We have written about DeLand in the past. Recently, we found a little community nestled inside their Historic downtown. Dubbed “Artisan Alley,” it is dotted with interesting shops, restaurants and clubs that are in a three block area just off the beaten Path.
Finding it is Half the Fun
It really is pretty easy to find Artisan Alley. The narrow street runs off DeLand’s West New York Avenue, smack into South Georgia Avenue. In fact, the intersection tri-sects the three block area. This little place has some of the most interesting restaurants and shops found anywhere in Florida. And for us it was an easy walkabout.
We already have blogged about Bake Chop. By far, it is one of the tastiest and most fun dining experiences we have had since we started traveling.
And there are a lot of very cool shops in the Alley as well. One of the most interesting we found is Florida Victorian Architectural Salvage. The brace of rooms is filled with old doors, posts, windows and commercial signs. It’s like walking into an episode of “American Pickers.”
The place evokes all kinds of nostalgia and interest. It really can get your imagination and creative juices flowing. You may just walk home with a real “find.”
Drinking and Shopping
There’s also Nest. Described as “a gift shop and bar, they boast a myriad of interesting pieces. The stock includes jewelry, glassware and wall hangings – as well as a collection of unique furniture and artwork. The owners have an eye for the quirky and unusual from cards to socks.
You can bet that whatever you take home, someone will ask, “Where did you find this?”
Nest also serves wine and beer so you can sip while you shop. From time to time, a local troubadour will come in to provide music to shop (and drink) by as well.
If you like to imbibe, the Persimmon Hollow Brewing Company is nearby. It is the culmination of a dream of home brewers and best friends, Robbie Carelli and Andy Sistrunk.
In fact, they just marked their five year anniversary. How did they celebrate it? With a full menu of special craft brews. Have you ever tried Tart Cherry Berliner? How about Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Freddy Fitz? Those are just a couple of the selections only found at this unique operation
Then there’s Cafe Davinci. It is described “as a local watering hole that provides for a perfect space where friends can hang around and enjoy long conversations over endless rounds of drinks. But it is so more than that.
Starting in 1993 as a jazz club, Cafe Davinci has increased in size and scope to embrace many kinds of music. They have a small indoor bar, which opens into a 5,000 square foot outdoor courtyard. Surrounded with palms and other plants it has outdoor facilities and a stage as well.
Scullery Kitchen Provisions by Blake Elliot is just across from Nest. They provide local goods and unique items curated from around the globe. We found it to be cool and stylish with a wide array of goods.
The Scullery is designed for Mrs. Funmeister. In other words, those who love to shop, cook and entertain. We found beautiful pottery, dishes and flatware. But it doesn’t stop there. There’s kitchen towels and aprons, barware and cocktail provisions. In addition, you’ll want to see the jams, jellies and other foodstuffs.
There’s also Renee’s retreat. Renee is a licensed Aesthetician with more than 25 years of experience in both spa and dermatology. She’s combined the two to create a tranquil atmosphere with professional treatments designed for your skin.
Her Mineralogie Mineral Make up is 100% mineral based cosmetics and contain the most pure, natural ingredients free from harsh chemicals.
The Florida Society of Goldsmiths also has a studio there. The FSGNE is a not-for-profit organization created by metalsmiths to aid and support other metalsmiths. They offer all manner of classes and seminars on hand-crafted metal work, including – but not limited to – jewelry.
Artisan Alley Garage
Then there’s the cavernous artisan alley garage. About the same size of the Davinci Cafe Courtyard, this 5500 square feet of space is under roof. The opportunities are endless. From banquets to weddings, concerts to filming there are few limitations. Owners say it has been used for all of those things and more.
Once a week, the Artisan Alley Farmer’s Market takes over the narrow streets with a group of food trucks, entertainers and makers.
There are all sorts of interesting booths. Items include everything from sculptures to natural soaps and essential oils. There’s a vendor with antique and re-creation signs, another with fabric wear and accessories and even some farmers featuring selections from vegetables to raw, local honey.
Once a quarter, the DeLand Indie Market is held. This is a curated show that showcases vintage, boutique, art and handcrafted items. While the weekly farmer’s market pulls several dozen vendors, the Indie Market can draw over 100. Sadly, it is held on Sundays, so we cannot attend.
Whether there is a special event or not, Artisan Alley is a fun little place to visit, and one of the most special locations at one of our very special places – DeLand.