What’s Old is New Again

I feel like I say this every year, but I can hardly believe another holiday season has already crept up on us! With our deadlines for November/December, we begin to think about the holidays pretty early in the fall (actually late summer!) here at art & society. In this issue, we’ve shared a few of our favorite memories, and the reminiscing brought a smile to my face. The years do fly by so quickly…

Old memories can be very comforting, especially at this time of the year, and this issue brings with it a bit of history and nostalgia. By the time you read this, a new craft whiskey distillery will have opened its doors in East Peoria, offering a direct line to Peoria’s rich history as the former “Whiskey Capital of the World.” The story of JK Williams Distilling—and the serendipity of uncovering a long-lost family secret—is a pretty remarkable one. Click here and find out for yourself!

Along with the opening of JK Williams, there have been rumblings of a craft brewery locating in the Warehouse District in the near-future. Meanwhile, early October brought with it the grand opening of Sugar: Wood-Fired Bistro & Gourmet Treats—restaurateur Travis Mohlenbrink’s latest venture and the first new restaurant to locate there. With all the construction along Washington and Adams over the last year, it’s nice to see the promise of a redeveloped Warehouse District at last becoming a reality!

What’s old is indeed new again… We see that at Ribbon Records, where store owner Jenny Foster has taken her love for vintage clothing and retro patterns to new heights. Across town, Deb Opyd is doing something similar at Relics, which offers an eclectic mix of items old and new, historic and modern, and always unique. The same goes for Hey Lola, Urban Artifacts and Restoration—all located in the old Sunbeam Building at Main and Sheridan.

With holiday shopping in mind, our associate editor, Gabrielle Balzell, paid a visit to a number of these shops, compiling a list of unique gift items you might consider this year. For him, for her, for the little ones… for foodies and fashionistas… there’s a little something for everyone. Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg…

So shop local this season! Support the small businesses of central Illinois, and keep your dollars in the community. And don’t forget to support our sponsors and advertisers—because without them, we cannot do what we do. And have a warm, wonderful holiday season! a&s