A Holistic Resurgence

There is a buzz growing in Brevard County of the growth ahead. We have all heard about the large contracts the local tech companies are winning and the excitement surrounding the evolution of the private space industry in Brevard. In the center of all that excitement and possibility comes the need to grow this county in a way that makes moving to Brevard an easy sell – and that is where the revitalization of Downtown Melbourne comes into play. Home to over 20 unique restaurants and cafes, 40-plus retail stores, and a host of professional services that call the district home, the role Downtown plays in helping to shape this community is more important now than ever before. 

The resurgence of Downtown Melbourne is being led by Melbourne Main Street in partnership with the City of Melbourne. The public-private partnership established over a decade ago has proven to be the cornerstone for developing Downtown into a vibrant cultural district that fosters an environment for community engagement and resident attachment. Through initiatives such as the Façade Grant Improvement Program, providing reimbursement incentives for businesses to improve their buildings, and a lighting program launching in October, the collaboration between the City of Melbourne and Main Street is key to the growth of the district.

Economic Growth

As an accredited Main Street program (by Main Street America™) and part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Melbourne Main Street’s mission is to fuel the economic growth of Downtown Melbourne by capitalizing on the community’s assets and paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identity of the district. Melbourne Main Street’s belief in taking a holistic approach to revitalization can be seen throughout the district.  Launched in December of 2015, the Melbourne Mural Project aims to engage the creative sector to drive economic growth and use art as an invitation to the community. Six murals have been completed thus far, the largest being the Florida Institute of Technology mural (pictured at left) by local artist and curator of the project, Christopher Maslow. More recently, the organization spearheaded efforts to address street-level chronic homelessness in the district. Working with local nonprofits under the Street to Home Movement, Executive Director Jarin Eisenberg and Keith Donald, local entrepreneur and founder of Steady Town, led efforts to call a special workshop to update the City Council and ask for their support. The group is expected to receive $50,000 in funds to accelerate their efforts.


Events are another component to revitalization and fostering community engagement. Main Street hosts Brevard’s longest running and largest Friday Fest the second Friday of every month. Featuring live music, activities for kids, and 60-plus vendors, the vibrant atmosphere lends itself to the perfect way to kick off a weekend with the entire family. Each fall, Main Street hosts the prestigious Florida Institute of Technology Homecoming Fest. This event, which brings over 10,000 people to Downtown year after year, proves to be Brevard’s premier concert. This year’s artist was the three-time GRAMMY Award winner Wyclef Jean. This November, Main Street is hosting the first ever Downtown Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. Featuring over 40 different restaurants from around the county, the event aims to show off Downtown Melbourne in a whole new way and is part of the group’s efforts to capitalize on the assets that are Downtown.

New Business

The opening of over 10 new businesses over the course of the past year is an indicator of the strength and viability of the district. Backwater, a southern style breakfast and lunch restaurant, offers griddle tables for guests to make their own pancakes complete with a host of toppings and molds to make hearts, smiley faces, and dinosaurs. Hell ‘n Blazes Brewing Company, the largest renovation project to take place in Downtown in the past decade, has brought new life to district. A family-owned and -operated craft brewery, the boys of Hell ‘n Blazes are leading the way in community engagement. The Mansion, featuring over 73 beers on tap, a rooftop deck, handcrafted dishes that reinvent old favorites, fresh breads, and a primer wine cellar, is perfect for any occasion. And we can’t forget the anchors we all know and love: Matt’s Casbah, Meg O’Malley’s, Meehan’s, and Main Street Pub give Downtown the perfect combination of familiar favorites and new discoveries. Businesses like Alfie’s Barber Shop, Design Drapes and Décor, and Glitter Alley are great examples of the strong professional services and retail offerings here in Downtown.

Whet Your Appetite

[su_column size=”1/3″] Chumley’s Depot Bar and Grill
PC Keat’s
Off The Traxx Sports Bar
Matt’s Casbah
Meg O’Malley’s Restaurant and Irish Pub
Island Pasta Company
The Sun Shoppe & Café
Mainstreet Pub
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Kilwin’s Ice Cream and Candy Store
Dove III
Mustard’s Last Stand
The Nomad Café
Chart House
Salsas Mexican Restaurants
Ichabod’s Dockside Grill
Lou’s Filling Station
[su_column size=”1/3″]
La Crepe
The Village Scoop Ice Cream
Hell ‘n Blazes Brewery
Bar Refuge
Island Root Kava Bar
The Mansion
The Burger Place

Taking Care of Business

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Flamingo Printing
Blossom House Florist
The Chandlery
Blue Tree Toys
Meehan’s Office Products
Twin Rivers Insurance
Downtown Divas
Tallulah 9
Trader Legal
Certified General Contractors
Executive Cigar
Waterscapes Gallery
Guilty Pleasure Bakery
Julie’s SpecialTea Shoppe
Heron Financial Partners
Tight Line Productions
Battymamzelle Boutique
Trent Real Estate
JoVahNah Boutique
Jacqueline’s Bakery and Café
Melbourne Seafood Station
TOTO Pedicab
The Gathering Table
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El Ambia Cubano Restaurant
East Coast Vintage Décor
Unique Treasures
From Olives to Grapes
Glitter Alley
Indian River Soap
Common Stone Pottery
Trep Hub
A Better Copy
Morgan & Barbary
American Business Interiors
Digital Ink
Engel & Volkers Brevard
Edward Jones
Millefiori Medical Skin Rejuvenation
Alfie’s Barber Shop
Go Fish Clothing & Jewelry
The Flop Shop
Painting with a Twist
Digital Ink
Spa 902
Real Estate Ink
Olivia Bowen Bridal Shop
Indian River Soap Company

With two big development projects in the pipeline, the future of Downtown Melbourne is bright. Add in mixed-use residential housing and a boutique hotel to a growing downtown and you have the perfect recipe for success. The vision for Downtown in the immediate future is construction cranes on all of the open plots of land setting the foundations for 8-story buildings that will create a 24/7 economy and fundamentally change the landscape of our community.

For more information, visit DowntownMelbourne.com.




Downtown Melbourne is located at E. New Haven Ave., Strawbridge Ave. and the surrounding area. From I-95, use exit 180 and take US 192 East. From the beaches, use the Melbourne Cswy.

Board of Directors

John Lucas, President  (jplucas5@icloud.com)

Brian Spatola, Vice President  (bspatola@heronfp.com)

Steven Hicks, Immediate Past President  (srhedd@gmail.com)

Donald DiFrisco, Treasurer (don@hellnblazesbrewing.com)

LeeAnne Saylors, Secretary (lsaylors@fasaccounting.com)

Board Members Michaela Krisanda, Jessica Larned, Mark Lewis, Garat Oates, Kyle Graham, Martin Skurla

Executive Director, Jarin Eisenberg