Sunday streetscape

By on November 25, 2014

Open’ banners more common in downtown Lititz

In case you haven’t noticed, downtown Lititz is bustling with activity these days.LR20141127_COpenSunday1

It can be a Tuesday afternoon or a Thursday morning when the streets are packed, parking lots are full, and people are busy shopping or dining at any of the restaurants in town.

It might even be on a Sunday, when you notice that more and more shops and restaurants are sporting the familiar “Open” banner in front of their businesses. And people are coming.

“We had a lot of customers ask us about being open on Sunday, so we decided to give it a try,” says Sharon Landis, who owns Zest! with her husband Jim.

As Landis points out, many people work from 9 to 5, and since many Lititz stores close at 5 p.m. each day, those shoppers only get a chance to shop Lititz on Saturdays. By being open Sunday, downtown businesses can offer 9-to-5’ers another day.

The owners at Zest! decided to test Sunday opening back in the spring, and they have been happy with the results. They plan to keep their Sunday hours from noon to 4 p.m. through December. After the weather gets snowy, they aren’t expecting that there will be much interest in Sunday shopping.

“It will be through the holidays, so it gives people a chance to shop for gifts here in Lititz,” Landis said.

Customers tell her they like being able to shop on Sunday after church or while they are in Lititz for a bite to eat. With all the Saturday events, like Chocolate Walks and Halloween parades, downtown Lititz can get pretty hectic.

“Sundays are more relaxed, so shoppers can take their time and browse,” says Landis.

For other shops in Lititz, being open on Sundays can be a challenge. If they are open six days a week, adding Sunday can mean no day off for owners or employees. Traditionally, Lititz shops have always been closed on Sundays.

Breaking that tradition are a handful of other shops that want to appeal to 9-to-5 workers, after-church browsers and tourists from outside the area.

“I am visiting from New York City, and it is nice that there are some shops open in town,” says John Wan. “We ate at the British pub, shopped for some gifts, and checking out the town before we head back.”

Often, tourists will stay in Lititz or nearby, and want to make a weekend of it. Having the opportunity to shop in town enhances their experiences.

“We drove up from D.C.,” says Mike Hughes, who was seeking a great restaurant for his family to enjoy.

They chose JoBoy’s Brewpub, and after having barbecued sandwiches and ales, the group spent time checking out the stores. The women in the group enjoyed shopping at Clemintine’s, another downtown shop that is having success with being open on Sundays.

Carol Denlinger and Cindy Anderson have been working at Clemintine’s on Sundays since Memorial Day. The fashion and accessory shop is open Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

“My husband is home watching football anyway,” laughs Denlinger. “I enjoy being at Clemintine’s on Sunday, when women come in after church. We have more time to help them find things.”

Clemintine’s owner, Donna Girvin, decided to keep her shop open on Sundays when several new restaurants opened. People in town to eat often like to walk around and shop. Since JoBoy’s opened right next door, her shop has been drawing people to check out clothing and jewelry.

Across the street, Main Street Peddler is another shop that is open Sundays. They plan to be open from 10 a..m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays through December, providing another opportunity for holiday shopping.

It is a little quieter on Sundays, they admit. But tourists seem to like it.

“It would be nice if there were some more shops open,” says Alison Walters from near Philadelphia. “Lititz is such a cute town and we only had today to enjoy it.”

Shopkeepers who are open on Sundays are hoping to get more shop owners to consider Sunday hours. The list is growing.

Several downtown restaurants, like Appalachian Brewing Company, Bulls Head Pub, General Sutter, Café Chocolate, Dosie Dough, JoBoy’s, Roma Pizza, Nino’s and Subway are open Sundays. Hours vary from place to place, with most open from late morning though the evening.

Dosie Dough is a morning spot, open Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., while Appalachian and JoBoy’s cater to the day-to-evening crowd, with hours from 11 a.m. to 9 for JoBoy’s and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. for ABC.

Freeze and Frizz is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Thanksgiving, then the ice cream and snack bar spot will take its traditional winter holiday, reopening in March. Café Chocolate is bustling all year round on Sundays, with hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. so that customers can enjoy hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and crepes all through the seasons.

Shop hours are even more variable. Many of them will be open on Sundays through the fall and holiday season. Most are open from either noon to 4 p.m., or 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A few of the shops planning Sunday hours are Aaron’s Books, Candyology, Cherry Acres, Curiousity Shoppe, Glitz, Haven, Tea Affair, Twin Brook and Winegazers Wine Shop, Spotted Owl and some of the Zum Anker Alley Shoppes. Most will be open in November and December for holiday shopping, like the new Ewebiquitous, which is open in November and December from noon to 4 p.m.

“It was easy to park and that’s nice,” adds Walters, noting that she loved the furniture at Cherry Acres and scarves at Clemintine’s.

To be open on Sunday or to not be open? That is the question for shopkeepers in Lititz. The tradition of not being open on Sunday has religious origins for some shop owners, while others consider Sundays a day of rest for themselves and employees.

“I find it enjoyable to be here on Sunday,” says Anderson of Clemintine’s, adding that she and Denlinger look forward to being the Sunday work crew.

As for Sunday shoppers in Lititz, the best way to know where to shop is to look for the “Open” banners outside the stores that are open. Lately, there are more of them showing up in downtown Lititz on Sundays. Another bonus? Parking is free on Sundays.

Laurie Knowles Callanan is a freelance feature writer for the Record Express. She welcomes your feedback at lknowles21@gmail.com.

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