‘Really a good time for Port’

New stores, business expansions signs that downtown is bouncing back strong
Ozaukee Press Staff

Downtown Port Washington has largely recovered from pandemic lulls and business leaders are citing new and expanded shops and a lack of empty storefronts as indicators of a healthy downtown.

Port Washington Main Street Director Kristina Tadeo said businesses in downtown Port are largely succeeding, especially given the busy summer and strong tourist season.

“I think it’s really a good time for Port,” she said.

One of the key indicators of growth Tadeo noted is that a number of new businesses opened in Port this year, including the Board Shack, Singing Salmon and the Dream Port Harvest Market.

She also noted that Locally Inspired has outgrown its space at 126 E. Main St. and will be moving to an empty storefront at 226 E. Main St.

Several businesses are also expanding their operations, she added. Bernie’s Fine Meats is expanding into the former Anchor Men’s Wear storefront next door, Lakeside Music is offering coffee in addition to musical instruments and Eclectic Avenue has grown into the adjacent storefront left empty after Fat Boy’s Bait and Tackle closed this year.

Tadeo said it is never a good thing to have empty storefronts downtown and she is pleased Eclectic Avenue owner Charlene Riedel pursued expansion.

“I think the thing that points to a healthy downtown the most is that we really don’t have space available,” Tadeo said.

Riedel said while she is sad to see Fat Boy’s go, she was pleased to have the opportunity to expand her operations after having strong sales this season.

Eclectic Avenue is gift shop selling a wide variety of items including crystals, essential oils, clothing and vintage goods. The shop also features products created by several local artists.

In addition to strong support from local patrons during the slow winter months, Riedel said, she attributes the shop’s success to Port Washington-organized events and festivals that draw people to the downtown area.  

With the additional space, she will be able to feature more vintage goods and have space for more artists to sell their wares.

She would also like to host workshops on numerology or tarot.

Riedel said she was unsure how the gift shop would fare when she first opened it in 2017 and is thankful the Port Washington community has allowed it to grow.

“I just love what I do and love the community support,” she said.




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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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