Raiders of the Lost Antiques Brings People to Near Eastside Shops


One of the IndyEast Promise Zone Goals is economic development (“Buy IndyEast”). It goes like this: “We promise to create healthy commercial corridors that provide desirable neighborhood goods, services, and amenities that serve our residents and become a regional destination for shopping, dining, and recreation.” That promise comes out of the too familiar scenario in which Indy residents pass right on through the Near Eastside on their way to surrounding neighborhoods for their shopping, eating, and recreational activities. One way to begin rectifying that problem is to spend time and effort promoting the distinctive shops that call the Near Eastside home. Special promotional events are an excellent way to bring both new people and longtime residents in to discover what our community has to offer. Raiders of the Lost Antiques was one such event.

Planning for Raiders of the Lost Antiques began in January, after the quarterly meeting of the Buy IndyEast Committee. A Task Force thought that this event would be an excellent way to bring people to the Near Eastside and display some of the unique shops in our community.

We made Raiders into a family friendly game that people could play on their way from shop to shop. Each participant received a bingo card that had different antiques and artifacts that they could search for to try to get ‘bingo’. The bingo card was where volunteers at each of the six participating antiques and salvage shops initialed that the participant had indeed visited that shop. Why was that important? If the participants received initials at all six antique and salvage shops, they could turn their bingo card in to enter a raffle. The participating shops, restaurants, and breweries generously donated 15 gift cards to give away!

The bottom line – Over 400 people participated in Raiders of the Lost Antiques! That means physical exposure to the Near Eastside. That means a thriving business day on an otherwise nondescript weekend. That means positive vibes, a step onward and upward, and momentum for our new and long established locally owned businesses, and our budding business corridors.

So what’s next? Where do we go from here? The local shops that participated will hopefully see some familiar faces as gift card winners come back to cash in, and bring their friends and family with them. Those that normally might go to Mass Ave, Irvington, Broadripple, Castleton for their holiday or general shopping will now think of that unique dresser they saw at Midland, or that one of a kind brass handle at Little Doc’s, or maybe even that gorgeous hardwood door they saw rehabbed at Tim and Julie’s Another Fine Mess. The Near Eastside is now an option when previously it may not have been.

On the Promise Zone side, we will continue to meet quarterly with our Buy IndyEast Committee to brainstorm new ideas, plan new economic initiatives, and inform our neighborhood partners of new and exciting undertakings in the Promise Zone.

The Promise Zone website and Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages are a great way to keep up with events and new initiatives in our neighborhoods.

The new Near Indy Guide is an excellent resource for shopping, dining, and antiquing on the Near Eastside. Bookmark their page and stay up to date on what’s available in our community!

Residents, business owners, nonprofit leaders… they can feel the energy that is permeating our neighborhood. We are working to harness that energy into positive and equitable change for our neighbors and all those who live, work, play, and worship in our community. Thank you for being a part of making the Promise Zone a prominent destination in Indianapolis.

These participants visited all six antique shops and were entered into a raffle to win gift cards.