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New clothing retailer to open on Bridge Street

West side development is on the rise and adding to the momentum is a new retail shop which will open May 17 on Bridge Street.
Exterior window display

Exterior window display /Eric Tank

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443 Bridge Street

Grand Opening May 17

Katie Harney, owner

Katie Harney, owner /Eric Tank

Interior display

Interior display /Eric Tank

On May 17 Denym, a retail clothing boutique carring men's and women's line of jeans, tops and accessories, will officially unveil itself to the public. 

Located at 443 Bridge Street, the east wing of the two story building has been there well over a century. The west end was built after the great flood of 1904 and currently houses the new Conscious Collective Consignment shop. Both buildings from the exterior appear as one, flanked on either end in the top corners by stone gargoyles. Parking is two buildings to the west, on the other side of the dilapidated Red Lion, and includes up to eight spaces spared with Conscious Collective. 

Owner Katie Harney had been looking for a couple years for the right location for her business.

"I think there's a lot of potential in this area," she says of choosing Bridge Street. "There's a lot of development that's going to happen."

With Conscious Collective opening in February, the purchase of the old Little Mexico Building by Harmony Brewing Company and established businesses such as Monte's, O'Toole's Public House and The Anchor Bar, Bridge Street has a storied past and viable future. Rockford Construction recognized this when they chose to build their new headquarters on First Street. 

Walt Gutowski, Jr., who owns the building and is a native Westsider, has been investing in the area for years. 

"My wife and I have been investing in Bridge Street even before we were married. We bought a very modest home so that we could afford to invest in Bridge Street in hopes of bringing it back to the Mecca it was, where people gathered when my parents were children. It is so rewarding to see our vision start to become reality as other developers like the Reinert family, Rockford Construction, 616 Development, the VanDyke family and the Porters (of Black Heron Restaurant) have joined us in this effort. Because of its great bones & heritage, the West Side is the obvious location to grow housing opportunities for those who wish to live & play near downtown," says Gutowski.

Denym is a mid to high end boutique featuring premium brand jeans such as Joes, Hudson, Fidelity, Grey Wire, Henry and Belle, James Jeans and Seven for all Mankind. Price ranges between $100-200. In addition to jeans, Denym will carry tops, skirts, dresses, scarves, shirts, bags, sunglasses, jewelry, belts and hats. 

And there will be plenty of options for men to choose from. This is not a women's clothing store with a marginal selection for men. 

"It's always been kind of dream to open my own store," says Harney. "[And] I think there's a lack of men's clothing options in Grand Rapids."

Harney, who graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design with a degree in interior design, has been working in the retail business for the past couple of years. 

"We definitely want to work with the community and we think that's important and I think there's a good sense of that in this area. I think the more you can do as a community, the better," says Harney. "The more retail we can get in this area- that's even better for us- we definitely welcome that."

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