East Fourth Street is still hitting the snooze button as the lights come on inside The Dredgers Union. Down in the basement of the store, Danielle DeBoe is already hard at work catching up on paperwork and bookkeeping.
As co-founder of The Dredgers Union, DeBoe bet on the fact that there was a market for retail on East Fourth Street when she opened the store with Sean Bilovecky in June.
"I grew up in Cleveland," she says. "So the idea of once again opening the channel of retail back downtown is incredibly personal."
That concept — opening the channel — is what led to the store's metaphoric, gritty, workingman's name. "When you dredge something, you get the muck out of the way," explains Bilovecky, who spent the past six years working on his own clothing line, Wrath Arcane, before teaming with DeBoe.
The Dredgers Union's more than 4,000 square feet of vintage wood floors and high ceilings is devoted to men's, women's and baby clothing, home goods and whatever else DeBoe fancies.
Bilovecky's Wrath Arcane line shares table space with clothes from The Dredgers Union's own label and items from other designers he and DeBoe admire. Bilovecky points to a pair of men's jeans by Naem ($148). "They're out of L.A.," he says. "This is a brand that does fit in price-point-[wise] with what we're doing, and also it's made in the U.S."
Shipments come in almost every day, says DeBoe, so she's constantly rearranging the store. One shelf features knitting kits ($88) created by Scandinavian women in New York. An old blue bureau holds copies of The Encyclopedia of the Exquisite ($27.95). A claw-foot tub overflows with shower curtains. An uber-hip Wrath Arcane hoodie scarf ($67) draped on a dress form greets visitors as they enter the store.
"Since we've opened," says Bilovecky, "we've learned that even though our demographic is broad, [everyone wants] to be pushed a little bit in more of an edgy direction."
When You Go
The Dredgers Union
2043 E. Fourth St., Cleveland, 216-357-2911, dredgersunion.com
The walls of Erie Island Coffee Co. are filled with the paintings of local artists. The selection changes monthly with about two dozen pieces typically on display.
2057 E. Fourth St., Cleveland, 216-394-0093, erieislandcoffee.com