LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - New businesses are opening up along Main Street in Downtown Lafayette, making long-time shop owners hopeful for the future.
Two new restaurants are just days from opening in the 600 block of Main Street. The old Sportsman bar is now the new DT Kirby's and next to that sits Professor Joe's Sports Pub. Sara Yelich of Greater Lafayette Commerce said she hopes this is the start of something good.
"It's encouraging to see this block completely filled," said Yelich. "To know that business owners want to be here and this is an active, vibrant community that they want to be a part of."
Yelich said filling empty spaces along Main Street shows that people want to shop downtown.
"It draws people in. So if we can get people in the 600 block, then there's no reason that we can't get businesses in the 500 block and in the 700 block. Really make it an entire street that they want to visit."
The 600 block of Main Street has three restaurants, antique shops, a pinball arcade and even a shoe cobbler.
"In a downtown area, it's important to have a diverse mix businesses. Restaurants are important, but it's important to get those retailers."
Dorothy Bradley has owned the Cobbler Shoppe for 20 years and said Lafayette has transformed over the years.
"It's amazing. Everything just keeps growing and growing. Downtown is getting better, in my opinion. I love being down here," said Bradley.
James Field owns a custom furniture shop in the 600 block of Main Street in Lafayette. With the addition of two new restaurants, he is predicting more people ringing his bell.
"I'm even thinking of changing my store hours to later in the day because I am going to be sandwiched in between two bars," said Field. "I imagine the foot traffic at night is really going to be amazing. Turning downtown into this artistic community and I hope to see it keep on going."
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