Downtown shops debut evening hours
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Feb 14, 2014 | 8654 views | 21 21 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Friday night shopping
Liz Garcia, owner of My Best Friend’s Closet at 821 N. Central Ave., puts a sign in front of her downtown shop Thursday morning. As of Thursday, Garcia’s shop is one of five businesses that are starting downtown shopping nights until 9 p.m. the third Friday of each month.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Commuter residents looking for a place to shop after traditional 9-to-5 businesses have closed downtown will soon have a monthly opportunity to find a bargain or two after hours.

Five downtown Tracy shop owners are joining forces to offer extended shopping hours until 9 p.m. the third Friday of each month, starting Feb. 21, according to Mia Bella’s Boutique owner Anna Craig.

“Everybody closes at 5 p.m., but we’re changing it,” she said. “People shouldn’t have to go to Livermore or Discovery Bay. They can spend their money here. I think if we’re open, they will come.”

The first businesses to sign up are Mia Bella’s at 110 W. 10th St., My Best Friend’s Closet at 821 N Central Ave., 2nd Avenue at 61 W. 10th St., Photographic Art Studio at 44 W. 10th St., and Melissa’s Flower Shop at 828 N. Central Ave.

“The merchants are willing to stay open if people come and if people want it,” Craig said. “We’re willing to work with the community.”

The idea behind the later hours is to give those residents who commute out of the city daily a place to go when they return in the evenings, said Liz Garcia of My Best Friend’s Closet.

“When they get home, everything is closed,” she said, referring to all but a few restaurants downtown. “Now they can plan on that time to come down here and go shopping. They can have a bite to eat and get a drink somewhere in downtown Tracy.”

Craig and Garcia said they hoped other businesses would follow their lead, particularly after three new downtown restaurants open their doors in the coming months to join the existing restaurants that keep late hours.

“It’s only one Friday a month,” Garcia said. “It’s for whoever wants to participate and stay open later.”

The four women said they hope the new eateries will add even more to the evening atmosphere.

Connie Barding, owner of Photographic Art Studio, said she regularly stays open late and feels the new program will help people discover the uniqueness of Tracy’s downtown.

“People have to realize we have things downtown that you can’t find elsewhere,” she said. “We will each do something to entice people to come in during 6 to 9 p.m.”

Patti Blabnick, who owns 2nd Avenue, said people visit her shop almost daily who haven’t been downtown before and don’t know what it has to offer.

“I hope it catches on,” she said. “I’m excited. The merchants are more than willing to give people more (shopping) hours.”

While shopping in 2nd Avenue on Tuesday, resident Roe Bridges said she would use the extra hours for shopping.

“Everybody needs to work together,” Bridges said. “I came downtown on a Saturday for dinner and I could have rolled a bowling ball down 10th Street. I think it’s a great idea.”

Melissa’s Flower Shop owner Janeth Ramerez said she was happy to join the other merchants in their quest to bring more people downtown in the evenings.

“I am very excited about it,” she said. “It’s a very good idea.”

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.

 
Comments
(21)
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ciscokid52
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February 20, 2014
Thanks DN. Can't wait! Sounds awesome. Just the kind of fresh start downtown needs!
ciscokid52
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February 20, 2014
Thanks Mia Bella. We'll definitely be by. What restaurants are coming up (type)? Non-chain I assume?
DNM95376
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February 20, 2014
The Commons Gastropub (49 W. 10th Street), Delta Brews Craft Beer Tap House (47 W. 10th Street), E-Mo's Korean Fusion BBQ (31 W. 10th Street), Thai Jasmine Restaurant (29 W. 10th Street), MJ's Bar & Lounge (809 Central Ave.), and I Live For Dessert (807 Central Ave.), are all set to open early this spring. Main Street Music is relocating to 45 W. 10th Street in June after an extensive remodel and the addition of private lesson rooms to its new larger space.
Miabellatracy@yahoo.com
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February 17, 2014
As a merchant in downtown Tracy, we understand the frustration everyone is feeling with the downtown area and the hours that we are currently open. I think you will all be very surprised as to what is happening in downtown Tracy. There are several amazing restaurants under construction as we speak and getting ready to open. There are weekly meetings on what is happening downtown and how we can get it moving in the right direction in a timely manner.

We decided that opening with a few merchants one day a month would be a good trail to see what exactly the community wants and needs.

We would like nothing more than to hear from EVERYONE on what you would like to see in our downtown. We are not staying open later because as you stated "we must be desperate for business", we decided to try staying open late to see if this is what the community wants.

If you and all of Tracy want to see the downtown stay open later, than we need for you to come down and give us a reason to stay open.

