by Rina Rien, Director, Casa Grande Main Street

As most of us reach our breaking point with monsoon storms and air-conditioning induced lethargy, take heart in knowing summer is a time for transformation and exciting new venues and opportunities in your historic downtown.

Brought to you by the Brinkin Family of Big House Café fame, the downtown welcomes CGQ BBQ, a seriously smokin’ version of Southwestern flavored BBQ that has to be experienced to be believed. Custom sauces add to the unique flavor, and don’t let menu items like Whistle Berries, Wild Man Phil Sandies and Frog Spit throw you – it’s all good! Open for lunch and dinner at the corner of Florence Boulevard and Florence Street, call for hours or delivery at 520-836-5830.

If I had a nickel for every survey I’ve received asking for a downtown coffee stop – well your wait is over! Deadlift Brews and Shakes is taking their successful mobile business to the next level and opening a coffee/shake and ice cream shop just around the corner from Cook-E-Jar at 305 N. Florence St. Plans are to have a late summer opening as they work diligently to convert the space.

Foster’s Fashions will be moving to an available space right next door to its existing location on Fourth Street. Moving into the Foster’s Fashions existing space is Mowgli Boutique, where girls of all ages can indulge in tutus, trendy fashions and chandelier tea parties. June will be the transition time with openings in July so be sure to call for updates on hours and timing.

The previous Old Town Ale House space is under renovation to install fire sprinklers and expand the occupancy to allow for beverage and food service in this fabulous central location next to the Historic Paramount Theatre on Florence Street. Once upgrades are finished, the space will be complete with an existing liquor license for microbrewery entrepreneurs interested in either expanding or founding a Casa Grande location. Contact Paula Lambert at AZ New Horizon Realty, 520-423-0087, for updates.

Other Florence Street locations are currently available for retail, entertainment and service-oriented uses primed to take advantage of the late 2018 opening of the Casa Grande’s Neon Sign Park. The park will serve as a destination and pedestrian link between the downtown commercial district and arts and culture district consisting of The BlackBox Theatre, Museum of Casa Grande and Casa Grande Art Museum. The park is in final design development and expected to break ground late summer. This project is supported by a grant awarded to Casa Grande Main Street from the American Express Partners in Preservation program, a partnership of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express Foundation. Major support from local partners include the Kramer family, stewards of the park location at Arizona Plaza, Casa Grande’s Historic Preservation Commission and The Museum of Casa Grande providing historic neon and vintage signs on permanent loan. A Founders Campaign is well underway with opportunities to “Make Your Mark on The Casa Grande Neon Sign Park.” Contact the Main Street Office for more information.

You can find all the latest information for ongoing events and more by checking out cgmainstreet.org. Click on our Facebook link to stay connected and “like” our page for impromptu announcements.

Casa Grande Main Street is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization working on downtown revitalization and historic preservation. The Main Street program is designed to improve all aspects of the downtown experience. Strengthening public participation and making downtown a fun place to visit are as critical to Main Street’s future as drawing new business, rehabilitating structures and expanding parking options.