Oh Lolli Lolli newest addition to a revived Demun neighborhood

I swing open the door and I’m a seven-year-old again. I spot Snickers, Pop Rocks, Tootsie Roll Pops, and about a million other candies all in a glance. Stepping up to the counter, I ask for two small bags. One with chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzels and the other with Gummi bears, please. I pay the cashier, take one last look around – already brainstorming for what I will get next time – and step outside. Mission accomplished for the night.

The new candy shop Oh Lolli Lolli adds a new dimension to the Deumn neighborhood. (Dustin Kessler)
The new candy shop Oh Lolli Lolli adds a new dimension to the Deumn neighborhood. (Dustin Kessler)

Lately, I’ve been finding myself making increasingly frequent homework breaks to this store. Called Oh Lolli Lolli, it is the newest addition to a small strip of attractions sprouting up along Demun Avenue. I can’t quite say it is the greatest (Kaldi’s is hard to beat), but it makes a good second best.
However, it is not just the candy that is worth the walk from my house. As strange as it may sound, I look forward to making my way down the two or so blocks to reach Oh Lolli Lolli just about as much as I look forward to the candy itself.
When I walk down the sidewalk, I subconsciously slow my pace. Kaldi’s Coffee, Jimmy’s on the Park, and Sasha’s Wine Bar sit side by side, each attracting a slightly different type of crowd. I always people-watch as I pass by, while overhearing snatches of conversation. Dot Dot Dash Boutique is somewhat easy to miss, because it’s on a street just off of Demun, but it, too, has brought new character to the neighborhood. Among other businesses, there is a salon, a Laundromat, and a Tae Kwon Do studio.
The small strip, although not spectacular or particularly impressive, has a special significance to the surrounding areas. It serves as a sort of merging point or middle ground for the separate surrounding neighborhoods. Concordia Seminary is directly across the street, and streets lined with apartment buildings branch off from Demun. On both ends of the “Demun strip,” as I call it, are Clayton neighborhoods. In addition, Captain Elementary lies just beside Kaldi’s. The result is a blend of kids, families, professors, teenagers, and college students.
Currently, a boarded up storefront sits on a corner right in the center of the growing number of restaurants and businesses. I have heard it will become a new restaurant. A pizza place, my friends and I hope. Whatever it is, I look forward to it. I am eager to see this street getting busy, bringing people together in one place. Of course, it also wouldn’t hurt if it gave me yet another excuse to take a break from homework.