Bristol businesses give residents a new way to shop downtown
The Shops at Downtown, which is a pop-up vendor market, will be held on weekends in Bristol starting Saturday.
BRISTOL, CT (WFSB) -
People in Bristol are coming up with an innovative way to spruce up downtown.
Several businesses are pooling together to fill up one vacant area.
Business owners told Eyewitness News about a decade ago, Main Street was bustling with activity.
Recently, they said they've been losing out to development on Route 6.
A space on 53 Main St. used to be a flooring business. While it would be ideal for someone else to come in and take over, it doesn't come cheap.
"Normally market rates in Bristol is somewhere around $12 square foot, so if you add 1,000 square feet of space it jumps to $1,200 a month," said Mark Walerysiak Jr. of Renaissance Downtown.
The Shops at Downtown, which is a pop-up vendor market, will be held on weekends starting Saturday. About 10 to 13 businesses have already signed up and will be selling everything from jewelry to chocolate.
"These storefront spaces cost a lot of money and small vendors, it's hard to make it," Walerysiak said. "So basically try to team up with other vendors and businesses to share the cost efficiencies."
Alex Hamzy owns the Crystal Diner in the same strip mall and he welcomes any initiative that will bring more traffic there.
"People, when they come to downtown Bristol, they're not going to one place only," Hamzy said. "They're going to shop around and see what there is to buy. And everybody will really benefit by it."
Starting Saturday, the Shops at Downtown will go on for the next three weekends. Vendors will pay about $40 a weekend.
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