Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

College Hill Shop and Stroll


On Saturday, Dec. 1, Augustana organized the College Hill Shop and Stroll. Businesses such as Cool Beanz, Fred & Ethel’s, Kavanaugh’s Hillstop Bar & Grill and Steve’s Barbershop opened their doors for all students to stop by and participate in specially organized activities, including ornament decorating.

For the businesses of Rock Island, the Shop and Stroll is not the first time that the people of the area were welcomed to take a special look in their stores. The Christmas walk has been traditionally bringing the community of Rock Island together for over seven years.

This year was the first time Augustana participated in the Christmas event. Students could get a $5 voucher and spend it in any of the participating businesses, eat at a local food truck in Pocket Park or enjoy warm cocoa by the fire pit.

Ashleigh Johnston, director of public relations and social media, helped organize the event.

“The goal is to foster community, to encourage our students to explore what’s around campus and for the businesses to get to know Augie students,” Johnston said.

“Three out of the 10 participating businesses are owned by Augustana alumni, like Cool Beanz, Quilt Addicts Anonymous and Lundgren Family Chiropractic, so we hope it’s beneficial for students to see fellow Vikings who’ve started their own businesses so close to campus.’’

Annette Hutto, Augustana alumni and founder of the coffee shop Cool Beanz, took part in the College Hill Shop and Stroll.

“Right now with the cold weather, everybody is staying inside unless they have to go out. But with having the incentive of the craft and community gathering, this event might spark some more business sales. Business has been slow the past few weeks with the cold weather and the snow,” Hutto said.

Tim Kavanaugh, manager of Kavanaugh’s Hillstop Bar & Grill, has been taking part in the Christmas walk for as long as the walk has existed.

Augustana’s participation could change Kavanaugh’s Hillstop Bar & Grill’s relationship to the school.

“There is a gap between Augustana and the Businesses here, and I hope the Shop and Stroll helps close that,” Kavanaugh said.

“I’m hoping to get students to return here to come eat, that we’ll be more than, you know, just a place to take shots before they take the bus to go downtown. I’m hoping students will come eat here too.’’

As expected, the bad weather made many students stay indoors. But seniors Jacob Hanlon and Ashley Chex did not let the cold stop them. In Cool Beanz they took part in the ornament decorating.

“We saw an email about the event and decided to check it out. I mean, the event is a lot of fun. It is shocking that there isn’t more people here. The event seems fairly simple, and it’s cute and Christmassy. I don’t see why Augustana shouldn’t participate more in the future,’’ Hanlon said.

Photo: Alex Anderson and Joseph Flynn, workers at Cool Beanz, serving customers at Christmas Shop and Stroll at College Hill District on Dec. 1. Photo by Emma Gannaway

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
College Hill Shop and Stroll