A second retail store in downtown Bowling Green’s The Vue development is nearly ready to open.
Local Underground Access, or LUA, is stocking up on a variety of clothing, art supplies and skateboarding equipment in preparation for an opening of the 1,800-square-foot store planned for April.
Located at State Street and Eighth Avenue, LUA joins Shop Local Kentucky as retailers in the residential-commercial development that is home to 73 apartments and the Hickory & Oak restaurant.
LUA owner Matthew Wilson said the residential growth in downtown helped entice him to set up shop in The Vue.
“Downtown is the heart of our city,” Wilson said. “I looked at a few other places, then a Realtor suggested looking at The Vue. I realized it was where I needed to be.”
Wilson describes LUA as an “art and clothing retailer” and he is stocking up on items that will make his shop unique.
In addition to T-shirts, sweaters, hoodies, windbreakers and pants, Wilson plans to carry an assortment of skateboards and equipment for what he sees as a growing activity.
“There’s a growing scene for that sport in our area,” said Wilson, 28. “I used to skateboard when I was growing up in Glasgow. When they built the skatepark in Bowling Green it created a migration of people to the downtown area.”
Wilson already has a large collection of skateboards in his shop, and he also plans to carry the DC Shoes brand that specializes in footwear for action sports like skateboarding.
Skateboarders won’t be the only target audience for LUA. Wilson plans to carry a variety of art supplies, including the high-end Posca markers, and he said LUA will host shows by local artists.
“We’ll have sketch pads, paint and other supplies,” he said. “We’ll give people in the artistic community a place where they can purchase needed supplies.”
Wilson said he is “just waiting on a couple of final shipments” of merchandise before opening the doors to his new shop.
His LUA store will join Shop Local Kentucky, a 1,200-square-foot shop facing State Street. That store is already open, selling Kentucky-themed T-shirts and other apparel, including Western Kentucky University-themed items.
Shop Local Kentucky, started in Georgetown six years ago, has a 15,000-square-foot production plant and warehouse in Lexington and a store in Covington.
Co-owner Rick Paynter said the business has been growing by “50 to 60 percent” per year and is looking to expand into other parts of the state.