Local Profile: Monroe Street Shops and Restaurants
Published on July 13th, 2018
By Jennifer Oppriecht
This month we’re spotlighting the Monroe Street Merchants Association! Monroe Street is a favorite neighborhood for students and Madisonians alike. Read our interview with Carol “Orange” Schroeder of the Monroe Street Merchants for more details on what makes this street such a unique part of the Madison landscape.
Tell us about Monroe Street Merchants Association.
Monroe Street is over a mile of locally-owned specialty shops and businesses, surrounded by a historic neighborhood. It is conveniently located near UW-Madison’s Camp Randall Stadium, the Henry Vilas Zoo, the Edgewood Campus, Vilas and Wingra Parks, and the UW Arboretum.
We also have the only Trader Joe’s in the city of Madison, and a branch of the Madison Public Library. There are B-Cycle racks in several locations on Monroe Street, and there is easy access to the street from the Southwest Commuter Bike/Pedestrian Path.
The businesses on the street work together to promote each other, including annual activities such as the fall Monroe Street Festival and the popular spring Monroe Street Chocolate Walk fundraiser for the Henry Vilas Zoo.
This year the street is undergoing extensive roadwork from March until November, so we are more active than ever in working to get the word out that a trip to Monroe Street is worth the effort. We are offering a fun bingo game and other promotions that are on our website, www.monroestreetmadison.com.
What do your customers love most about your company? What do your fave customers have to say about you?
This is what the City of Madison has to say about Monroe Street:
The Monroe Street corridor is scaled to pedestrians with neighborhood shops (coffee, ice cream, ethnic dining) in historic storefronts. An art center, galleries, and neighborhood jazz fest (Jazz in the Park) are venues for the artsy folks.
Cozy, two-story homes with front porches line the quiet residential streets. Downtown Madison, University of Wisconsin, and the hospitals are within a 1-2 mile radius of the neighborhood making it an ideal location to live for academic staff and students to families with young families to young professionals.
An afternoon boating on Lake Wingra, walking along the paths in the University of Wisconsin-Arboretum, and rollerblading on the Southwest Bike-Ped Path are only a few features that make this older neighborhood a fun place to live.
Another distinguishing feature of Monroe Street is that it is home to one of Steve Brown’s first apartment buildings in the 1900 block!
Why are the Monroe Street businesses such a great part of Madison?
Monroe Street is proud to feature almost 100 locally-owned businesses, and Madison is a great supporter of the buy local movement. In fact, Dane Buy Local is one of the largest organizations of its type in the US!
We love the fact that people here make it a point to patronize independent businesses. They realize that these local restaurants, stores and service businesses are what give our community its special character.