Two stores and a restaurant have opened recently in downtown Eugene, proving that while COVID-19 has disrupted daily life and the economy, entrepreneurs remain confident in the commercial and cultural center of the city as a place to start a business.
Two of the retailers -- Electric Avenue, an electric bicycle, scooter and skateboard shop, and men’s clothing store, Porterhouse Clothing & Supply – are in the historic East Broadway shopping area. The restaurant, Moke’s Coffee & Kitchen, opened at East 13th Avenue and High Street. The businesses started within six weeks of each other, starting in August.
“We welcome these investments in the heart of our community,” said Downtown Team Manager Eric Brown. “The business openings show the confidence that entrepreneurs continue to have in downtown Eugene, even during challenging times.”
Electric Avenue is at 187 E. Broadway, next to Footwise. Brothers and owners Hakan and John Hekimoglu (pronounced heck-ee-moe-lou) chose the location because of its proximity to other downtown shops and entertainment venues.
Downtown’s retail viability will get a boost with the soon-to-be-completed Fifth Street Public Market expansion and the Homes for Good apartments on East Sixth Avenue, they said. And there is the promise of housing and restaurants at the Downtown Riverfront area next to the Willamette River.
“It’s a perfect fit,” said John Hekimoglu.
Porterhouse Clothing & Supply, 160 E. Broadway, is in the historic Quackenbush Building, next to J. Michael’s Books. Owner Ethan Clevenger plans to be an active member of the downtown business community.
“In addition to being an entrepreneurial opportunity, recognizing a niche and filling it,” he said, “(Porterhouse Clothing & Supply) is also an opportunity to put a stake in Eugene and say, ‘Hey, I think downtown Eugene can be part of the solution,’ and not just complain about it. And that is a big part of being downtown, to make that stake.”
Mike Coplin opened Moke’s Coffee & Kitchen in the space that for many years had been occupied by Full City Coffee. Moke’s, which is open for breakfast and lunch, specializes in breakfast tacos.
Outside, finishing touches are being applied to the two-way 13th Avenue Bikeway, which stretches from Alder Street, near the University of Oregon, to Lincoln Street, in downtown.
Coplin hopes that many of the people who will use the bikeway will become Moke’s customers. “Now that we have this bike lane, it’s going to be really cool,” he said.
For more information, contact:
- Electric Avenue, 187. E. Broadway, owners Hakan and John Hekimoglu, 541-345-9145, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Porterhouse Clothing & Supply, 160 E. Broadway, Suite A, owner Ethan Clevenger, 515-505-3810, email@example.com
- Moke’s Coffee & Kitchen, 295 E. 13th Ave., owner Mike Coplin, 541-953-2530. MokesOregon@gmail.com
- Eric Brown, Downtown Eugene Team Manager, 541-682-5208, firstname.lastname@example.org