Downtown Cleveland is ripe for new retail development. That’s the message being conveyed by two local entrepreneurs who will open Dredgers Union, a 4,500 square foot apparel and home-goods store on East 4th Street in June of this year.
One part mall alternative, one part purveyor of urban chic, Dredgers Union will sell private-label men’s and women’s clothing, made-to-measure suits and dress shirts, kitchen and home items, and clothing brands that are new to Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. It will be located in a former department store building at 2043 East 4th Street.
The store is being founded by two local entrepreneurs, Danielle DeBoe and Sean Bilovecky. DeBoe is the creator of Room Service, a popular boutique that originally opened in the Gordon Square Arts District in 2007. Seizing growth opportunities even in a down market, DeBoe moved her shop this past fall to a larger storefront on West 25th Street in Ohio City. DeBoe also created “Made in the 216,” a popular event that showcases local artists and designers.
Bilovecky is a clothing designer who created Wrath Arcane, a mens-wear label that gained a devoted following and distribution deals before it folded. Faced with a dwindling number of buyers due to the recession, Bilovecky shut down the label in October. He plans to create a new private label clothing line for Dredgers Union.
Downtown department stores may be a thing of the past, yet DeBoe believes her store will offer an edgy alternative to bland big box stores that will lure shoppers to downtown again. “Retail today is so homogenized,” she says. “At the same time, people are increasingly cognizant of local, independent stores because we offer something different.”
She hopes Dredgers Union will start a trend that revives downtown retail. “People are not trained to come downtown for retail,” she says. “We have to reeducate them.”