Way back in the day, Lorain’s downtown was one heckuva shopping mecca. Shoes, suits, pharmacy, Penney’s, the list goes on, you needed it, downtown had it. Now? Well, not so much. If you really look at our downtown, the list of retailers that you might window-shop, or stroll in and maybe make an impulse buy are few and far between.
Seriously, by my count, there are three retailers there that you might wander into, stroll around and peruse the merchandise, and if you see something you liked, actually have the money in your purse or wallet, and say, ‘I’d like to buy this.’
Those three stores? The 530 Shop, Time and Again Renovations, and Rags 2 Riches Women’s and Children’s Resale Shop.
Going through the pictures that I’ve taken, I counted two banks, two jewelry stores, an insurance agency, a printer, a BMX bike and skate shop, an rec vehicle store, a music store, 3 bars or restaurants, an appliance store and more.
You know what downtown has the most of, besides empty or under-utilized buildings? Attorneys. Go figure. Four different law practices, thriving I’m sure, on Broadway.
I’m not into spur of the moment diamond buys, the budget doesn’t allow it. No room for impulse buys on appliances. Not in the market for a bike (just bought some) or an ATV (no time or a place to ride), and I have all the insurance I need and my banks are close to home.
Now there are quite a few empty buildings. QUITE a few. I know someone that’s VERY interested in locating an office downtown, due to the work that he’s been doing recently (big smile).
But, what would the citizens of the city of Lorain like to see downtown? What would draw them to good ol’ Broadway, in addition to what’s there, that could make them bust open their wallets and purses and spend some cash?
A book store? How about a bulk foods store, like Mr. Bulky (anyone remember those)? A candle and incense shop? Or a bathroom scents and candles-type store? Would a bakery be able to make it? A bakery and donut shop, since we don’t have Bob’s Donuts anymore? With pies, and breads and maybe cakes made to order? Could a Kiedrowski’s branch get enough business?
What about technology? Like a small version of Best Buy or Circuit City? PC’s, CD’s, video games and movies? A camera shop? No more Ritz Camera in the mall, only Loomis in downtown Elyria.
How about an outlet store that made wines from local wineries available? A store that carried wines from Single Tree, John Christ, Matus or Klingshirn wines?
Specialty coffees and cookies? What about an Indians, Cavs and Browns Team Shop? Sporting goods? Is there a professional photographer downtown anymore? Is there a need?
Throw some ideas out there folks, or tell me about one that I’ve already mentioned. Let’s see if we can get some ideas about what might make it downtown, and maybe some budding entrepreneur may take a shot at it.
How’d that line in ‘Field of Dreams’ go? If you build it, they will come.
Whattaya say we try it?