In many communities, Main Street was once a major hub of shopping hustle and bustle. In Stillwater, it still is, and then some.
Thanks to the downtown Business Improvement District, Stillwater’s city center is alive with unique shopping and dining opportunities, as well as plenty of special events and other activities designed to bring people back into the city. The businesses have all pitched in to fund infrastructure improvements, including wrought-iron street lamps and other streetscape enhancements, and many have obtained grant funding from various sources to redo their buildings’ exteriors.
More than anything else, downtown Stillwater’s ongoing success owes much to the sheer variety of what’s here. Everything from Cyndi Collin-Hise’s Avon Beauty Center, so successful that her sales volume won her a trip to Hollywood and dinner with actor Patrick Dempsey, to the undiscovered treasures at the Stillwater Antique & Collectibles Mall, where 20,000 square feet and dozens of vendors stand ready to tempt.
On the dining side, there’s everything from Asian cuisine at The Sushi House and Thai Café, as well as desserts, coffee and other treats at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Aspen Coffee and the Red Rock Bakery & Deli. If that’s not enough, take in a beer and a ballgame at Rivals Sports Bar, or relax over a glass of Merlot at Zannotti’s Wine Bar.
Since some folks need to go downtown for work instead of play, it’s worth noting that there is an ever-growing service component here, featuring everything from art and music instructors to legal and accounting services, doctor’s offices and community organizations. If you duck into Wiggles & Giggles to check out the latest toys on display, or all the great buys at Murphy’s Department Store, a local legend since 1926, nobody’s going to tell your secret.
Downtown merchants have benefited from the Find It, Buy It … Stillwater! campaign, an effort of the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce to make residents aware of all downtown has to offer. They’ve also been able to capitalize on multiple special events, including auto shows featuring dozens of classic cars from around the country, and the annual Downtown Halloween Festival, which brings families out in force for candy, games and more.
It’s obvious that the city’s devotion to its downtown, not to mention a bumper crop of excited and enthusiastic merchants, is paying off. Expect to see even more businesses open their doors on Main Street as the area continues to grow in popularity, and come early — this place is getting crowded!
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