Revisited: An Updated Guide to Cherokee Street
Cherokee Street can best be described as an eclectic and elastic neighborhood primed to accept any type of business or art space that puts down roots there. Well-known as a great area for inexpensive eats and low-key nightlife, Cherokee is also ripe with small shops and art spaces with independent spirit and creative edge.
In our very first issue of Guided magazine in 2017, we shined the spotlight on gallery and arts incubator The Luminary and gem vintage shop Mesa Home. Since then, the neighborhood has evolved rapidly, welcoming even more creative endeavors.
New galleries Floodplain and Monaco draw in the art community. Artist-owned antique shop The Bricoleur offers up a carefully curated and displayed collection of beautiful wares. Reginald Quarles, owner of specialty tea shop Teatopia, is “brewing better lives one leaf at a time.” The Juice and Galleria Obscura find the synergies between fresh food, fresh drinks and fresh artistic interpretations. And innovative brewery and pub Earthbound Beer hosts an always-fun lineup of food pop-ups, fundraisers and performances.
These standout venues are just the start of what’s new in the neighborhood. Read on to learn more about seven more must-visit Cherokee spots.
Cherokee Yoga’s warm and welcoming exposed beam ceiling and thriving potted plants offer practitioners a homey atmosphere for yoga and meditation practices. The studio’s calendar has a wide range of pay-what-you-can community classes in foundational and advanced yoga poses. And, for yogis looking for specialty classes in maternity yoga or outdoor breath practice, they also offer rotating special series classes led by resident teachers.
3333 Iowa Ave.
Many think “Mexican” when they hear “Cherokee Street,” but this trendy shop showcases imported Colombian clothing and accessories like jeans, corsets, bags and shoes. Santa Morena‘s streetwear selection ranges from polo shirts to miniskirts. Our favorite find: Strikingly simple black-and-white bracelets woven from palma iraca, a natural fiber handwoven by Colombian artisans.
The low-key and affordable Taco and Ice Cream Joint is destined to bring out the inner kid in you. First you hit the taco line, choosing from classic savory toppings such as carne asada, al pastor and carnitas—or, if you’re feeling adventurous, opting for mountain-sized carne asada fries. Then you spice up your meal with fresh salsa from the salsa bar or a drizzle of hot sauce from the full wall of hot sauces. Once you’ve eaten, you hit the ice cream line, choosing from homemade flavors such as pineapple with chile, mango and Nutella. These come with choices of traditional and non-traditional toppings: sprinkles, bacon, candy and fruit. The combinations are infinite, and Taco and Ice Cream Joint always delivers fun and delicious indulgence.
2738 Cherokee St.
Bluewood Brewing and Mac’s Local Eats
Bluewood Brewing opens soon in Cherokee’s historic Antique Row, serving engineered artisan ales that have already won local brewery awards. Bluewood will offer a bit of everything: West Coast-style IPAs, barrel-aged ales and wildcards like the quadruple IPA Testify, clocking in at 24 percent alcohol. Carnivore-friendly Mac’s Local Eats has closed its Dogtown location and will be taking the reins on Bluewood’s food program, bringing in its popular menu that features ethically sourced meats and burger patties stacked high.
1821 Cherokee St.
Morning Glory Diner
Chef Ari Jo Ellis’s Morning Glory Diner, launched in February 2019, delivers spot-on American comfort food to hungry patrons. A fresh take on a classic greasy spoon diner, Ellis serves up crowd-pleasing breakfasts such as biscuits and gravy, fried chicken-topped johnny cakes and slingers all day long. After 11 a.m., lunch-goers can opt for a burger, BLT or wedge salad. This simple but cheerfully decorated restaurant is a great place to go for a relaxed weekend brunch.
2609 Cherokee St.
Intersect Arts Center
A beloved arts hub of South City, Intersect Arts Center offers after-school programming, community events, classes, exhibitions, artist residencies and studio facilities that bring creative minds together to learn and explore. Whether you’re interested in dance, weaving, ceramics, photography, music or printmaking, Intersect offers classes in those practices and more for all ages and all skill levels. The gallery space exhibits work by local artists, and its many pop-up shops feature beautiful artwork and home goods made by talented hands.
3636 Texas Ave.
Open Concept, launching in early September 2019, flips the concept of a bar entirely on its head. Instead of paying per drink, customers pay per hour, pre-reserving a seat in the bar for the amount of time they plan to drink. This means that for an average of $10 per hour, you can sip as many cocktails, beers and glasses as wine as you like—although, to gain access to the bar, you do fill out a profile that determines a health limit on how much bartenders will pour. Based on the soft launch, expect late-night and brunch hours with a simple food menu. The pre-booking service makes it a great option for larger groups looking to beat the usual bar crowds.
2712 Cherokee St.
Featured image courtesy of Attilio D’Agostino.