It’s been awhile since I’ve been downtown so I made the trip today despite the still too-cool temperatures. Sundays are not the best day to visit the square but it was a nice visit as I showed up just before 1:00 and all the shops were beginning to open up and customers were beginning to fill the square as well. It was a neat feeling, walking along window shopping to see all the shop owners placing the signs out on the sidewalk and pleased to stop for a chat before their day begins.
The big news this week is all of the sales. It seems all the shops are having sales. Doll Haven is having a 50% off sale, A Twist of Lime is having a 70% off sale. Sugar Plums, having only recently moved into their new location, is actually having a Closing Sale. I stopped in to ask if they were just moving and the woman there said that they might re-open again down in the Austin area. Before I could stop myself, I made the glib comment that they will fit right in down there and she smiled and said that she’s been hearing that a lot. I strongly urge shoppers to stop in and see what they can find there before they are all packed up. Sugar Plums has a truly eclectic inventory – sequined denim jeans, western-themed kitchen things, odds & ends of every variety. I’ll be sorry to see them go. They brought a lot of energy and just plain fun to the Square.
New on the square is McKinney Today. I stopped in at 120 and chatted with the owner, Diane Craig, who was nice enough to let me see her copy of their paper. They are just starting up and you can only get the print copy at a few places (according to their web site) – IHOP, Bill Smith’s Cafe and Jason’s Deli. Hopefully, that list will expand. All the downtown places are conspicuously missing. It would be nice to see a local paper that truly focused on local news but only time will tell how it will fare against the Courier Gazzette. The Courier is spread a little thin, trying to cover a lot of different cities while keeping a focus on each but they have recently improved their web interface and, there, McKinney Today is still not up to speed. For the twitter lover, it does look like Today has got that end covered well.
I can now say unequivocally that Sippity Doodle has closed their downtown location. There’s a For Lease sign in the door. Executive Salon 4 Men (on the same block with the North Texas History Center) also has a For Lease sign up so it looks like they are also no more. Star Specialty Contempo is still there but their windows are looking pretty empty as they continue with their moving sale. You’ll have to hurry to catch this sale as their lease is up in February.
As for other new businesses, a reliable source had said that Filmore Pub is supposed to be opening up where Goodhues used to be in January. I’ve been watching their web site but haven’t seen a whisper about it. A low-rated review came through on Yelp about them just recently and that could indicate that upper management’s attention is currently diverted or the reviewer could have just been hard to please. Peeking through the window, the inside of the Goodhues space is being remodeled. I didn’t peek in today but last weekend there was a small area in the window where you could peek in and they had hung drywall for a partition and it hadn’t been taped yet. That can go fast though so I will keep my eyes open.
Reigning Cats & Dogs is now empty and closed up tighter than a drum. There is no hint that an ice cream place will be coming in in March (according to the sales clerk I spoke to in December). I am privately hoping for a Coldstone Creamery but a ma & pa Baskin Robbins style place would be great too.
Cafe Malaga seems to be doing well in what was Poppy’s Garden Cafe. There have already been good reviews from happy customers filtering onto the web. It can only be assumed the trickle will explode into a stream once the weather warms and the garden area lures more people in to try them out. This has to have been one of the best moves on the square and I’m anxious for them to see the reward in their shrewd decision.
I will close with a quick rant on the woeful lack of marketing by some of the businesses on the square. There is a neat looking new little clock shop that I think is brand new. I shot a picture of its window and made a mental note of its name (when will I learn??) I cannot find a whisper about this new business on the internet though. I think it was called The Bear Market. You can imagine what I get in Google searches on that. I also noticed Home & Garden Consignment this go round and I can’t find any listing for it on the Internet either. It could have been there forever and I am just noticing it. I don’t know. The next time I am on the square, I’ll stop by and pick up a card and make sure that they are at least listed on Yelp. There are so many free places to be listed, there just really isn’t a reason nowadays not to at least list your name and address on the Internet. Okay, that’s it for this rant this time around.
Until next time,