurant Delivery for a Friend Who Is Freaking Out
-Donate Your Ticket Costs Back to the Venue if Event Has Been Cancelled
-Fill A Growler and Take It Home
-Give to Cultural Institutions
-Give to Social Service Agencies
-Be Mindful with Your Health and Health of Your Neighbors

Generous tipping is also very much appreciated. People working in Springfield’s very important hospitality industry don’t always get sick leave and very small businesses don’t have an army of staff.

This is going to be tough going for a while and we appreciate your support!

How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Downtown

Roses are red. Violets are blue.  Downtown is a hot spot of romance for you.

Join Downtown Springfield for a week of love and romance.  Many of our businesses have special activities planned just for you and the one you love.

Get your Vintage Love on:
The Sixth annual Vintage Love Tour will be on February 8th, 10am -4pm.  Wander downtown and around town in search of cute vintage, hand-painted, antique, home decor shops. Collect a charm at each stop and take home a fun necklace to remember your day in Springfield.

Grab your best Gals and have a fun night shopping for Galentine’s Day:

Why not Wednesday’s special addition Galentine’s Day will be on February 12th.  One lucky shopper will go away with a gift basket filled with downtown love.

  • Murphy’s Loft will have 10% off any items with hearts, love or arrows.
  • Wild Rose will have Valentines Promo Sale $10 off all upcycle clothing. 10% off all wood furniture and shelves. $10 all hats and ear warmers by Cindy. 25% off felt paintings
  • Corrine’s Closet will have 20% off sweaters and coats 

Listen to the melodies of romance.

  • Enjoy a romantic evening featuring music inspired by classic stories of star-crossed lovers by the Sangamon Valley Civic Orchestra.  The orchestra will perform LIVE on Friday, February 21, 2020 at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield. Join Conductor Niccoló Muti as the orchestra performs beloved classics including Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture and Humperdinck’s Sleeping Beauty SuiteFor more information, please visit their website at www.SVYS.org.
  • Illinois Symphony Orchestra will be performing a special Love Note concert.  Take note that

love is in the air this Valentine’s Day with the pure magic of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and the seductive passion of Strauss’s Don Juan. The technical fireworks of pianist Sandra Wright Shen will be on display in Rachmaninoff’s captivating Third Piano Concerto. The perfect gift for this notable day.  Saturday, February 15, 2020 | 7:30 PM

 

Date night plans?  Whisk the one you love and treat them to an evening downtown to one of our fine restaurants.

  • Valentine’s Weekend at VELE: Celebrate Valentine’s Day at VELE! We will be offering our regular menu along with a few specials on Friday and Saturday. Each couple will enjoy a complimentary flower and chocolates. 5-10 (dinner) bar is open until 11pm; reservations now open online: https://www.velerestaurant.com/dine
  • Augie’s Front Burner will have an exquisite Valentine’s day weekend menu for you to choose from. Click here to see the menu.  You can make a reservation by calling (217)544-6979.
  • Nu-Voh at the Saint Nicholas will feature a Valentine’s Day Dinner! A five-course dinner. 1st Lobster Bisque, 2nd Fig w/bacon chilies, Walnut roasted grape spinach salad w/ feta balsamic vinaigrette, Choice of one. Braised short ribs $44.95 Herbs of providence filet Mignon $54.95 Butter poached lobster w/crispy potato pave $59.95, and finally Valhora chocolate-covered strawberries or Vanilla cheesecake w/ pear port wine glaze. Reservations 217-572-1994

Or maybe your relationship is not quite ready for a dinner date.

  • How about Boozy Brunch on February 15 or February 16? 10 am at Buzz Bomb Brewing with hot food served up from Cafe Moxo, a Bubbly & Bloody Bar from Just The Basics Mobile Bar, and of course Buzz Bomb beer!

Need a Love potion?

  • Cupid coming after you? The bite of love still fresh?  Celtic Mist will be serving up Love Potion #5 (sangria, coconut water vodka, juices) -$4.

Learn the history of Love

  • History doesn’t always mean treaties, speeches, and battles. It can also mean romantic letters, love songs and reunions with loved ones, as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will demonstrate the day before Valentine’s Day. 
    A special “Tales from the Vault” session on Feb. 13 will showcase materials from the presidential library’s collections that connect to love and romance. Manuscripts curator Christopher Schnell will explain each item and discuss what historians can learn from them.

