VIBRANT, YOUTHFUL, TRENDY
Deeply entrenched in its mill town past, this playful district now inspires creative industries—craft beer, culinary, galleries and more.
When the nation’s first gold rush enveloped Uptown in the early 1800s, developers unearthed a gem in the bordering land to the south. Although it wouldn’t gain its catchy South End title until 1994, the area became an extension of the Uptown gold mining district. Ingenuity struck again in 1893, when Daniel Augustus Tompkins opened Atherton Cotton Mill. Flour mills and more followed suit, making South End the city’s first industrial park. Today, that booming mill town past is still at the heart of this district—the cotton mills (now called Atherton Mill and Market) serve as galleries, furniture studios and trendy housing. The LYNX Blue Line light rail makes whizzing to Uptown and back a breeze, and the historic-turned-trendy neighborhood is now a hotbed for craft beer, culinary creativity and cultural celebrations.
Moving to the Queen City?
Pick up a new piece from “Furniture Row,” which includes High Cotton Home Company, LaDonna Antiques and Interiors and The Furniture Connector before lunching at Pike’s Old Fashioned Soda Shop, which once served as a backdrop in the film “Shallow Hal.” For the beer drinkers in your crew, create an impromptu crawl. Most of the neighborhood’s breweries, like Sycamore Brewing, Wooden Robot Brewery, The Unknown Brewing Co., Lenny Boy Brewing Co. and Triple C. Brewing Co., are within walking distance or a stop just a stop away from one another on the light rail.
Things to do
An afternoon spent touring South End’s impressive brewery circuit requires sustenance. Seoul Food Meat Company is a local favorite, plating Korean-style wings (or tofu) and playful sides like ramen mac and cheese. (Their karaoke rooms also offer unbeatable entertainment.) If you're jonesing for a barbecue fix, look no further than Mac’s Speed Shop, known for their savory brisket burnt ends. Afterward, toast to good friends over cocktails and hit the dance floor at the Oak Room, where a DJ spins the latest beats, or grab a brew at Hoppin’, a self-serve bar with wine and beer taps.