By Brit Charek
Acorn Alley, located on Main Street in downtown Kent between Water and Depeyster Streets, opened in September of 2009. As a long time enthusiast of the Kent community, I was nervous that the only people who could afford to rent out a space in the new construction would be corporate chains and therefore I was a little apprehensive to go check it out. Fortunately, I was wrong, as I often am. The alley, which is a pedestrian walkway not unlike East Fourth Street in downtown Cleveland, is home to several local businesses—some expanding and some brand new. It’s awesome.
Among the new businesses is Popped!, a specialty popcorn shop, who celebrated their grand opening in early April. Among a rotating stock of miscellaneous recipes, they always carry their three signature flavors: caramel corn, kettle corn, and firehouse popcorn, which kettle corn with cayenne pepper that is sweet but with a kick.
Tree City Coffee in the Alley extends there hours during exams to give Kent State students the boost they need. They also collaborated with Bent Tree Coffee Roasters, another locally owned business down the street, to collectively make the popular Two Tree Blend. (Click here to check out our post on Bent Tree Coffee Roasters!) Tree City is a great place to sit and chill, but for those on a time budget they also have a drive-through.
Also at Acorn Alley is The Arctic Squirrel, an aptly named ice cream shop that prides themselves on being the “coolest” spot in Kent; Wild Earth Outfitters, an active outdoor lifestyle store who sells everything from tents to kayaks; Lazizia, who offers a modern twist on Mediterranean cuisine; and Funky Ladles, formerly known as Zoupworks, serve up a variety of cheap but delicious soups everyday.
With a growing number of unique and diverse shops being added on a regular basis, Acorn Alley is a great representation of the Kent community, which is really one of a kind. Don't miss out on spending an evening there this summer!