Virginia Beach’s New Creative District is Full of Good ViBes

by Sarah Payne

Nestled between 16th and 22nd street is the burgeoning ViBe Creative District, a hub for local restaurants and businesses. From coffee shops to art studios, this district, which used to be filled with abandoned warehouses and pawn shops, is easily becoming the best place to visit in Virginia Beach.

The creative district first started out as a few business owners with a vision, who saw the area for what it could be, not what it was -  sad and dilapidated. With the initiation of First Friday’s two years ago, these few businesses got together to bring new life to the area. On the first Friday of every month, they hosted open houses at their studios, restaurants and shops, fostering a sense of community that eventually led other local businesses to settle down nearby, and create what is now the ViBe Creative District.    

Officially established last April, the district’s growing popularity caught the eye of City Council, who has worked to create a budget for improving the area further. Some future projects include building more sidewalks and visually identifying the district with flags on light poles and brightly colored crosswalk markings.

ViBe’s mission is “to stimulate commerce and enhance the quality of life for citizens of Virginia Beach,” and with restaurants that share a communal garden and shops that sell solely hand-crafted products, this creative district has definitely completed their objective. So if you’re in the area, grab a local, organic, seasonal and sustainable fare from Commune, sip a Nordic-style roasted coffee from Three Ships Coffee Roasters, or browse through the eclectic and antique home pieces at Chartreuse Design Studio and Shoppe. You’ll surely be feeling some good ViBes.