Claremont has a real love affair with downtown businesses

Claremont’s love story with the Village dates back to its earliest roots.

Yale Avenue, which once offered only a shoe repair shop, a gas station and hardware store, is now jam-packed with options from women’s clothing at Amelie to coffee and pastries at Some Crust or browsing for treasures at Barbara Cheatley’s.

The Village now offers more than 150 shops, restaurants, bakeries, galleries and boutiques, giving shoppers plenty to do—and buy—when visiting the City of Trees.

Check out our Claremont Shopping Guide

With its recent campaign to generate regional interest in Claremont, the city along with the Chamber of Commerce launched the “Discover Claremont” campaign, which has resulted in busy shops and restaurants downtown and an increase in media coverage online.

The emphasis on generating new business while maintaing that small town charm is just one of the many perks to living in Claremont. So even if it feels a bit frustrating when you can’t find that parking spot, imagine the joy felt by shopowners as they welcome new customers.

Harvard Square, which housed the old movie theater, is now home to Bardot, an upscale but inclusive restaurant that offers weekly specials like Martini Mondays, Taco Tuesdays and Whiskey Wednesdays.

Harvard Square is now a community of shops featuring Bardot, an art gallery and retail stores like Speckled Hens.

A quick jaunt to the east side of?Harvard, just north of the public library, will land you at Rio de Ojas. Owners Ray and Terri Riojas hold tamale and candy-making classes and offer a wide selection of Mexican Folk Art to brighten any home.

Directly across the street is Shelton Park and the Claremont Lincoln University community performance stage. The $275,000 stage was made possible through hard work and donations—it was a real community effort.

To learn more about the history of the Village, Claremont Heritage hosts monthly guided walking tours on the first Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon. Guests should meet at the Claremont Depot, 200 W. First Street. Reservations and a donation of $5 per person is requested. For more information, call (909) 621-0848.

But the best way to get familiar with this quaint downtown is to leave the car at home and take a stroll along the tree-lined streets.

—Kathryn Dunn


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