 

FY 2021 City Budget Hearings

Last night, DSI went to the City of Springfield budget hearings for the three departments our organization works with the most: Economic Development, Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Public Works. The departments were offering their proposals for the FY2021 city budget which starts March 1, 2020. Here are some highlights from the presentations and discussion with Aldermen of interest to those of us who care about downtown.

DOWNTOWN TIF FUNDS

In three years, the TIF will have positive cash flow. There is no cash available for payouts for obligated projects this fiscal year. Annually, the TIF pays $1.4M to the County to disperse to the taxing districts, including District 186. This fiscal year, $1.25M will go to the YMCA project at 4th and Carpenter, $450,000 is targeted for DK Collections’ hotel project at 4th and Washington, and another $165,000 needs to be paid for the sewer project on the north side of the Y Block. Discussion included whether the City would bond against future TIF projects.

VISITORS BUREAU AT 6TH AND ADAMS

There has been a 550% increase in visitors to the Visitors Bureau since it opened its visitors center on the Plaza vs when it welcomed visitors at its headquarters on 7th Street. There were 17,000 people who stopped in in 2019. We advocated for a Plaza visitors pop up back in 2017 and we’re thrilled with the results.

CVB GOES MOBILE

The Convention and Visitors Bureau’s budget includes a $54,000 “wrapped” van to utilize for interstate travel when hunting for new conventions and for local events and site visits.

LOCAL SPRINGFIELD PROUD

CVB will be working with other local organizations on a local pride marketing campaign.

OTHER CVB UPDATES

Convention bookings turned definite 20% higher in 2019. Route 66 Living Legends program will be rolled out Spring 2020. A new billboard on N Peoria Rd (near ISF Gate 4) directs southbound visitors downtown to the Visitors Center. The graphics are at right. Northbound, a Route 66 tease and another for travelers heading out of town to return to Springfield.

PARKING METERS

City has sent out the same RFP they used 18 months ago again. Public Works plans to hold a public input meeting in a few months.

The current RFP calls for upgrading 200 of the 1400 meters downtown to be able to accept a credit card. Much discussion with Aldermen about whether this is the right strategy.

Staff admits that some meters are not used much in the outskirts and may consider taking them out.

TREE ASSET INVENTORY

Public Works has $100,000 in its proposed budget for an inventory of Springfield’s trees and a plan to replace them. Aldermen displayed skepticism for the price tag for this consultant. This is an initiative of the Mayor’s Urban Forestry Commission.

BIKESHARE

Public Works said Gotcha will be launching their bike share program in downtown this spring.

TWO WAY STREETS

Along with the modernization of traffic signals which have outlived their useful life and need to be replaced, the City intends to convert several downtown streets back to two-way (as they were previously in the 1950’s and before) for easier navigation and safety.

Regarding the costs — $4.3M is the cost for overall signal modernization and two-way street conversion of 4th, 7th and Adams as the first phase. If the City reversed course and decided not to do the conversion back to two way (which DSI would oppose), the cost of the modernization would be $3.4M.

BEAUTIFICATION

The Mayor’s beautification proposal includes downtown and the major corridors of the city. It was unclear how the routes would be prioritized. Public Works said they would be putting together a five year plan for this and their other projects.

Public Works mentioned installing a street arch at First Street. We’re not sure what this is, but we’re asking! Sounds like the replacement of something historic to go along with the Mayor’s beautification proposal.

SUPPORT FOR DSI

The Economic Development budget included $50,000 for DSI’s economic development work.

———

Downtown is represented by two aldermen – Andrew Proctor (Ward 5) and Shawn Gregory (Ward 2).

Announcing the 2019 Downtown Awards Nominees

All recipients are announced at our Annual Dinner on Thursday, January 16th. (You can still buy tickets! We are going back to the 1920’s with this year’s theme).

