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Berlin merchants offering late shopping hours on Fridays

Berlin merchants are aiming to better serve local shoppers with new extended hours on Fridays during the months of May and June.

Berlin Sip and Shop

Marketing flier

By Charlene Sharpe, Associate Editor

Merchants are aiming to better serve local shoppers with new extended hours on Fridays.

Berlin Sip and Shop is now being held Fridays in Berlin during the months of May and June. Participating shops will be open from 5-8 p.m. on Friday evenings and will be offering free tastings of local spirits.

“The community has reached out to us asking for businesses to stay open later,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director.  “Friday nights have been busy. We might as well make an incentive for people to come.”

In an effort to better serve local customers and at the same time increase sales, the majority of downtown shops will be staying open late on Friday evenings in May and June for Berlin Sip and Shop. There will be live music and a variety of local spirits, including drinks from Jun and Juice, the Buzz Meadery, Forgotten 50, Berlin Beer Co. and Burley Oak Brewing. 

Ryan Nellans, executive director of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, believes the campaign will benefit residents who work until 5 p.m.—and have been unable to shop in local stores that may have closed before they could get there—as well as merchants, who should see more business. 

“Downtown businesses are making strides in correcting Berlin’s ages old habit of rolling up the sidewalk at 5 o’clock. The Sip and Shop helps businesses, residents and visitors alike to shake up their own routines and breathe a little more life into our beautiful Main Street,” Nellans said. 

Merchants are excited about the opportunity to enjoy Friday evenings chatting with patrons over a drink. Deb Passwaters of British Rose said her shop would be doing giveaways as well. She’s looking forward to Sip and Shop.

“It brings people out,” Passwaters said. “It’s fun. Maybe it’ll bring more people to town.”

Participating businesses include British Rose, East & Main Shore Supply, Patty Jeans Boutique, Blazer, Pitts Street Treasures, Uptown Emporium, The Merry Haven, Outtens Delights, Life’s Simple Pleasures, Una Bella Salute, Beach Gypsy, Love Your Mama, Sisters, Eastern Woodland/Bleached Butterfly, Bruder Hill, Viking Tree Trading Company and multiple dining options. 

This story appears in the May 9, 2024, print edition of the Bayside Gazette.