By Polly Keary, Editor
The Main Clothing Company is leaving the downtown to reopen in the Lake Tye Building in the space formerly occupied by coffee shop Chocolate Moose, the first week of November.
For owner Paula Fortier, that represents an enormous shift in perspective; she has been president of DREAM, the downtown revitalization group dedicated to improving the very district she is now leaving.
Fortier still loves the downtown, she said Saturday as she conducted a clearance sale at her store which will close near the first of the month. But it has changed somewhat in character since she opened on West Main in 2006.
“When I came here, I wanted the character of the buildings and the big windows and the quaint small town place,” she said.
However, back then there was more retail on Main Street that was complimentary to her shop, she said.
Next door to her was a decor shop called Steel Magnolias, since closed, and M and M Antiques was an anchor store on Main, now open on Lewis. The Country Cupboard was another anchor store, now closed, and several other gift and antique stores have left, she said.
“There were some great little shops,” she said.
There are still nice shops, she added, but the shift in tourism has been to Lake Tye.
There are numerous sporting events taking place annually there, and people come to visit the park, the college and the popular lakefront restaurant, Sockeye’s.
A new cable park will open at Lake Tye Park next year, likely bringing even more visitors.
Generous parking is a factor too, she said.
“It’s a more relevant place for my type of business,” she said.
The store will still be called The Main Clothing Company.
RV dealership opens in the old Sno-Country Ford building
Open Road RV has opened for business on West Main in the old Sno-Country Ford building since Oct. 1, but won’t hold a grand opening until March.
The company is owned by Russ O’Connor, and he chose Monroe because he liked both the building and the town, said his office manager, Nicole Riggs.
“The demographics are good, it’s a beautiful store and we think the city needs something like this,” she said. “It’s a great little town, and residents have been welcoming. We’re really happy here.”
The dealership is selling motor homes, travel trailers and fifth wheels.
They are also getting active in the community, and will be the title sponsor for this year’s Light Up Monroe Christmas tree lighting this year.
Former co-owner of Eddie’s bringing music to Adam’s
Wendy McDowell, former co-owner of popular local pub and music venue Eddie’s Trackside, is now working at Adam’s NW Bistro and Brewery, where she is helping expand the hours and offerings at the brewery bar adjacent to the restaurant at the corner of Lewis and Main.
“Adam is getting a new fermenter, and we are doubling our beer output,” said McDowell.
Also planned is an expansion of the bar menu and live music.
The hours are increasing as well, from four days a week to seven.
Deli returning to Monroe
The owner of a deli called Paninis that was open on U.S. 2 for years is back with a new deli called The Dashing Dutchman, to open soon at 14957 N. Kelsey St., between Kid’s Country and dentist office Bella Smiles.
Susan Whitfield plans to serve sandwiches, soups, salads and baked goods there, with meats and cheeses sliced to order.