Designated as an Iowa Cultural District, the Czech Village / New Bohemia Main Street District is an area rich in history, alive with music, and bustling with shops old and new. Today one will find a mixture of shops, businesses, and people that represent the ethnic history of the area.
The district has a wide variety of food to satisfy one’s palette. Restaurants offer authentic Czech cuisine, seafood, classic burgers & fries, soup & sandwiches, and fresh gourmet creations. Or one can let their nose be their guide and check out the food vendors inside the NewBo City Market representing a wide range of ethnic cuisines.
Events are a great time to visit the district. Several events both with deep tradition as well as new additions are held annually including: NewBo Arts Fest, EcoFest, Old Prague Christmas Market, Very Cherry Holiday, Houby Days, St. Joseph’s Parade, 2x2xU, and Czech Fall Festival. Annual festivals bring thousands of visitors to the district each year.
Many world-class cultural attractions including the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, African American Museum of Iowa, and Legion Arts provide history, culture, performing & fine arts; drawing visitors from all over the world. St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, founded in 1874, continues to serve the community and carry on the Czech heritage. Live music is featured multiple days a week at many bars, restaurants, and outdoor venues.
The Bohemian spirit is very much integrated into the neighborhood with many community driven projects occurring on a grass-roots level. Over twenty-five artist studios showcase a variety of crafts including woodworking, painting, ceramics, jewelry, photography, and many more. Independent retailers offer a wide selection of goods including home furnishings, gifts & collectibles, hobby stores, antiques, and vintage finds.
The Czech Village / New Bohemia Main Street District maintains the urban, industrial grit and preserves the historic architecture while introducing new businesses to meet the needs and interests of modern consumers.
Interspersed with the various commercial properties are former immigrant houses allowing for residents to live in close proximity to necessary shopping and services. In addition, former large-scale industrial facilities have been thoughtfully converted into attractive loft-style condominiums, like Bottleworks and Water Tower Place, or artist studios, like the Cherry Building. Many upper-story housing opportunities are also available throughout the district.