Straight up: We love our neighborhood.
The Image Shoppe has been lucky enough to call the Uptown district our home since 2006. When we moved into our first brick and mortar at 368 Diamond, the Wealthy St. Business District (and Uptown in its entirety) still needed quite a bit of TLC. There were far less thriving and diverse businesses, fewer people living in its neighborhoods, and it was a rarity to see families or groups of friends walking through the area just for fun. But you would never guess this about Uptown today.
Uptown is thriving and growing!
The Uptown commercial district—comprised of East Fulton, East Hills, Eastown, and Wealthy St.—has seen an incredible boom in development and popularity since its establishment in 2003. Only one year after being founded, Uptown was already selected as one of the first Michigan Cool Cities: Neighborhoods in Progress. Today, Uptown has its own Business Improvement District (BID) and Corridor Improvement Districts (CID) and is one of the most thriving communities in Grand Rapids.
Our dedication to Uptown.
If you haven't guessed it by now, we are totally invested in our home turf of Wealthy St. and the Uptown district overall. And we want to spread our love and appreciation for where (many of us) live, work and play with a comprehensive guide to some of Uptown's key businesses that have made this place so great over the years. Without these awesome establishments—restaurants, coffee shops, retail, bars, businesses—Uptown would not be as incredible of a place as it is today.
In the making of this Uptown Guide, we met with and had engaging conversations with these key stakeholders and learned more from their perspective about why Uptown (and their specific business district) is so special. As you go through this guide, you'll see some familiar faces, meet some new ones, and feel a connection with Uptown like you've never felt with any other neighborhood. Welcome to Uptown!
Photography by Matt Oberski Photography