Last week I made a quick work-related visit to Maria Mitrione’s Italian Market, in Richmond’s Historic Depot District, and I wanted to stay all afternoon. It was obvious exciting changes of some sort are being made there so I wanted more time to explore. There were boxes of merchandise sitting on the worn wooden floors, waiting to be displayed – strangely enough, some boxes contained food items and others held what looked to be hardware-type items. This made more sense to me a little later. I passed a very long deli case that contained cheeses, deli meats, salads, olives, and other delectable goodies I haven’t seen anywhere else in Richmond. I didn’t have enough time to stop and really look, but believe me, I wanted so badly to linger, stare, smell, and eventually sample some of the foods I saw.
Since I was there on business, I was directed through the large, open, retro-industrial looking building to the office, and I passed through part of the adjoining Richmond Hardware store – ah ha! The hardware now made sense. On my way back out I saw candy, bread, other interesting food items, greeting cards, toys, and best of all, a new (but old) dining area with booths and an authentic-looking soda fountain. I was really excited to see another fun and interesting place to eat in the Depot District, which seems to be the place to be these days.
As the beautiful, brick, historic Railroad Depot is restored, more and more businesses and attractions are sure to move into the area and add to an atmosphere that is part retro, part progressive, part chic, part eco-friendly, part historic, part artistic, but totally (and thankfully) vibrant and unique. Already there are several really good locally/independently-owned restaurants and bars in the area – Little Sheba’s & Zini’s Place, Joe’s Pizza, Pete’s Corner Café, Ghyslain’s Chocolatier Bistro, Paulee’s, Firehouse BBQ & Blues, 4th Floor Blues Club, E Street Pub – and a few others nearby – Greenway Café, Smiley’s Pub, and Welling Steakhouse/Chuck’s Sport Bar.
The ever-growing shopping opportunities in the Depot District already appeal to a variety of interests — Richmond Furniture Gallery, Good Life Emporium, Foster’s E-Street Gallery, Coco’s by Hand at the Loft, Gallery Shops & Rug Emporium, Stephanie Harrison Photography, Prim & Proper, the Railroad Store, Terz Design and Imprinting, Fine Arts Theatre Shops, and the nearby Clear Creek Food Coop and Unwind Yarn Shop. Attractions include train displays, murals, the Old North Chapel, the Starr-Gennett Jazz Gallery, pottery displays, a bike museum, presidential memorabilia — and the list keeps growing. And just blocks away are the Wayne County Historical Museum, the Indiana Football Hall of Fame, the Cardinal Greenway, Boards Inc. (indoor) Skate Park, the Tiffany Stained Glass Trail, the Knollenberg Art Center, the Gennett Walk of Fame, Richmond Art Museum, Veterans Memorial Park and more. I’m sorry if I’ve left something out.
It’s really exciting and encouraging for both residents and visitors to see so much growth and interest in Richmond’s Historic Depot District, an area which is representative of Indiana’s early business districts. It says a lot about our Hoosier spirit, our determination to preserve and build upon our rich past. To learn more about the growth of Depot District, visit therichmonddepot.com and visitrichmond.org.