So after a solid fifty years of selling (overpriced?) menswear on High Street, Daniel’s Menswear has moved to their new location out on University Avenue.
The result: A large glass-front piece of real estate is open in prime location for student business. It’s right next to a great parking lot and some of downtown’s most vibrant businesses – which are so because of their location. Rumors say anything from a Starbucks to a dive bar could go in there, which has people talking. Who knows if the place has already been sold – maybe they took a buyout.
We know what people want to see…but what should we really build in there?
Here’s my top ideas.
1. A healthy grocery store. Downtown doesn’t have a powerful all-purpose grocery. Sure there’s Vonson and Mountain People’s Coop, but the nearest Kroger’s is in Evansdale. This is problematic for people who live downtown. Most rent apartments on High Street because they don’t have a car, but they need a car to get to the Kroger on Evansdale. We need something close that offers healthy, cheap food. Sure, there’s the Dollar Tree, but we need a more specialized location. The High Street location is perfect – Ample parking, ample space, and ample demand. Students would eat that up, but I suggest a grocery store with one caveat: it needs to be a locally-owned joint with locally-grown produce. Here’s looking at you, Trader Joe’s.
2. A local pharmacy. Word on the street is there’s a Walgreen’s going in, but that’s just another case of chains imposing on local business. I wish something local would move in, and it would pull a lot of student business as well – 30,000 students are bound to have a lot of prescriptions to fill. It would also be a great place for dorm-bound students to grab some cheap hygienic goods.
3. Anything other than a Starbucks. Like come on. I know everyone needs their coffee fix, but if you think downtown is lacking in coffee places, you’ve obviously never been downtown. A Starbucks would pull business from a lot of other unique (and cheaper) coffee places all over downtown, but we’ve already talked about this. The leading rumor is that Starbucks actually bought the location, but I can’t confirm it.
4. Not another bar. Morgantown already has enough, and new upstarts always have a hard time competing with the established locations. It seems like those bars on Walnut Street always seem to succumb to underage violations, drug busts, etc. I imagine a new bar in the old Daniel’s location would draw the ire of the others. We don’t need a new bar and downtown doesn’t want one – don’t build one.
What do you think we should build on High Street? Post in the comments or tweet at me.