BERLIN — All shopfronts in downtown Berlin are spoken for as the town enters the second half of a busy summer season.
Several new businesses are set to open in Berlin during the coming weeks while others have expanded their offerings. Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director, said there were currently no vacancies in the downtown commercial district.
“Everything’s going well,” she said. “It’s been really crowded downtown lately.”
Just last week, the Healing Arts Center of the Eastern Shore opened on Franklin Avenue. The business is made up of several providers, including Zenna Wellness Studio.
“It’s a conglomerate of different holistic style offerings,” Wells said. “It’s great because that building has been vacant for a really long time.”
Life’s Simple Pleasures, the shop that was initially in the new building on Gay Street, will take over the Main Street space previously occupied by Zenna Wellness. Farther north on Main Street, glass artist Michelle Krempa is preparing to open her new retail shop next door to DiFebo’s Restaurant. The shop, which will feature Seachelle Designs LLC glass beads, is now open.
“She’s a bead manufacturer and wholesaler,” Wells said. “She’s always wanted a retail shop.”
The store will occupy the old Culver’s Antiques location. While it will feature retail initially, in October Krempa is expected to begin making beads there.
“People will actually get to watch her staff make glass beads,” Wells said. “It adds to the whole ‘made in Berlin’ concept. The majority of our shops all offer something that’s made in Berlin.”
To the delight of DeNovo’s fans, work is now underway at the restaurant’s new location on Gay Street. Bob and Kelli Beck initially shared plans to open “Pop’s Kitchen” on Gay Street back in March. They have now acquired use of the entire first floor of the building at 15 Gay St. and will offer carryout as well as a small seating area.
Wells said she was also pleased to see that several existing Berlin businesses had expanded their offerings. On What Grounds now offers crepes, and J&M Meat Market has installed a grill and has a menu of burgers and cheesesteaks. Viking Tree Trading Company has expanded its offerings to include a selection of vinyl records.
“It’s a testament to the success of the businesses when they expand,” Wells said.
She added that she was thrilled to see merchants working together as well. Burley Oak Brewery recently partnered with Uncle Jon’s Soap on a “Jream” soap.
“It’s nice when business owners get together and collaborate,” she said.