Downtown Naperville development debuts with Southern Tide apparel
A shop that sells a taste of coastal style is the first to open in Naperville's much-anticipated Water Street District, which is nearing completion downtown.
Southern Tide apparel opened Monday on the east side of the development near Main Street, while the west side near Webster Street remains a construction zone.
A 520-space parking garage, a Hotel Indigo, a banquet center, a plaza, Riverwalk improvements, offices and several shops and restaurants remain in progress, as they have been for the past 18 months at the development that has been discussed since 2007.
Shoppers began stopping by Monday at 120 Water St. to browse Southern Tide Naperville T-shirts to mark the opening occasion, along with brand staples including shorts, swim wear, polos, dress shirts, sport coats, skirts and dresses.
Loren and Amy Beadle, who live in Wheaton and Kiawah, South Carolina, own the store as part of their Island Sport business.
The owners weren't trying to open the first store within the Water Street District, but Loren said he's pleased it turned out that way. He's looking forward to a grand opening weekend Nov. 4 through 6, when the store will run T-shirt giveaways, offer gifts with some purchases, give chances to win a cooler and donate a portion of proceeds to the Naperville nonprofit organization KidsMatter.
Beadle recognizes his shop is opening in the heart of fall, but said he expects the brand's "youthful and classic" summery vibe to sell well.
"Even though it's October in Chicago, we will still be able to sell some shorts and sandals to people who are going on vacation or live part-time in Florida," he said.
Plus, Southern Tide offers a full line "from shorts and sandals all the way up through heavy winter coats and sweaters."
The "Skipjack Polo," named for the skipjack tuna that serves as the store's logo, has been a hot seller since it was the first Southern Tide item sold when the brand launched in 2006 in South Carolina.
"It keeps its shape. It wears great," Beadle said. "It immediately becomes everyone's favorite polo."
The Beadles also are opening one of the restaurants planned for the Water Street District, SixtyFour - A Wine Bar, which will be on the north side of Water Street, across from Southern Tide and closer to the West branch of the DuPage River. SixtyFour is expected to open in March.
Other restaurants include Quiubo, which offers Mexican fine dining; Santo Cielo, a farm-to-table restaurant with a rotating menu; Blue Sushi Sake Grill, an upscale Japanese restaurant; and State & Main, a British-style pub popular in Canada.