W. Broadway, the main commercial artery of the North Side, is starting to regain its commercial chops.
And business people, artists and chefs plan to go on display over the long holiday weekend at an event called Black Friday on Broadway.
Retailers, eateries and service providers from on and around W. Broadway are banding together on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday to pitch their wares to shoppers who may otherwise head to the suburbs.
"We'll be part of it," said Houston White, a veteran clothing designer and retailer known for his "Black Excellence" line of apparel and store that's located elsewhere on the North Side.
White and other retailers will open for business in the expanded retail space at the Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) headquarters at 1007 W. Broadway. The refurbished building operates a growing business incubator and boutique space for independent artisans and retailers.
A couple blocks north, Juxtaposition Arts, the 22-year-old fixture that is planning another expansion of its four-building operation, will be open to sell art, including shirts and textiles created by students, staff and professional artists with which it's affiliated.
White, who studied design at Juxtaposition while a student at North High School in the 1990s, also operates a barber shop and coffee shop at his site at 44th and Humboldt avenues N.
He said Wednesday that the W. Broadway open houses over the weekend will allow him and other small businesses to promote and sell products and services, make connections with new customers and celebrate accomplishments.
Organizers with the West Broadway Business Coalition and NEON said several dozen businesses will have their doors open, including Cookie Cart, Wendy's House of Soul, Wilson's Image, Breaking Bread Café, K's Deli, New Rules, Boost Mobile, Venture North, Friedman's Department Store and an assortment of businesses taking part in pop-up activities at 10th and 9th avenues and W. Broadway.
Anisha Murphy of NEON said more than 50 vendors, including entertainers, will participate in the event.
W. Broadway has undergone a slow, storefront by storefront commercial uptick in recent years. Residential housing prices in the area also are rising.
Supporters point to significant commercial developments that include food, retail, health, art and service entrepreneurs.