NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Another business has gone dark in downtown Northampton. The shuttered One Bar and Grill brings the number of recently closed storefronts in the downtown to 16.
One Bar and Grill sits on the corner of Pearl and Pleasant Street. It closed, in part, because of a fractured business relationship. The bar opened around this time two year ago, replacing the former Tully O’Reilly’s.
We asked people, are they concerned about the future of the Paradise City?
“I actually really am because this is a beautiful town and a beautiful community. I look at Dunkin Donuts that was shut down on Main Street. I wondered why. That’s convenient. Its right across the street from the bus stop, people are going to work, going to school, Smith College is right up the street. Well, competition.” said Ronnie Chase of Northampton.
But Downtown Northampton Association Co-Chair Marlene Marrocco told 22News Northampton is not in crisis.
Marlene Marrocco, Co-Chair, Downtown Northampton Association
“We are not seeing any more turnover than any other city does. If you go through any other city anywhere, there is turnover in business. It’s the economic climate. People retire, people sell, it’s just what happens everywhere. I think the focus on Northampton is because it is such a vibrant downtown,” said Marrocco.
As for why businesses are closing: Some say it’s due to high rent, others blame the economy, taxes, utilities and fewer sidewalk shoppers. Under relatively new ownership, Faces has been a Main Street mainstay for more than 40 years.
“This is definitely a higher number of empty storefronts than I can remember,” said Faces Manager Rachel Levey. “But there are still so many options in town and it’s still one of the most unique shopping experiences. Qe should focus on the businesses that are doing well and be promoting downtown events. There is lots of great events, lots of great music, food, and shopping. People should still come to Northampton.”
There are also a lot of new businesses that are either open or opening in the downtown including Pita Pockets, Nourish Wellness Cafe, The Hound, Oriental Taste and a skate shop.