Nearby businesses cashed in during homecoming

The Other Side Vintage Retro Clothing & Goods store in Railroad Square Art District. Photo courtesy: Kaela Moore

Florida A&M’s homecoming weekend happened to fall on the same weekend as Halloween this year, giving businesses near the campus a double-injection of customers.

No neighborhood benefitted more than Railroad Square Art District, which hit the jackpot with far more customers than normal.

This historic warehouse district has more than 50 artist studios, galleries and small shops. It’s the hub for many Tallahassee artists and small creative businesses.

Many enjoy the vintage clothing and thrift stores, locally made products and activity-based shops such as vintage pinball arcades and an indoor rock-climbing gym.

The brightly colored buildings have fantastic murals making Railroad Square the perfect selfie central. Not to mention numerous dining options from coffee shops to pubs and craft beer restaurants.

The Other Side Vintage Retro Clothing & Goods store is one of the main attractions in Railroad Square Art District. Known for its open concept entrance and large street art all over the building, it has a very inviting charm.

“We definitely saw a lot of new customers, mainly parents and alumni for homecoming,” Brooklyn Croy, cashier at The Other Side Vintage Retro Clothing & Goods store, said. “Then we had an influx of FSU students shopping for additions to their Halloween costumes on Friday and Saturday. It was a double bonus for us because we sell vintage items and costumes so normally Halloween is a hit for us but with homecoming on the same weekend, it made our sales and customer attraction better.”

Toward the front entrance of Railroad Square Art District, a new shopping plaza welcomes customers with two open and ready to shop stores. Olde Fields Clothing Co., founded in 2013, relocated  three months ago from Gaines Street to the new shopping plaza loves their new location due to more visibility.  Savannah Bell, a cashier at Olde Fields Clothing Co., said the new location is much better.

“I was shocked at how much traffic there was on Saturday because I was unaware of FAMU’s homecoming,” Bell said. “Although we don’t sell any FAMU stuff, a lot of older customers or parents were attracted to shopping for any green or orange items.”

Eateries in the art district also cashed in.

“I didn’t believe people when they said it gets congested during homecoming because we’ve experienced FSU football games but it worked in our favor,” the general manager for Railroad Square Craft House, Justine Spells said. “Normally our brunches are busy and sometimes we can get busy on game days, but [FAMU] homecoming weekend was a success.”

Railroad Square Craft House, known for its brunches and beer, enjoyed an influx of customers.

“Three major law firms and physicians booked us months ago for homecoming weekend,” Spells added. “It was a huge success and they completely changed the layout for beautiful scenery even with a nice VIP section. We’re glad the event went so well. They’ve already booked us for next year.”