Every community needs a place to assemble and call their own. Orange, a thriving city with Victorian houses and wide sidewalks is now creating a flutter. A galleria like concept called the Plaza District situated at the roundabout near Glassell Street and Chapman Avenue is becoming a landmark in this once sleepy California town. With its ticket to fame being its proximity to the Chapman University and centricity to residents of the area, people seem to be flocking their day or night. The Plaza District also famed as the Orange Circle has exquisite eateries with people always waiting in a queue to be seated or leisurely sipping away on a steaming cup of java from a cup holder at the sidewalk cafés.
The Orange Circle with a distinct character of its own, balances a traditional and welcoming atmosphere with a jubilant and urban décor, sees business booming, and not just for food and beverage. A mix of stores that house antiques and other exquisite products (some of them wheelchair accessories) accompanied by an array of restaurants the Plaza District sees good footfall throughout the day. Shoppers famished from the retail therapy head straight out to the diners and deli’s which are open to serve them up till 1 am daily. The demarcation between Orange Circle and its closest contemporary in Fullerton is brought about because Fullerton is mostly a food connoisseur’s paradise with the shopping experience missing. When it comes to Orange, this is not the case. Fullerton misses out on getting patronage in the daytime operating hours and comes alive only after the evening but with Orange, there is hustle and bustle happening throughout the day.
The City of Orange has been reaping the benefits of the upturn swing in business at the Plaza District with sales tax revenue increasing to 30% more of what was collected in 2009. A sum of $120,000 is what has gone into the city’s kitty.
Not to say that the plaza has been a goldmine for every business venture that has opened up there. There are many shops which have closed down during the financial downturn of the economy and remain vacant till date. Not only have many long serving antique shops shut shop but some restaurants such as Mustard Café and Aldo’s closed down within a short span of setting up business. Of course they have been replaced by Kimmie’s Coffee Cup and Haven Gastropub, which is good if you need the caffeine in your drink holder. These two seem to be doing pretty well for themselves.
Parking is becoming an issue with the number of visitors increasing. The city is toying with a couple of options to fix that problem but it could take up to six years before that happens. With the focus of the Mayor on the Plaza District, things should just become better and better out there.
The Plaza District is a must see kind of place to visit when you are in the Orange, CA area next time.