Awards without pre-announced nominees include Best Holiday Window as voted by the public; Best Upper Story Renovation; Best Overall Renovation; DSI Volunteer of the Year; and Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations to the following businesses and individuals who epitomized the Best of 2019 in downtown Springfield. The nominations by the public were reviewed by a committee of DSI Past Presidents and members who were active in DSI committees last year:

Best Retail
Corrine’s Closet
Dumb Records
Itty Bitty Fashion Trunk

Best Restaurant
Arlington’s
Cafe Moxo
La Piazza Cucina Italiana

Best Nightlife
The Alamo
Floyd’s Thirst Parlor
JP Kelly’s

Best Event
Jaycees Holiday Lights Parade
Levitt AMP Springfield
Pride Fest

Best Creative Promotion
12 Days of Giveaways (Willow & Birch)
Holiday Walks Trivia (The Portuguese Radio Clown Company)
She’s Blooming Awesome (Springfield Vintage)

Green Leadership
Hoogland Center of the Arts, Energy Efficiency Plan
Illinois Environmental Council, Solar Installation
Susan Helm, Native Planters Project

Innovative Business Concept
Dumb Records
HelloWater
The Incubator

Best New Signage
The Cardologist
Good Heart Tattoo
Richards & Stehman

Best Interior Renovation
Anvil & Forge
Brown Hay and Stephens
INB Training Center & Marketing Offices

Best Public/Private Partnership
UIS Adoption of Innovate Springfield (Community Foundation and UIS)
Dare to be Different Fashion Show (Springfield Vintage and PCASA)
Levitt AMP Springfield (City, DSI, Heritage Foundation, PNC and other Sponsors)

Best Not for Profit Initiative
Bees & Butterflies Exhibit (Kidzeum)
Center for Health and Housing Concept (Helping Hands)
Farmers Market SNAP Outreach (Junior League of Springfield)

Downtown Advocate
Chris Nickell
David Lee
Josh Sabo

Tell Us Who Should Receive This Year’s DSI Awards

Every year during our Annual Dinner & Awards, Downtown Springfield Inc. recognizes the business owners in the downtown area who are leading the way to a busy, friendly, bold, entertaining and coveted neighborhood.

The first step in the nomination process comes from YOU. Log your suggestions using our online survey tool>

We’ll announce the 2019 recipients at the Annual Dinner on January 16, 2020.

Review the recipients over the years here.

This 27th Annual Dinner will be held at the Wyndham City Centre and we’re taking downtown back to its Roaring 20’s. Tickets will be available soon for DSI’s largest fundraiser of the year. This is one celebration you won’t want to miss!

Halloween Comes Early Downtown

Especially on Saturday, October 26, this year’s Halloween activities in the downtown neighborhood provide…an overwhelming number of choices! Whether you have kids, still feel like a kid, or want to be away from kids, we have you covered. Read on and get your costumes finalized!

Halloween at the Market 9-12:30 pm

Wrap up the summer season with what Illinois Times readers call the “Best Reason to Visit Downtown” – the Old Capitol Farmers Market. DSI, SpringfieldMoms.org, Bank of Springfield and friends host this annual free event, which includes costume contests (with cash prizes) for kids, families and dogs. Free kids activities. See who’s selling this day at the Market.

Halloween at Kidzeum 10 am – 5 pm

Come play with fun, Halloween-themed activities going on all day PLUS $1 off the price of admission for anyone in costume.

Halloween Carnival at the Hoogland 11 am – 5 pm

This family-friendly carnival that supports the Young Artist Fund for scholarships has grown BIGGER this year with haunted houses for older kids and a special “Frozen” Haunted House for younger kids. Enjoy carnival booths with prizes and candy, performances of your favorite Halloween songs and check out everyone’s costumes.

Parents, relax and enjoy a fall beverage while the kids experience The Frog Jump, Toy Story Plinko, Pin the Heart on the Tin Man, and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Trick or Treat at the Governor’s Mansion & City Safe Halloween Event on the Y Block 4 – 6 pm

These free events include generous amounts of candy, the ability to climb through the city’s large vehicles and more. Plus check out the Great Pumpkin Display while trick-or-treating at the Governor’s Mansion.

Nu-Voh Celebrates First Anniversary and Gives You 20% Off 4 – 10 pm

An adult way to celebrate the holiday weekend. Enjoy drink specials as well. Entree selections include a 16-ounce bone-in pork chop, gnocchi, 8-ounce filet mignon, 10-ounce grilled sirloin and pan-seared salmon or tuna.

Trick or Treat at the Old State Capitol 5-7 pm

More candy and fun activities before the parade starts!

