Gordon Square set to explode with new pop-ups, pinball, poutine and more

A host of highly anticipated eateries and pop-up ventures is set to take the funky Gordon Square neighborhood to the next level and beyond.
"Within two months we are poised to have nearly every vacant space on Detroit from West 54th to 73rd full of activity, which is really exciting," says Chad Jones, director of marketing for the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO).
On the verge of opening are three pop-ups that are coming to the corridor courtesy of a contest held earlier this year. Fortunately, the judges were unable to pick just one winner from the 27 applicants.
"We had so many qualified and talented people for the pop-up competition and we had some extra open spaces," says Jones, referring to DSCDO's Gordon Square real estate portfolio. "We were able to name basically three winners."
Trunk took the top prize of $1,000 cash and free rent for the holiday season at 6515 Detroit in a 750-square-foot shop.
"They're a high-end reseller of men's clothing," says Jones. "It's higher-end clothing without higher-end prices."
Two other vendors will receive business training and free rent for their holiday pop-up ventures. Heavy Metal Flea Market will purvey all things, well, heavy metal in a 1,400-square-foot space at 5403 Detroit and Midnight Movie Retail will offer up cool movie art, posters and memorabilia in the former 330-square-foot Guide to Kulchur location at 1386 West 65th Street.
"It's a cornucopia of pop-ups - it's a cornupopia," quips Jones.

Those imminently forthcoming pop-ups will join Collective Upcycle, 6602 Detroit. The 800-square-foot space opened earlier this month and will feature the work of 21 local makers through the holiday season.
Staff at DSCDO hopes some of the temporary retail spots become more permanent.
"The hope is they will enter into a lease agreement with us long term and commit to the neighborhood," says Adam Rosen, economic development director for DSCDO. "We want to set them up for success."
The pop-ups will be joined shortly by an array of white-hot new eateries including Arcadian Food & Drink, 6414 Detroit, and Astoria, 5417 Detroit, both of which are still under construction; and Banter, the forthcoming house of sausage, poutine and beer that is to open imminently at 7320 Detroit.
For those wondering when superelectric will finally open its doors at 6500 Detroit, the pinball emporium has hosted private events, but is still waiting on a final occupancy permit after some last minute changes. Across the street at Councilman Matt Zone's former offices, 6501 Detroit, something nutty is brewing, although everyone's mum on the topic except for the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, which will be asking voters next Tuesday:
Shall the sale of beer, wine and mixed beverages and spirituous liquor be permitted by Brewnuts, LLC, an applicant for a D-5j liquor permit, who is engaged in the business of establishing a Donut Bar with craft beer at 6501 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44102 in this precinct?
Fresh Water invites readers to draw their own conclusions.
As it unfolds, Gordon Square visitors looking for shopping, noshing and then some can join any number of celebrations planned for the holidays, starting with Dia de Muertos/Day of the Dead this Saturday, Oct. 31 (free). Go for the art installations and music, stay for the parade. On Nov. 5, DSCDO will hold its 13th annual benefit, Shoreway on Stage, at the Near West Theatre (ticket prices vary) and on Nov. 7, SouperBowl CLE will benefit the West Side Catholic Center via a $25 dollar ticket that buys attendees a host of soups to taste and judge. Lastly on Dec. 12, the free Holidays in Gordon Square will feature carriage rides, the Cleveland Craft Bazaar at 78th Street Studios and more than 20 vendors inside the Gordon Square Arcade for a winter farmers market.
"We really see this as a neighborhood that’s on the brink of amazing things in terms of residential, retail and commercial," says Rosen of the impending Gordon Square proliferation.
"We want to create something that really inspires people to hang out in the neighborhood," adds Jones. "It's going to be a great winter."

Read more articles by Erin O'Brien.

Erin O'Brien's eclectic features and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and others. The sixth generation northeast Ohioan is also author of The Irish Hungarian Guide to the Domestic Arts. Visit erinobrien.us for complete profile information.