Old Town Clovis, one of the central San Joaquin Valley’s more eclectic shopping districts, is mixing things up once again with some new shops and the closures of a few favorites.
Well-known children’s clothing designer Jessica Elrod has closed Cavelle Kids at 625 3rd St. after two-and-a-half years. Elrod said that while she will miss her customers, she has two small children requiring more of her time.
“I’m super sad about it, but life was getting to be too much,” said Elrod, who lives in Coarsegold. “I am really going to miss seeing everyone.”
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Elrod will continue to design children’s clothes and sell them through her online store, www.cavellekids.com. Her clothes will also be available at local retailer, The Foundry Collective at 601 Pollasky Avenue. And you can find her on Instagram at Cavellekids.
And as so often happens in Old Town, as soon as one business leaves, another quickly steps in and fills the space. The area is one of the hottest in the local retail market.
Carole Lester, the executive director of the Business Organization of Old Town, said the shopping district has evolved over the years to include more women’s clothing boutiques, home design stores, spas and specialty stores selling handcrafted items.
Moving into the Cavelle Kids space will be Arch House of Brows. Owned by Nicole Justice, the shop is relocating from its Fresno location. It specializes in eyebrow waxing and the increasingly popular eyelash lifting.
Justice searched for several months before finding a space in Old Town. She was lucky — a friend told her about the upcoming vacancy and she jumped on it.
“I love the sense of community and the number of small, family businesses that are growing,” Justice said. “This is where I want to be.”
Also closing its doors is the Clovis Book Nook, a religious book store at 421 Pollasky Ave. Owner Ed Lopez said he and his wife have run the store for three years and are ready to take a break. They are planning to move to Colorado where their daughter recently gave birth to twins. The store is expected to close in about two weeks.
“It’s sad to close the store, because we have enjoyed meeting so many people from all over the world,” Lopez said. “We’ve had great conversations with believers and non-believers.”
Although the store is the smallest space in Old Town at just 150 square feet, it didn’t take long to lease, said building owner Linda Rossi.
“They haven’t even cleared out the store and we already have a tenant,” Rossi said.
The book store will soon become Just My Essentials. The shop will sell natural and organic body scrubs, body lotion, creams, body oils, bath balls and soaps.
The store’s owner, Chanel Wapner, is a certified master aromatherapist who has been searching for a spot in Old Town for several years. She expects to be open by mid-November.
“It is a great space,” she said.
At A Secret Garden Florist at 522 Pollasky Ave., owners Kimberly Woertendyke-Alvarez and Aubrey Del Real have added a new in-store boutique run by Rachelle Estrada. The shop is called Rustic Lace Boutique and features a combination of boho-chic and western-inspired women’s clothing and accessories.
Estrada, who has been selling her clothes online at www.rusticlacebtq.storenvy.com, said Old Town shoppers are eager for new stores and clothing options.
“We have been getting a lot of positive comments,” Estrada said.
A few doors down from A Secret Garden Florist, Mario Vejar has relocated his business Roll Me Some to 530 Pollasky Ave. from his original location at Fourth and Pollasky.
Vejar likes this section of Old Town that has earned the nickname, SoFi, or South of Fifth. The area includes Centennial Plaza, The Foundry Collective, House of JuJu and Blast and Brew.
“We really like the vibe down here,” Vejar said. “There are a lot of families and young people walking around down here; it feels a little like Seattle.”
Along with serving handcrafted rolled ice cream, Vejar plans to add fresh fruit water, specialty teas, Lanna Coffee and Rosa Brothers flavored milk.
Still in the works are two other projects, including School of Rock at 400 Clovis Ave. Owners Ted and Mariah Lopez are converting the former Bear Creek Gifts and Cabin Decor into a music school. The school is expected to open in the coming weeks.
Just on the edge of Old Town, the space that housed the former Uncle Buddy’s Smokehouse N Grill is getting a new tenant, Fogo Caliente. A sign hanging outside the brick building hints at what type of food it will serve: “International Steak House.”