The Incubator Celebrates First Anniversary with Halloween Bash 5 pm – 3 am

The Incubator is hosting its 2nd Annual Halloween party, featuring some of its favorite bands and DJs plus its new late night menu and drink specials.

Family Friendly Italian Dinner 6-9 pm

Grab some dinner and also stop by La Piazza Cucina Italiana on 6th Street to pick up coupons for kids 12 and under, to enjoy a slice of cheese pizza and soft drink for only $1.

Monsters Ball at 7 pm

Sangamo Club is hosting this special event for members and their guests.

The Parent Place 3rd Annual Halloween Parade at 7:30 pm

Check out the Beetlejuice-themed float by Downtown Springfield businesses and 41 other spooky, lighted entries.

Rocky Horror 10th Anniversary Show at 8 pm and 11:30 pm

So awesome, one of the performers had her eyelids still stuck together with glitter the next morning. ADHD Productions and HCFTA present the famous rock and roll musical about a “Sweet Transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania” live on stage.

Check out other coming downtown activities on our calendar.

DSI Supports the Center for Health & Housing

The DSI Board of Directors, representing 150 business members in the downtown and adjacent neighborhoods, unanimously supports the proposed Center for Health and Housing.

It is true that Downtown Businesses are often the most adversely affected by the perceptions of visitors to a large homeless population. Yet what we believe is most compelling about the proposed Center is that it doesn’t just “move the problem around;” its approach will actually break the cycle of homelessness. This is a win for these individuals and a win for our community at large.

In addition, the Center makes sense fiscally, and will save our community thousands of dolalrs in emergency, police and other services. The selected site is located near other social agency resources and is within walking distance of the downtown hub where many individuals experiencing homelessness spend a considerable amount of time. The selected site has been vacant, there is no other tenant on the horizon, and it is perfectly suited for this purpose.

The Center for Health and Housing is a huge step forward for our community’s response to homelessness and we should embrace this opportunity to transform our approach.

To download our statement of support.

To follow the Center for Health and Housing on Facebook.

To educate yourself on the myths and stereotypes about people experiencing homelessness.

Shop Hop with Mary Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln (as portrayed by Pam Brown) takes you on a shopping tour of downtown Springfield.

Mary Lincoln, Mrs. Fashionista of her time, is leading a weekly Saturday Shop Hop tour right in her home neighborhood of Downtown Springfield. 

Mary Lincoln’s Shop Hop is a free program that is part of Visit Springfield’s History Comes Alive. Participants can get the one-of-a-kind experience to shop with a First Lady meet the owners of downtown boutiques, and discover the work of Springfield’s talented craftspeople and artists. 

The shopping tours take place every Saturday during History Comes Alive (through August 10). Just meet at 11 am at the Springfield Visitors Center, located at the Lincoln-Herdon Law office at 6th and Adams Streets. Shop Hop tours run 45 minutes and consist of three downtown shops. 

Mary Lincoln is the inspiration for the Shop Hop because of her knack for fashion and love of shopping during her time in Springfield and DC. She was known to own beautiful gowns, usually only purchased when Abraham Lincoln was out of town. During the mid-1850’s in Springfield, it would not have been uncommon to see Mary Lincoln at locations like John William’s general store or in the shop of dressmaker Mrs. Labarthe. She was known to own a dress that cost more than two month’s pay for a typical Springfield family of the time.

Credit: Getty Images

In addition to her beautiful dresses, the bonnets that Mary Lincoln would wear also verified her fashionista status. Mary could have been seen wear decorative bonnets with long sashes that were typically made by the French. 

Even when the Lincolns moved to Washington, D.C., Mary kept up her lavish fashion life. She was known to wear brilliant outfits that resembled the likes of European women of the time. She was often referred to as “The Illinois Reine” because she resembled royalty.

Mary Lincoln’s Shop Hop is a wonderful way to learn a little more about our 16th President’s First Lady and get a little shopping in at the same time. Where else but downtown could you experience this historic mashup? 

Thank you to our partners at Visit Springfield, Mary Lincoln’s Shop Hop possible!

