With the just-announced closing of Weitzenkorn’s, I find myself a little puzzled, to be honest. There is so much happening along High Street, I can’t for the life of me figure out why our friends at that fine Pottstown institution would cut the cord and run right now.
In the last twelve months, several new businesses have opened on our main street and nearby, including Pottstown United Brewing Company, Splitting Edge Axe Throwing, Aye Carumba and the new wine bar inside the Farmer’s Market, The Avenue, the Ice Cream Shop, and my personal favorite, Studio 36, a lovely bead store, among several others. We have health food, a bakery, a beautiful bridal shop, divine doughnuts, vegan food, handmade woodwork, antiques, and many of my old favorite eateries (Grumpy’s, Lily’s, Argento’s, Juan Carlos to name a few).
I will concede that Weitzenkorn’s is probably too big to compete in this Amazon era, but its target demographic has never been foot traffic. Its loyal customers have always been the people who have shopped there for years. Moving to Phoenixville will likely alienate most of those customers. My family moved here last year, and we loved Weitzenkorn’s from the very beginning, but I never shop in Phoenixville. In fact, other than the occasional art house movie and some really amazing Thai food, I rarely go to Phoenixville. I’m so sad to see Weitzenkorn’s leave our lovely downtown district right as it is beginning to wake up. Why not move to a smaller space on High Street, or lease out part of the existing store and stay with its loyal customers?
The revival has begun, but what we now need are more entrepreneurs. Having recently moved downtown, I walk to do many of my errands, and it has brought to light a few of the holes in our retail selection downtown. While remodeling my house, I have used Rich Ranieri’s Flooring and Lastick Furniture, but we need a small hardware store. I’m not talking about a place that competes with Home Depot or Lowe’s, I just mean a place I can buy a packet of screws, a tube of caulk, or some light bulbs.
Last month, I needed to choose a wedding gift, but other than a booth inside the Farmer’s Market (which is great), there wasn’t anyplace downtown that had new gift items. A gift shop would be great. A little book store would be wonderful…preferably one with a place to grab a cup of herbal tea and visit with a friend! Since Connections is transitioning, there is a coffee shop sized hole on High Street, as well. How about a small grocery store or co-op?
What are some of the things you would like to see on High Street?