Food For Thought: The Changing Face of Main Street

| 8 Comments
main street train station 1961 winter.jpg























With the closing of Alessio's, the Able Lock & Key and Century 21, Main Street is once again changing its face. In light of the difficult economic times, we ask again a simple question: what will it take to support and sustain local business in our downtown sector? What more can we do to keep more of our storefronts from shuttering? The old Metuchen Bike shop has been empty for years. The old drug store, what used to be Lucca's, the space vacated by Charming Nails--these are all viable spaces sitting quiet and empty on the main drag of our town. 

What will it take to fill these spaces again with a quality and quantity of functioning and appreciated local businesses? As we welcome and appreciate new restaurants like Mimi's and the burger place going in next door to Sushi Suzuki, we also wonder aloud: what would happen if rents on Main Street were lowered and these business spaces were ones that various companies were competing against each other to obtain?

What do you think of the changes downtown? Do you think that the town is changing for the better, that these spaces will be filled with local businesses that will outlast and outsell the former occupants? If the town approves building up on Main Street, will there be more businesses rushing in to fill those empty floors . . . or will there be even more available real estate because no one can find the right businesses and the right rents for viable establishments that will help improve the downtown Metuchen landscape?
Check out our conversation on Facebook, too!

8 Comments

I'm a gamer. Going to the arcade at Menlo Park Mall or even 8 on the Break in Dunellen is a bit too much. I'd love to see a local arcade of some sort.

I'm a gamer. Going to the arcade at Menlo Park Mall or even 8 on the Break in Dunellen is a bit too much. I'd love to see a local arcade of some sort.

Did Christie's close down? It looks that way.

Anyone that lives in Metuchen knows thing that keeps a lot of us away from downtown stores and restaurants...the no parking anywhere situation and the too high prices in some of the stores.

Sure you can park in the lot on Sunday for free but that's it. The rent is so high on main street that the prices in the restaurants and stores reflects it. To have to also pay for parking just makes it that much less attractive. I have lived in this town for 20 odd years but I rarely eat downtown. It's just too expensive. And i don't think we should have chain stores come in and bland up the place with corporate designed storefronts. Main streets main allure is the uniqueness of the stores. places like the Raconteur can not be found anywhere else. I go there, I do go to great clips (chain store but super cheap) and I use the Metuchen savings bank, The jewel shop, the cigar shop once in a blue moon and Meilings once in a while because they aren't so expensive and have a parking lot behind them with a few free spots. (not supposed to use them but I do take out ) Now that downtown has the 10 minute free parking button on the meters, if you can find a spot when you need one, it's easier for takeout, running in to the bank etc...but I rarely have loose change so otherwise I avoid meters.
I do love the idea of the main street feel of our main street but the prices and the parking are a big part of their dismal outlook.

I would like to see what everyone said here take place, but I temper that with the simple view. Show me a better economy to do it with!
Westfield is just as hard hit with a lot more empty stores. In future planning we are going to have to be on guard against an all restaurant/bank/hair dresser down town. The Metuchen economy simply can not support it. We need to encourage an office/light industry operation with a mini supermarket environment to support what we have for rateables. After all how many bagels and massages can one little town handle? And to tell you the truth,

I am also getting tired of browsing the internet about our town to see that for years we have had a nude photo studio in operation that provides young models for hire and the examples of the artwork are pretty explicit. Give me a break! Not something I want a kid to see or be known for as a community. Though little you can do about it.

I think we do need some chain stores. I think a GameStop, 5 brothers, Gap for Yuppies, Funk and Standard might work. We really need somewhere where you can go with kids w/o wait service.

and what is going to happen if/when Renaissance gets built?

I would love to see a "green store" open up on Main Street. A place chock full of things like green cooking and Cleaning accessories, Fair Trade/Natural Fiber Clothing,Solar products, organic gardning,etc. There is one that I visit in Belfast Maine and I think it would do very well on Main Street.

Leave a comment


Recent Comments

  • rjsec4ever.myopenid.com: I'm a gamer. Going to the arcade at Menlo Park read more
  • rjsec4ever.myopenid.com: I'm a gamer. Going to the arcade at Menlo Park read more
  • CinC: Did Christie's close down? It looks that way. read more
  • metuchenfather: Anyone that lives in Metuchen knows thing that keeps a read more
  • Fairness in People: I would like to see what everyone said here take read more
  • jack bauer: I think we do need some chain stores. I think read more
  • swordfish: and what is going to happen if/when Renaissance gets built? read more
  • A. Sardone: I would love to see a "green store" open up read more

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.21-en
/