Bagels and music roll into River District

Patrons in the downtown River District will soon be able to eat bagels and listen to music, too. Big Apple Bagels and Acme Records are both moving to the quickly growing downtown area.

Acme Records, a local independent retailer of music, videos and books in Rockford, has recently joined the growing number of local businesses moving into Rockford’s downtown River District. Their new location is 221-A E. State St., located above Lula’s Vintage Boutique.

Acme works closely with the local music community, offering a one-stop location for all local artists to sell their merchandise and promote their upcoming shows. In addition, Acme carries an eclectic selection of CDs, records, DVDs, books, magazines, toys and various odds and ends. Aside from their in-store selection, Acme also specializes in fast special orders of music, video and books, often filling requests in three to five days.

For more information on Acme Records, call (815) 962-8971 or e-mail

Big Apple Bagels, a popular local eatery, is opening a second Rockford location in the William Brown Building, 228 S. Main St., downtown Rockford.

Construction is currently under way with an early July opening planned, according to Deanne DiGiovanni of Big Apple Bagels. The DiGiovannis took over the Big Apple Bagels restaurant business in 1999 and have seen the business steadily grow. From carry-out orders to eat-in services, the restaurant at 5411 E. State St. enjoys a good reputation for quality and variety in its menu.

Besides the popular bagels and deli sandwiches, the downtown store will also feature gourmet coffees and fruit slushies. The store plans to be open for breakfast and lunch on weekdays. It will be open weekends for special events.

“Located in this historic building is really exciting,” added Deanne. “We’re keeping the exposed brick and wooden floor, adding a fireplace and some more windows. You can come in and relax or grab a quick latte and bagel to go. We are ready to be part of downtown and know we will bring a delicious and fun eating choice to Main and Chestnut!”

Owners of the building, William Charles Investments, remodeled the 1890s six-story building in stages. First came the complete renovation of the AMCORE Bank facility on the south side of the first floor. Then the company created 30 market-rate one- and two-bedroom loft apartments on floors two through six. And now, the Big Apple Bagels restaurant will be on the north side of the ground floor.

From the June 22-28, 2005, issue

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