Get Tickets Mark your calendars for the best event of the season, The Main Event February 21st 6-9pm! Put on your best red carpet attire, grab your co-workers, family, & friends and join Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street as we escape the winter doldrums and gather to...Read More
Beginning August 1st the Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District will offer a low-interest loan program for business startup and expansion efforts. For more information and application materials visit...Read More
Considering opening a business or developing property in Cedar Rapids? Take a look at our market profile to see why the Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District is the right choice for you. Designated as an Iowa Cultural District, the Czech Village / NewBohemia Main...Read More
While the District reaps the benefits of strong community support and investment, there is an urgent focus on creating a sustainable vision for the area. The Strategic Revitalization Plan (the Plan) for the District was created to help guide development while thoughtfully...Read More
The Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District was formed in May of 2009 to breathe economic life into a historic area of Cedar Rapids. Established by emigrants, the District had suffered economic decline for many years and was nearly destroyed by record flooding in 2008. Despite these hardships, courageous business owners and residents began the task of rebuilding.
Optimism is evident throughout our District. Construction is prevalent and new investments are announced regularly. The creative cultural community has embraced the District and their events bring new and return visitors who spread the word about our exciting improvements. We are confident that the consistent application of Main Street’s Four Point Approach will transform Czech Village/New Bohemia into Cedar Rapids desired location to live, work, and play.
Whenever I meet new people or reconnect with old friends, they ask “What’s the big event or big news right now in The District?”. I’d like to take this opportunity to share with all of you some of my favorite picks each month. These may be small wins, big exciting news, or little known facts. They are definitely worth sharing!
-Jennifer Pruden, Executive Director
213 Ford Lukes & Company is a handmade, specialty design and retail shop owned by Kate Ford and Nancy Lukes-Jirak, two artists with deep Czech ancestry and a great love of their community.
Kate was a retail/visual merchandiser for a number of companies early in her career and after moving to Cedar Rapids from North Carolina eight years ago, was a stay at home mother of three and wife of a soldier who was deployed to Iraq. She had her first sale out of her little garage in the back of her house. “I didn’t know five people here in town, but I knew one person who knew everyone,” she reflects.
The timing was far from perfect for her to venture out and open a shop, yet she was getting more and more requests for design. Her client list grew which inspired her to take part in the Downtown Cedar Rapids Farmer’s Market. She eventually approached New Bo Books about doing their window displays and did more interior design and wedding décor. “I always knew I wanted a retail space I just wasn’t sure where. Then I met Nancy,” Kate said.