BERLIN – Changes are in store for downtown Berlin as the commercial landscape shifts yet again.
Two new shops have announced plans to come to town while one existing business has relocated and two others have undergone renovations. The town will lose one well-known establishment, as Berlin Farm Supply will close at the end of the month. Proprietor Alan Hudson, a local farmer, said the decision wasn’t an easy one.
“We tried,” he said. “The store takes too much time away from the farm and that’s where my heart is. We hate to leave, we’ve met a lot of great people.”
New businesses that have announced plans to come to Berlin in the near future include The Dusty Lamb and Madison Avenue Boutique. Artist Patti Backer will open The Dusty Lamb in the William Street space formerly occupied by Uncle Jon’s Soap, which is now located at 12 Pitts St. Madison Avenue Boutique will open at 11. S. Main St. The clothing boutique will feature owner Jeseka Tucker’s handmade jewelry.
The space at 106 N. Main St., which used to house Culver’s Antiques, remains vacant. Wells said it would take some time to find a tenant looking for a space that large.
“It’s over 3,000 square feet,” she said. “It takes a special kind of business to open there.”
She added that the building would be ideal for a shop with a large inventory or a group of artists.
“What I’d love to see there is an artists’ co-op,” she said, adding that a group of artists could sell their work from the space and take turns working there.
Two popular businesses, Sisters and Victorian Charm, used the slower winter months to make interior changes. The staff at Sisters reconfigured the shop to expand the space available for its increasingly popular live music nights. At Victorian Charm, Steve and Debbie Frene closed the shop for several weeks as they completely remodeled its interior.
Wells said she was thrilled to see downtown business owners making improvements to their stores.
“It’s nice to see them reinvest and it’s nice to see them still doing so well after all these years,” she said.
In addition to the various business changes set for this spring, Wells said there might also be some adjustments to the Berlin Farmers Market, which starts back up May 5. While she expects the same slate of vendors to participate, Wells said she was exploring a new location for the market. She said that based on feedback following the market’s first season, she was hoping to set it up in a space that would provide the farmers with easier access to their trucks.
“It’s going to be a more visible location and it’ll allow more farmers to have their trucks,” she said. “It can be daunting to bring produce all the way to Artisans Green.”