I think everyone is going to love the things that are happening in downtown Tracy and the events, new restuarants, jazz club, boutiques, etc. that are opening and making a difference. I think this year you will see what downtown is all about and you will agree that it was worth the wait.

ciscokid52
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February 19, 2014
That sounds great (new developments). Can you provide examples? Unfortunately, I frequently travel for work so it's tough for me to make those meetings and TP hardly writes articles pertaining to businesses.
Miabellatracy@yahoo.com
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February 19, 2014
Absolutely, there are 4 new restaurants currently under construction in downtown, 3 new ones on 10th street, 1new jazz cafe on Central and the Great Plate is totally revamping their menu and atmosphere. There is several boutiques downtown, Mia Bella's boutique which is right next door to Baristas is new, and several other boutiques on Sixth street and more on Central and again more on Tenth. We are all working very hard to get our downtown to be a place where Tracy residents will want to come and relax

pixiechk74
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February 16, 2014
I agree, people shouldn't have to spend their money in other cities. Tracy is on the right track. If the eateries, stores and tattoo shops stay open late it's going to be great for the people who commute. We should look to our own backyard. Tracy is a huge city with 84K people. I'm really excited and have been waiting for this change since I moved here 5 years ago.
landingapproach
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February 16, 2014
tracythoughts - don't know where you've been hiding lately, but all malls are open late. That is because they are there to serve the customers. Staying open late is something downtown Tracy has never heard of. Don't believe me. Just look at the sad state of affairs in downtown Tracy. OK - now compare that with other downtown areas that are thriving, like Pleasanton. You know - Pleasanton where the stores do stay open late.... and not just one day a month either. And thank goodness for Walmart. At leaset one store in Tracy is open. Downtown Tracy has been crying their eyes out for years, always the same thing. Yet would you walk your family downtown Tracy at night?? I can only guess that you are an old-timer in Tracy. Good for you, but you are not truly realizing that modern families now want a thriving downtown, or shopping areas they can venture to.... and not just when the downtown merchants decide when those best hours are do to so. Downtown Tracy could be beautiful, could be thriving.... but the merchants have decided not to.
tracythoughts
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February 16, 2014
Old timer?! Haha. If you consider 32 years old a " old timer". I've lived in Tracy for the past 22 years and think that downtown has come a long way. .. Once again, you are completely off mark!
me-here
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February 17, 2014
This has been a problem since major sized stores have left the downtown. The Mart and Penneys were an incentive to bring late shoppers downtown. When they left, not much incentives for the small stores to stay open for customers who never came. Try running a store downtown....rents and utilities are high and employees are costly, too.

I have been dismayed when I got off work at 5;00 and wanted to shop for a gift and you could shoot a canon town 10th or Central.

Long ago, Thursday nights in Stockton you could see half of Tracy out shopping there. So, maybe this Friday thing will encourage more than 1 night a month. That would depend on you to make it happen.

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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February 16, 2014
What ever legal steps any shop owner takes in an attempt ta improve his or her business is his or her business an not th business of th rest of us livin in Tracy.

Personally I thank it might be a good idea an certainly is proactive ta test it I hope thair successful. But what I really thank about it is really none of thair consarn other than thair attempt ta make it more convenient fer me ta patronize thair establishment. That ain't bad, that's good.

But since it's thair financial risk an thair property, I thank I'll let them make thair own decisions as ta how they wanna run it an what hours they want ta be opened.
landingapproach
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February 15, 2014
What a waste. Seriously. One Friday a month, and they think they are doing the Tracy residents a favor. Really - get real. That is the most stupid thing I have ever heard of. And on top of it.... only 5 stores participating. Wow - really do us a big favor. It's no wonder why people shop at the malls. Wake up people. Downtown - if you can call it that - cries because hey have no business, but while all of the other stores else where are open for the public, well downtown merchants would rather be home. Really - do they think that the Tracy residents are all here to shop at their stores during the day. One day downtown is going to wake up and realize that if you want business, well you have to simply work for it.
tracythoughts
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February 16, 2014
Not sure if you have been to the Tracy mall lately, as it is ALWAYS empty! And it sounds like they are "working" for business, hence why they are staying open later. Do you expect them to be open 24 hours like the Wal-Mart that you probably shop at? If you don't agree with the hours, then don't shop downtown. They are small business owners doing their best. Its people like you with your negative attitude that probably don't need to be in these boutiques anyways. Go back to your 24 hour Wal-Mart where you belong. As I also take it you do not and NEVER will be a small business owner.
Sneaky
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February 15, 2014
I Liz single? Yum.
ciscokid52
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February 15, 2014
What does Mia Bella's sell exactly? Thanks.
Miabellatracy@yahoo.com
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February 19, 2014
Beautiful home decor
tracythoughts
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February 15, 2014
This is nice! I agree we need to shop local when possible. Let's support small local businesses. I'm really excited about mia bella s open later. I love that store!

MrSycamore
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February 14, 2014
Shop local!
slywink
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February 14, 2014
Now, if we could get a newspaper or some means of communication to know what businesses are downtown Tracy.

It seems I always hear of downtown events AFTER they happen.

I learn about stores and other businesses when I read a news article that that they are closing.
DNM95376
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February 14, 2014
Communication/information options regarding Downtown Tracy:

http://www.tracycitycenter.com

https://www.facebook.com/tracycitycenter

https://twitter.com/tracycitycenter

http://instagram.com/tracycitycenter#
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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February 16, 2014
slywink

Obviously ya found this media outlet without too much trouble. Perhaps yer comment is just a blown satirical statement.

Tracy has a paper, that's why it's called th Tracy Press, an ya can get it if ya avail yerself of that effort.

Apparently ya can read an write so ya shouldn't have ta have a circulatin Town Crier screamin th news ta ya as he walks about town.

If yer that uninformed about what's goin on in Tracy really that's yer fault. Perhaps ya should get out inta yer community ta actually witness what's goin on in it.


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