Open house party on the Ped Mall to celebrate the openings of six downtown businesses

Sicily and the soon-to-open Forbidden Planet are two new Ped Mall businesses. — photo by Celine Uhl

If you’ve walked around the Iowa City Ped Mall recently, it’s likely that you have noticed a bit of change. With the completion of Park@201 and the closing of the Tobacco Bowl, spaces have opened up along the Dubuque Street section and six businesses have moved in. To celebrate, these businesses are holding a joint open house on Friday, Sept. 26 from 4-8 p.m. on the Ped Mall and in their new spaces.

Participating in the Friday-evening open house are Buzz Salon; Digital Artefacts, which specializes in computer graphics and 3D modeling; Forbidden Planet, a pizzeria and video arcade; Metacommunications, a company providing creative productivity and project management solutions; and two new clothing stores, Catherine’s X French Connection and Sicily Boutique.

“The best thing is that there are six new businesses opening near each other at the same time, and they’re all new ideas,” says Catherine Champion, owner of Catherine’s and Catherine’s X French Connection.

The event begins at 4 p.m. when Metacommunications and Digital Artefacts will open up their offices in Park@201 and offer tours, food and refreshments. At 5 p.m., DJ Espina will help kick off the Ped Mall party. In addition to live music, there will also be gifts, drawings, belly dancers and, of course, libations to toast the new businesses.