Erich Goepel has started a handful of businesses, including the coffee shop that will celebrate its one-year anniversary at Bicentennial Riverfront Park on Nov. 5.
Goepel's River City Roasters, along with Creative Kernels Gourmet Popcorn, were part of a relatively new concept for the city of Yorkville. The city rented space in a park building at 131 E. Hydraulic Ave. to the two businesses for a base rent plus 5 percent of their sales. The experiment is continuing with a few changes.
Creative Kernels Gourmet Popcorn discontinued its lease in the south portion of the building, and White Water Ice Cream, which had subletted space from Creative Kernels, is expanding into the former popcorn space with a "party pad" for kids parties and group meetings.
White Water Ice Cream will close for the season Sunday, but presently is booking parties for the Party Pad for Oct. 14 and beyond.
Meanwhile, Goepel has a stand of Creative Kernels popcorn available in his shop, and Creative Kernels owner Kim McGuire is going to work there one day a week. In the last year, he's added added South Bank Art and Music displays to the shop walls, and another addition will kick off this weekend.
"As a little guy, it's just so hard to start," Goepel said. "Part of my desire is to help small businesses."
DeMont Guitars officially is opening in the back meeting room of River City Roasters on Saturday during the Rogue Barrister Harvest Moon Festival, which will feature craft beer and live music at the park. Nate DeMont has been building, repairing, selling and collecting guitars professionally for about 4 years, according to a news release.
"I built my first guitar when I was 18 going to Oswego High School and excelling in the the states number-one-rated high school wood working program," DeMont wrote in the news release. "While recovering from injuries training for weight-lifting competitions, I decided to start working on guitars once again."
He builds, paints and refinishes guitars both from scratch and from existing guitars and materials. He hopes to have two lines of DeMont Guitars on the market by next year; he released his own line of pick-ups last year in collaboration with a small shop in Brazil.
"We are currently in the process of manufacturing and marketing other various types of pickups, as well as and ukulele & banjo pickups and modern reproductions of vintage MIJ pickups," DeMont wrote in the news release.
Until now, DeMont's sales have been limited to online efforts, local retailers and guitar shows.
"A walk-through store front will be a nice opportunity for a new customer base," DeMont wrote in the news release, "and we will also encourage entry-level guitarists by offering guitar lessons at competitive rates."
• ‘South Bank’ Art and Music Extravaganza Planning Underway
• City to Honor a Santa Who Children Can Believe In
• Santa Video: 'Understand the True Meaning of Christmas'
• Chowdown Showdown: Taste of Yorkville Edition
• Photos: River City Roasters Opens by Bicentennial Riverfront Park
• City Approves Food Vendor Lease for Riverfront Park
• Photo Gallery: A Scoop of Summer