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Walnut Street’s evolution continues

July 19, 2018

Downtown Springfield’s evolution continues. A stroll down Walnut Street makes that obvious.

Owner Chris Slater moved The Albatross Hookah Lounge & Fine Tobacco Emporium down the street, from 320 East Walnut to 406-A and 408 West Walnut. That move tripled his business in size to 6,000 square feet.

The new location allowed Slater to separate the hookah lounge and retail operation. The retail space includes a walk-in humidor. The lounge has more space for guests.

Greek Belly has filled that vacancy at 320 East Walnut, with delicious Greek food. Owner John Tsahiridis wants his customers to have an authentic experience, so he uses traditional meats in his gyros. He also uses family recipes.

Greek beer, wine and ouzo are also on the menu. Even the gyro spits are from Greece. Pro tip: Make sure you try the baklava.

Customers order food at Greek Belly restaurant

Right across Walnut from Greek Belly is another new addition. Crave Cookie Dough is serving sweet treats at 325 East Walnut, next door to BookMarx. Owners Dylan Collins and Maggie West wanted to bring a special and unique concept to Springfield. They found it.

Their cookie dough uses pasteurized eggs. They are heat treated to 138 degrees and safe to eat. There are also cookie sandwiches and milkshakes on the menu at the brightly-decorated shop. Come hungry. Crave’s servings are not tiny.

Surf’s up for retail

On the retail side, there’s Sharks Surf X Supply at 301 West Walnut. That’s at the intersection with Patton Alley. Steve and Megan Schoepflin also own a location in Lawrence, Kansas.

The Schoepflins chose to open a store in Springfield for a good reason. They like the resurging downtown neighborhood. Sharks sells its own T-shirts and hoodies. They also carry outerwear, shoes, hats and sunglasses. Brands include Vans, Ray-Ban and Reef.

Handmade jewelry in a display case

Taffy Massey has launched Crystalline Velvet at 210 East Walnut. Her shop is next door to Riad and across the street from Black Sheep. Massey sells her artisan, handcrafted jewelry inside her shop. She’s lived in Springfield for less than three years and is excited to be part of the vibrant Downtown Springfield creative scene.

Room for growth

For lease sign on a brick building


There’s room for more on Walnut Street. Just a few steps away from Crave Cookie Dough, there’s a vacancy at 323 East Walnut. That’s the former location for Envy Boutique, which recently closed its doors. Owners Mike and Steve Mercurio don’t live in Springfield. They decided to focus on their other shops, located closer to home.

The space is perfect for a new business. It’s 1,700 square feet and rents for $1,600 per month, according to Ali Rich of Brentwood Properties.

“It has amazing storefront windows and is in a prime retail location on Walnut between Jefferson  and South with nearby restaurants, sweet treats, a bookstore and more,” Rich said. “The space offers an open layout that could be transformed into your next dream!”

Inside an empty store

Space is also available at 400 East Walnut. Suites 120 and 124 sit right next door to the Aviary near the intersection with Jefferson.

Skip Liebman of CJR Commercial Group handles that property. The suites can be leased together or separately. The lot size is 2,327 square feet. The lease rate is $11.50 per square foot.

The leasing brochure calls the building “one of downtown’s most successful mixed use properties.”

“Suite 120 offers large display windows and entrances off of East Walnut or the marble atrium inside the building,” the brochure says. “The entrance to suite 124 is off the marble atrium inside the building and across from the Aviary, one of downtown’s most popular restaurants.”

Do you have an idea for the next great popular Downtown Springfield spot? Get in touch with Rich at 417-865-8698 or Liebman at 417-888-3231. For more information on available office and retail space, visit our listing page.

Inside of empty store