 

A Downtown Resource: How the Davis Family Has Helped Shape Our Neighborhood

On the corner of Fourth and Adams sits Resource One, office design specialists and a supplier of quality furniture. Resource One has operated out of their location at 321 E Adams Street since 1992. You could say that their location and industry gave them literal “front row seats” to how the downtown area has developed over the last three decades; the truth is that both generations of the family-run business have also spent countless hours helping to mold downtown’s future.  

As they have grown their business, Cindy Davis and two of her children Lauren and Chris have also volunteered alongside other business owners and advocates to make the neighborhood a more active and interesting place.

Cindy Davis is the co-founder and CEO of Resource One. She served as a DSI board member and Board President in 2003-2004. She can be credited with helping to bring two of DSI’s most interesting and longstanding tours to fruition. The story goes that Cindy attended a Main Street conference in Elgin, where the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s Anthony Rubano — a Springfieldian — led participants on a tour of Elgin’s downtown. Of course, DSI needed to replicate the experience in our own historic downtown and started with one walking tour a year. Now, thanks to its popularity, each summer from May to October, on the first Wednesday of the month, Anthony leads DSI’s free Architectural Walking Tour.

Cindy also worked as a board member with DSI’s first full-time executive director, Valicia Crisafulli, to develop the Upper Story Tour. A few weeks ago, DSI hosted its 19th tour of upper story commercial and residential spaces that are not always open to the general public. The event also serves as a fundraiser for DSI’s work to match property owners with potential tenants and to help manage the shift in ownership which happens every generation.

Cindy’s son, Chris Davis, is in sales and Business Development at Resource One. Following in his mother’s footsteps in both business and volunteer time, Chris started getting involved when DSI privately fundraised for and implemented a creative placemaking project on the Old State Capitol Plaza. Thanks to private donations, DSI worked with the City to hang cafe lighting, provide colorful tables and chairs, and bags games and a ping-pong table. DSI shopped local as they always try to do and Chris helped determine the appropriate design and colors for the tables and chairs. After several meetings to discuss the activation project, Chris came away as an advocate for trying new concepts and not being afraid of change.

Chris then joined the Economic Vitality committee; one of their subcommittees created the Momentum on Main Street program, which is geared to attract the next generation of entrepreneurs, investors and property developers. Chris and the other committee members brought corporate, educational and city interests together to demystify the process to invest in downtown. The next free Momentum session is July 30th to provide information about financing options. 

While the Davis family certainly is proud to have made Resource One a family business, they have also helped to welcome others in the downtown neighborhood as family. When describing what is most enjoyable about their downtown location, Chris says, “It’s the downtown family. We take pride in each other’s businesses and we take ownership in each other’s businesses. We share problems, challenges and victories. And I feel like we are starting to enjoy more and more victories.”

 

Kids Day at the Market

DSI’s Old Capitol Farmers Market presented by HSHS St. John’s Hospital encourages kids and their parents to come interact with the market and learn healthy habits during Kids Day at the Market. The event takes place during the Old Capitol Farmers Market from 8:00 am- 12:30 pm on Saturday, July 20th. There will be activities throughout the morning in the US Bank Parking lot located at Fourth and Adams. 

The first 500 kids to arrive at Kids Day will receive a $2 token that they may use to purchase a treat at participating market vendors. Kids Day is free to the public because of the generosity of sponsors including Davis Financial Group, West Central Bank, and The Baker Group.

Kids Day at the Market is in partnership with Kidzeum in celebration of their one year anniversary of opening their doors last summer. The Kidzeum website has a full list of anniversary activities. Kidzeum will be open from 10:00am-5:00pm to the general public.

Kids Day at the Market promotes healthy choices through activity stations like a yoga session with Ah Yoga at 9:00 am and a Chef Demonstration with Chef Michael Higgins from Maldaner’s Restaurant at 9:30 am. There will also be an interactive arts project for kids courtesy of Phoenix Collision providing a car for kids to mosaic. The Springfield Youth Performance Group will perform at 10:30 am. 

Numerous children-focused groups and organizations, including the Junior League of Springfield, Northside Children’s Community Library, GenHKids, Central Baptist Church, Lincoln Library, and the Abraham Lincoln Council Boy Scouts of America will also be attending to provide fun, free activities on Kids Day.

We encourage kids and their families to attend the Old Capitol Farmers Market, not only on Kids Day, but all season long on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm at 4th and Adams.

 

 

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