business owners quick to recognize Oswego’s business potential. Founded in 2004 under the brand Mill Race Cyclery in Geneva, Oswego Cyclery is housed in the 14,000-square-foot former Oswego Fire Station (59 Main St.), in a building dating back to the 1950s. The shop provides a complete bicycle shopping experience, sales and service. Black hopes to expand operations in 2016 with a vision to create a healthplex type facility, possibly incorporating a yoga studio, fitness and training gym, or renting space to a canoe and kayak business to take advantage of the site’s proximity to the Fox River.
Founded in 1899 when the Nineteenth Century Women’s Club started with a market basket full of books carried to each meeting, the expanded Oswego Public Library is a downtown landmark drawing patrons from the surrounding Oswego, Montgomery, Plainfield, and Bristol and Wheatland Townships
Shopping enthusiasts throughout the region will find unique items of all varieties ranging from organic garden novelties at the Garden Faire to spices, herbs and supplies at Sage Spice Shop, gourmet popcorn at Page’s Popcorn & Flavors, and healthy dog, cat and bird food, toys and accessories at Go Dog Go.
When strolling Main Street, curious visitors and locals frequently stop to enjoy a quick visit, lazy morning or relaxing afternoon at the Village Grind Coffee & Tea Co. (19 S. Main). The Grind offers handcrafted drinks, homemade pastries, soups and sandwiches. The quaint establishment oozes both character and hometown charm while serving as a local favorite. Longtime loyal customers rave about homemade pastries including bumbleberry pie or the holy cow pie (every fruit all in one), caramel macchiato, blackberry chai tea served with a dollop of whipped cream, and other specialty coffees, soups, sandwiches, box lunches and fresh roasted coffee beans.
American Male & Co. (27 Main St.), is a familyowned and operated 25,000-square-foot shopping experience. The long-time Oswego retail operation has dressed many men and women for both work and play. Keeping up with trends and fashions, the American Male & Co. building also houses Bella-gia Boutique, clothes for the contemporary customer; the Prom Shoppe, one of the largest dress shops in the area with four rooms of dresses, tuxedos, and the newest addition, polished accessories to make the look complete.
“Many of our loyal customers shop locally and enjoy dropping by for conversation and a bite to eat,” said Jodi Behrens, who together with husband, Dave, encourages visitors to “come feel our warmth.” The Grind was established in 1996 and many village events help draw new friends and customers, many who return again and again, Behrens noted. Tap House Grill, the Oswego Inn, and Firehouse Pizza and Pub also are popular downtown Oswego eateries.
“It’s all about knowing the individuality of our customers,” said Deena Graves, store manager and third-generation family member. Buyers also work the floor, providing one-on-one customer service. In business since 1905, American Male & Co. has been an Oswego landmark since 1978.
Located close to the Oswego Farmers Market and several restaurants and shops is Hudson Crossing Park, a popular family-friendly destination with shade trees, benches, children’s activities and a perfect picnic location along the banks of the Fox River. Hoping to tap into your artistic side? Classes in painting, jewelry design, fused glass and glass blowing, pottery, music lessons, dance, photography, and more are available at downtown Oswego establishments including the Fox River Academy of Music & Art, Inc., Studio 60, Fox River Studios and others.
From new, vintage, and consignment home décor at Kimberly Ann Home Decorating Boutique, to floral arrangements and children’s clothing boutique items at Floral Expressions & Gifts, downtown Oswego has something to please even the most discriminating customers. Formal, upscale name brand wedding, prom, homecoming and formal attire can be found at De’ Zsa Vu – a formal & upscale consignment boutique, and antique lovers won’t want to miss Rejoyce, an antique store with trendy new merchandise. ■
Those with more energetic outdoor tastes will want to visit the Oswego Cyclery and rent a bike for scenic touring along the Fox River bike path, or sign up for a guided group ride. Owner Art Black is one of a core group of founding downtown Oswego
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