During our most recent lockdown (this time because of 16 inches of snow) I was doing some Spring Cleaning and came across an issue of the 2004 Kenosha Area Visitors Guide. While thumbing through it, past an ad promoting Dairyland Greyhound Park among other bygone businesses I found a full page ad for “Kenosha’s Lakeshore” aka Downtown Kenosha.
Now keep in mind this is 2004; the Kenosha Marina is just six years old, Harbor Park is just two years old, the Kenosha Public Museum was brand new. Common Grounds has just opened along the harbor. Downtown back then was not the bustling food paradise that we know today. Wine Knot would open later in ‘04, no Kaisers, no Buzz/Sazzy B’s,not even Trolley Dog’s was there to choose from.
There were a few coffee shops and restaurants that would come and go without much fanfare. Downtown was mostly filled with some random antique shops, a couple dive bars and that was about it. There wasn’t the walking and car traffic we are so used to seeing everyday. Again, this is wayyy back in 2004 (sarcasm alert).
While we’ve had more studies about the Downtown that I can count on my fingers, we have to remember to keep things in perspective from how we went from AMC\Chrysler leaving in 1988 and the ill-fated pedestrian mall project to what we have today in a relatively short amount of time.
Almost everything today is all about NOW and the past almost doesn’t exist or is in some odd time continuum that is unattainable by many.
While there is still some growth that needs to happen Downtown in the form of a grocery store, more retail shops,etc we can’t forget the growth that has occurred in the last 17 years.
Ben Trecroci is a Real Estate Broker for Trecroci Realty and a freelance writer.
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(This article first appeared in the Downtown Kenosha magazine Vol 14 Issue 1 2021)