The owner of a new Rochester shop hopes to fill a spiritual void in this area.
Brinn McManus opened the doors of A Beautiful Soul on Friday at 619 6th Ave. NW. That's where Culligan water used to operate until it moved to Woodlake Drive Southeast in 2006.
McManus describes her new business as "Rochester's first New Age Metaphysical gift store." It carries a variety of things like, healing herbs, gems, crystal, jewelry and aromatherapy materials.
"There is definitely a need for this," she said. "That's obvious by how many people have been stopping by even before were ready to open."
A Beautiful Soul is also more than just a gift shop. It also has Reiki master Teri Anderson on staff to offer Reiki, reflexology and acupressure treatments on site. McManus also plans to offer individual and group mediation classes as well as hosting visiting psychic practitioners and healers for weekend events.
"This is something I've wanted to do for some time, but it was never the right time or the right spot," she said. "Now I feel good that we've found the right spot."
A Beautiful Soul is the latest in a string of small artistic and unique businesses that have opened recently in that once faded neighborhood. Paul Bennett opened Dwell Local,a design and art shop in the former Paw and Claws building at 602 Seventh St. NW. The Urban Easel art studio soon opened next door at 608 Seventh St. NW. A European auto repair shop, Werkstatt 533, then came in and renovated an empty brick warehouse just up the street at 533 Sixth Ave NW.
The word is that a well-known floral arts designer may also be moving into the area soon.
All of that activity is leading people like McManus and Bennett to start dubbing the northwest neighborhood as the Cooke Park Design District.
It seems like a Renaissance of sorts is underway in the Cooke Park area, so the new name seems to fit pretty well at this point.