A couple of months ago, local businessman Andrew Schoenberger came to a Borough Council meeting to discuss a new initiative he and two other businesspeople started called Market Street Improving Business.
Schoenberger, who owns Epic Photography, Lisa Clemens from the Lynden Gallery and Brad Alexander from the soon-to-open Pita Pit joined forces to start this organization focused on building up business in downtown Elizabethtown. A native of the borough, Schoenberger said he remembers as he grew up that his family didn't have to venture outside of town for lots of shopping.
"We have a feeling a lot of people want that back," he said.
The new organization, for which the organizers are seeking nonprofit status, will provide support to downtown businesses and also help bring some ideas to fruition. Schoenberger mentioned a town map of businesses, bringing a farmer's market to town and having events downtown.
In addition to Market Street Improving Business, the downtown area could be on the verge of a renaissance, with new a number of businesses having opened or planned.
Consider that J's Sweet Treats, a bakery featuring all sorts of cakes, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls and pastries that opened this spring has expanded already. Located on the southeast corner of the square, owner Jodi Stapler has moved the kitchen for the bakery into a neighboring storefront on the square. And in the past week or so, she just opened an ice cream parlor in the neighboring storefront on East High Street.
Last year, a used book store called Pages opened next to Folklore Coffee & Co. on the northeast side of the square. I ventured in for the first time in April in search of a birthday present for my wife, and I was duly impressed with the quality, condition and selection of the books. Check out this great story that WGAL's Meredith Jorgensen did about Pages last fall.
And what about Andrew Douglas Jewelers? After several years without a jeweler in downtown, this business recently opened.
This coming week, the Pita Pit is slated to open in a portion of the former Elizabethtown Hotel. The owners provided the food for last Thursday's installment of the Downtown Summer Lunch Series. They said opening is pending inspections, and they were hoping to open as early as Tuesday.
That's not all that's happening at the former hotel. Sean Cavanaugh, owner of John J. Jeffries, an upscale restaurant located at the Lancaster Arts Hotel, has plans to open a similar eatery there. Cavanaugh's approach is to prepare fresh, seasonal and organic food. To learn more, take a listen to an interview with him on the Lancast.