Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Center Street Awakens

Once upon a time, short-sighted developers leveled Anaheim’s historic downtown and, for many years after, it seemed as if our city’s spark of life had gone away with its old buildings.  Today, at last, after a decades-long slumber, Downtown is waking up as new boutiques and dining spots are opening their doors along the north side of Center Street. 

Starting at the west end of the street (across from the ice skating rink), our newest neighborhood hangout, Gypsy Den brings a bohemian vibe to the tree-shaded corner. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, excellent coffee, local beer and wine, the restaurant is already a north OC favorite.  We're not the only ones who think so; Anaheim's Gypsy Den was recently named "Best Coffee House in Orange County" by the OC Register.

Gypsy Den

 "Taco Tuesday" at the Anaheim Brewery

The old Center Street food court has become the GOOD FOOD Emporium with local favorite K&A Downtown Café sporting a smart new look and logo.  Across the way, Cervantes Mexican Kitchen  lovingly prepares what co-owner Kathy Cervantes calls “food like my abuelita made!”  

Healthy Junk
Cervantes also cooks up fresh tacos, nachos and quesadillas at the Anaheim Brewery's beer garden every Tuesday evening from 5 to 8:30. 

One counter over,  Healthy Junk transforms all your favorite comfort foods into better-for-you options. Be sure to say hello to Chef Lynda Santos who is just about the friendliest person you’ll ever meet. 

There’s more healthy eating down the street at 118 Degrees, offering vegetarian breakfast, lunch, and dinner, prepared by hand using local organic produce.  Try the fresh young coconut for a cooling beverage that is a pure delight.

However, if you’re a hopeless carnivore, don’t despair.  Los Angeles sensation Umami Burger, grilling the best gourmet burgers we’ve ever tasted, shares the historic 1925 Packard Building with the Anaheim Brewery (who naturally make the very best beer we’ve ever tasted!)
118 Degrees

After you’ve filled up on all this good food, explore the new shops, HOME ECO:NOMICS, The GOOD, and HEART & SOLE, for eclectic offerings, many made by local craftspeople.  BARBEER is a unique old-fashioned barbershop specializing in classic cuts for men—and soon they'll serve beer, too!

There’s much more coming to Center Street in the months ahead, and of course, the greatest anticipation of all:  the opening of the restored 1919 Packing House as a culinary center and public marketplace. More delights are on the way.

Tell your friends, coworkers, and family about the New Downtown Anaheim and, if you haven’t already, go check out all that it has to offer right away. Please support the new businesses that have bravely made the leap and invested their passion and dollars into Anaheim.  Let’s turn our hopes for a beautiful, vibrant downtown into a reality.

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