Three of Latvia's most creative quarters

Sometimes, new and interesting things emerge in unexpected and unusual places. They bring creative people together, spark new business ideas and are just nice places to spend time. Jānis Šķupelis rounds up a trio of such creative quarters in Latvia.

Juliannas pagalms (Julianna's yard) in Liepāja

The vision and goal of the developers of Julianna's Yard in Liepāja, when purchasing the buildings and the yard between them in 2015, was to create a multifunctional, lively and creatively inspiring space for people with different interests and tastes. Before this it was a closed territory in a degraded state with an industrial past.

At Julianna's Yard various types of services are currently available, including a restaurant, cocktail bar, beer brewed in Latvia and elsewhere, street-food-style snacks, a cultural space for various small-format events, bicycle service, association for social projects, company for organising creative concerts and events, dog hairdresser as well as some other businesses.

Kaļķu Street Quarter in Kuldīga

The developers of the Kaļķu Street quarter in Kuldīga wanted to establish a brewery, Duna, within it. They saw this as a prospective place, where production would be allowed next to the historical centre of the city. Organically, other entrepreneurs also noticed this place and wanted to rent the space.

There is a complex of six buildings in the area, and many of these buildings have not been used for several decades. Now the developers of the quarter have already renovated some of the buildings.

At present, several businesses are operating in Kaļķu Street quarter - restoration workshop, Raitums paint workshop, brewery Duna, Kombucha factory Rudys Brewing, coffee roaster Curonia Coffee, piano factory Klavins Piano, cosmetics factory Nature LAB, meat production and catering company Smoke Farm, and underwear manufacturer V.O.V.A.

Sporta 2 Quarter in Rīga

In 2016, a company named NP Properties started to develop a three hectare area in the territory of the former chocolate factory Laima and the confectionery Staburadze. Currently, more than 20 companies and organisations from various creative industries can be found in the Sporta 2 Quarter's territory.

The list includes Music and Drama Room OratoriO, Contemporary Art Centre kim?, Imants Ziedonis Foundation “Viegli”, advertising production company fon Films, gastro bar Zefīrs, café Sporta Pagalms, architecture and design office Sampling, interior designers Design Therapist, landscape architects ALPS and IE.LA engineers, clothing designers Colorfall and MUCINA and several creative start-ups. Also, for oyster gourmands, Fans of Oysters will soon join the quarter. The project will focus also on the development of sustainable solutions in the office segment. 

This story appears in the latest edition of the Baltic Business Quarterly magazine published by the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and is reproduced by kind permission.

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