by Karla Thornton

Leslie Acosta-Isengard (Leslie Ai) opened Panda-Robot on June 1, 2010. Panda-ROBOT is a great new boutique and gallery which features locally designed clothes, jewelry and many other forms of local art. The main focus of the shop is for local artists to be able to showcase their talent. She is very committed to the local art scene and has already had one great opening this summer.

When asked why she chose our neighborhood to open a business she said, “The neighborhood felt right. I saw people walking that looked like my target customers so I knew it was right. Also, my father grew up in this neighborhood so it has a home feel.” She said her favorite things about the neighborhood are the diversity in the people and the beautiful houses. She also said, “The history really appealed to me, it seemed to have the right demographic for the appreciation of local businesses.”

When asked what she thought would make the neighborhood better she said, “I think this neighborhood is amazing just the way it is. I think having a grocery store we can walk to down here would create a walking community feel and help the neighborhood feel more homely.” Leslie Ai and Panda-ROBOT are a great new addition to our neighborhood. She says, “I appreciate the support of all our neighbors and I am more than willing to help however necessary to give back to this neighborhood.” My kids love the store and we have been over there many times to buy gifts and just enjoy the art. Please join me in welcoming Panda-ROBOT to our neighborhood.

Panda Robot  514 Central Ave. SE

Hours: Tues 1 – 7:00 pm; Wed 1 – 5 pm; Thurs – Sat 1 – 7 pm

If you know of a new business that has recently opened or will be opening soon, please let me know and I will try to feature them in a newsletter. The best way to contact me is through e-mail:

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