Governor Bill Ritter was in Five Points yesterday, to kick off the Sustainable Main Streets Initiative that will try to jump-start economic development in four spots across the state, ranging from rural towns to the very urban Five Points.
This was once a jumping entertainment district. But over the past several decades, many attempts to inject new life into the area have met with failure, including Crossroads, the theater at 26th and Washington that the city has now taken over. And Blackberries, the coffee house/ice-cream shop/neighborhood gathering place that lasted more than five years in that same building, recently closed its doors.
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Hasena Williams first opened Blackberries in 2004, and then Sudan Muhammad took over in 2005. At one point, it was doing well enough to try an offshoot enterprise at 3090 Downing Street, the former home of Tosh's Hacienda (and now Swallows).
But now Blackberries has melted away. Hope Communities, which owns the building and is working with the city to keep it occupied, hopes to have a new restaurant in the space soon.
Maybe the Sustainable Main Streets Initiative will help sustain the next attempt.