Our Town Grand Island: Railside

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – From boutiques to restaurants to unique living spaces, the 42-block area of ​​downtown Grand Island known as “Railside” has it all.

We spoke with Sherry Siwinski, Executive Director of Railside, about this exciting part of town. “It’s the heart of Grand Island,” Siwinski said. “This is where it all started, where the first settlers settled and started to make this city possible.”

The idea of ​​branding this downtown area “Railside” originated in the mid-2000s. “We’re a Nebraska Main Street community, so we’re accredited to them,” Siwinski said. “Part of that is scoring what we have to offer here. It’s kind of like the old market in Omaha. It’s a way for us to define who we are and what we have to offer to the public.

The Hedde building is one of many historic structures on Railside that have been renovated or are being renovated for business and living spaces. “It was built by Fred Hedde,” Siwinski said. “He built it in 1887. He actually bought the land for $2,000. He purchased the Grand Island Independent newspaper in 1884, and after completing this building, he moved the newspaper to this building. This building has housed many businesses over the decades. Currently it houses the Grand Island Visitor Center, Railside office, shops and apartments. We have three apartments here that are currently complete, with 17 more to come. There are a lot of apartments in these downtown buildings now, and there are some really cool spaces. I frequently receive calls from people looking for apartments and a place to set up their business. »

There are so many highlights in the Railside area that it’s hard to name them all. Some of the highlights include the Grand Theatre, The Tattered Book second-hand bookstore, clothing boutiques, Daily Dose cafe, Chocolate Bar, and antique stores such as Railroad Towne. “Of course there’s the dining room,” Siwinski said. “We have everything from a fun and rowdy Irish pub to brasseries, a classic spot for a Coney dog, upscale steaks and seafood.”

Next time you’re on Grand Island, take some time to wander the streets of Railside and enjoy all the area has to offer.

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