NewBo Shops at 208


Claire McKinstry, Staff Writer

If you’re looking for a whimsical, eclectic, and quaint shop, Newbo Shops At 208 may be right up your alley. Located between Parlor City and Lush Salon, the shop greets many customers on a daily basis.

Newbo Shops’ welcoming exterior channels a seaside town with its small white storefront and twinkly lights. The shop carries a wide variety of merchandise, from monogrammed keychains to vintage furniture – but don’t let the cute exterior and the idea of the shop fool you.

Unfortunately for Cedar Rapidians, when you compare Newbo Shops to White Rabbit in Iowa City, White Rabbit is the clear winner. While Newbo Shops At 208 does have some desirable products, a lot of it is pretty useless. White Rabbit, on the other hand, has cuter, better-quality products. The idea of the stores is the same, as they both sell accessories, apparel, home decor, and furniture, but Newbo Shops doesn’t stand a chance against White Rabbit.

Despite Newbo Shops’ runner-up status, it can still be a useful backup if you’re in need of a quick gift or accessory, but don’t want to make the trek down to Iowa City. For example, you could buy a friend a monogram charm bracelet, or pick up a mason jar filled with string lights to add a little ambiance to your kitchen. If you’re apprehensive, it doesn’t hurt to give the shop a chance, because maybe you’ll discover that it’s a winner in your heart. After all, its slogan is “all kinds of artsy goodness”.

Another disappointment about the shop is its stagnancy in regards to inventory. The shop has been open for many months, and both of the times I’ve been there, in July and in March, it’s had essentially the exact same merchandise. Maybe the owners aren’t into change, but coming from an avid consumer, it’s nice to see a new selection of products every now and then.

Yes, Cedar Rapids could still use its own White Rabbit, but for now, most of us will have to settle with Newbo Shops. It’s not the worst deal, because right down the street is Newbo Market, Brewhemia, Newbo Sushi, and many other exciting businesses unique to Cedar Rapids.