Downtown Riverside has much to offer as a city and as a community from local business to events. Many of the business owners in the city work together and work with local artists and vendors to give Riverside residents the best experience possible.
Daniel Mesa, senior photography major, works at the Mission Inn hotel seasonally and through this job has spent a lot of time in downtown Riverside. Mesa speaks of the downtown area’s one-of-a-kind nature.
“Downtown Riverside is much smaller than most downtown cities. However, what makes it interesting is that there are a bunch of small mom and pop shops scattered throughout the city. It’s awesome to see that it isn’t overrun by big business,” Mesa said.
While downtown Riverside has a variety of interesting business that all have much to offer. The community of downtown is also supportive of smaller local businesses and the arts, from the Art walk, which takes place the first Thursday of each month, allowing different vendors to come out and sell self-made merchandise and expand their businesses, to the Mission Inn holiday festivities, which have similar opportunities, to the several open mic nights and events that are regularly hosted by Back to the Grind.
Mairin Deasy, senior communication studies major, has personally experienced downtown Riverside and what it can offer.
“Riverside is just so full of life all the time; something is always going on,” Deasy said. “There’s not a lot of corporation and a lot of it’s all privately owned and you can tell that the businesses mean a lot more to the owners. A lot of love and time has been put into it and that is a huge part of the loving artistic and caring culture.”
Downtown Riverside has various businesses that appeal to both college students and locals. With diverse tourists stops such as the Mission Galleria antique shop or the California Baptist University Gallery or Casey’s Cupcakes, the downtown area has many different stops from which to choose.
Riley Tom, junior business administration major, works as the community outreach and programming intern at Piep Plant House in downtown Riverside. As both an employee and a student who visits the downtown area, she can attest to the communty aspect.
“I love how unique it is. It gets me out of the CBU bubble and it’s just really nice to just experience the culture that is different from where I live,” Tom said of her experience in downtown Riverside.. “I like just meeting the different kinds of people.
“Each business has a story and someone was passionate enough to start it so it’s cool to get to know them and hear their story and how they get involved in the community.”