I love to eat in downtown Frederick, but I often get the sense that the business owners take a somewhat lackadaisical approach to their hours.
For instance, we were looking for a lunch spot just this past Sunday – a gorgeous warm sunny afternoon. There were tons (Tons!) of people strolling through town. Yes, you could certainly see that Frederick definitely is a destination town on the weekend. There were locals and tourists alike – all shopping and dining.
What a perfect opportunity for a restaurant or sweet boutique to expand its customer base. But – what’s this? So many shops and restaurants were just plain closed. Closed to all the business that was passing by their doors. Why? Yeah, I know everybody likes a day off. But come on folks – this is Retail – no surprise that the hours are pretty miserable. But – not being open on a gorgeous touristy day? That's just plain unwise. My family worked retail for generations. And, there is a rule you have to heed: You need to be OPEN when your customers are around!
I expressed my frustration with the closings last October in a letter to the editor. In case you're interested, here's what I wrote back then:
I’m all in favor of keeping the historic flavor and independent flair of downtown
This past Friday night, (it was Light the Night - the precursor celebration to In The Streets) downtown was teeming with music lovers enjoying Deanna Bogart in full boogie mode. Just a few blocks away, a sell-out crowd was streaming to the
So, one after the other, in we went to the nearest bagel shop. “No sandwiches after 7”. Up to
What were these food purveyors thinking? Surely they knew that there would be throngs of hungry roaming the streets in search of tasty treats more substantial than a cookie. I've heard much rumbling about the high cost of doing business in downtown. I can only imagine the cost they incurred by instituting a no real food after 7 policy in a restaurant located in the midst of the revelry.
If the local merchants Downtown Frederick Partnership want to keep Patrick & Market Street free of the dime-a-dozen chains and franchises, then they are going to have to do more than disparage the idea of their arrival. Instead, may I suggest that they vigorously encourage the local shops to make adjustments and quickly adapt to changing market conditions in order to better serve the public.