A long time Northside resident and business owner is opening yet another business at 4029 Hamilton Ave.
Aileen McGrath, co-owner of Fabricate
and longtime bartender at Northside Tavern, plans to launch Northside International Airport
in the old Bronz club storefront. N.I.A will be a mini-mall, complete with a taco bar, Tacocracy. With an opening planned for early 2012, McGrath has already handpicked six shops to help get N.I.A off the ground.
McGrath has been interested in the idea for a collaborative shop for a while. She wants to give people who want to have their own business a cheaper, less-involved opportunity to try their hand at running a storefront. For less than it costs to rent a booth four times at events like the City Flea or Second Sundays in OTR, N.I.A will allow vendors to share space, utilities, rent, equipment and work hours. Each retailer will run the shop one day a week, selling all of the retailers’ goods.
“It’s like a antique mall, without all the surplus junk,” McGrath says. “It’s set up like a co-op so we can all continue to foster our other creative endeavors or jobs.”
N.I.A.’s initial residents are Tacocracy, Wax Aesthetic, McGrath’s own store, The Dirty Loft, (False) Minotaur, ≥ and Bathroom Gallery. Concepts range from shops with vintage clothing, musical instrument and furnishings to, literally, an art gallery inside a bathroom.
With the goal to boost the business and creativity in the 4000 block of Hamilton Avenue with storefronts that are vital to the atmosphere of the neighborhood, McGrath will continue to run Fabricate while she gets ready for the opening of N.I.A.
McGrath recognizes that there are already many small shops that contribute to Northside’s eclectic feel, but believes the community always welcomes new businesses.
“OTR has been in its biggest upswing ever over the past few years and it's awesome,” McGrath says. ‘We've always had the same caliber of people and creativity here (Northside) too, and I wanted to cultivate an environment where this can happen.”
By Evan Wallis