2011 in Review: Main Street Making Moves
While there were some business closings on Main Street in 2011, several small, medium and large businesses found new homes on Main Street as the Reisterstown Improvement Association worked to revitalize the area.
This past year was one of great growth and progress for Main Street. Thanks to several new businesses, the efforts of the Reisterstown Improvement Association (RIA) and two local festivals, Main Street saw its share of improvements and attention this year.
Thanks to a $15,000 grant in March, the RIA was able to purchase new banners, trashcans, benches and planters for Main Street. While shop owners said benches alone won’t save Main Street, they see beautification of the area as one piece of the larger revitalization puzzle, and every bit helps. The RIA also made sure the State Highway Administration installed signs directing motorists to Main Street.
Despite some closings and a fire that forced Memphis on Main Street to close its doors, several new businesses opened in the Main Street corridor in 2011. MyCare Express, an urgent care facility, opened in December. Wawa opened on Main Street at Stocksdale Avenue in September. Bubb’s Deli and Bakery, a New York style-Jewish deli, opened in September a couple of weeks before Wawa. Earlier in the year, Java Mammas closed for a short time, but was quickly reopened by two local sisters. 2012 may bring the re-opening of Memphis on Main Street, the restaurant’s owner said.
Bloomin’ Artfest, an annual May event, brought artisans, artists and musicians to Main Street for a sunny weekend. The 25th annual Reisterstown Festival also packed Main Street and the Hannah More property in September. Its parade showcased community groups, businesses and officials.
Although 2011 saw a lot of positive things on Main Street, it was not a year without obstacles.
The Baltimore County Board of Education dealt a blow to Main Street revitalization when it rejected a plea from the RIA to turn over fields next to the Chatsworth School and Franklin Elementary for parking. Two stores, Meadow Briar Creations and The Cow, were victims of armed robberies in recent months. No one was injured in the incidents and both stores remain open, although The Cow is now closed for season.
Those two isolated incidents can be eclipsed by Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, which had Main Street shops packed compared to previous years.
In 2012, the RIA plans to partner with Bloomin’ Artfest, help get a farmers market going and receive more grant funds for Main Street. Bart’s Motor Works on Main Street plans to redevelop its property. To hopefully spur even more redevelopment, local advocates, including RIA President Glenn Barnes, will meet with county planning officials to discuss the future of Reisterstown.
With plenty of room for more improvement, 2012 will surely be an exciting year for Main Street.