Maxwell Street Shopping Survives

By: Justin Williams
By: Justin Williams

Her co–workers may have missed Kathleen Cummings at work today, but, she says, she's got good reason to be on State Street.
"It's Maxwell Street Days—you gotta shop! It's a great day and it's a time to get all the great bargain deals of the world," Cummings explains.

Sponsored by the Greater State Street Business Association, Maxwell Street Days—2005 features 95 State Street retailers and restaurants offering their wares and fare at bargain prices.
Now in its 32nd year, organizers say the event—fashioned after Chicago's Maxwell Street sales—features much of the same—except for the construction.

As work on the Overture Center continues, adjustments have been made to accommodate the typical mass of savvy shoppers.
John Hutchinson owns Fontana, a State Street sporting goods store. He says, "I'm hearing more positive than negative. People come down and they're pretty impressed with the Overture Center and construction and where it's at."

"It hasn't been too bad. The only thing is—is bad—we can't set–up our outdoor tables, and that hurts us a little bit," says Dino Christ, who owns Nick's Restaurant, in the 20 block of State Street. Christ says he estimates revenues at Nick's Restaurant will fall a few thousand dollars short of average this summer, in the absence of outdoor seating.
But both he and John say the pavement–pounding process represents the price of progress.
Christ continues, "Yeah, it is the price of progress, and—also, we were expecting it. Last year, we weren't expecting it to slow down. This year, we knew what we were in for, so we planned ahead, saved a little money."
"We just pretty much suck it up and take it as it comes and we try to work with Overture—we hope that in the long run it will be a good neighbor and draw more people downtown," Hutchinson concludes.

Tomorrow the shopping continues from 8 A–M until 7 P–M, and, this year, the music stage has been moved to the intersection of State Street and the Capitol Square—with performances scheduled from 11 AM until 4 PM.

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