First it was the Chinese Food, then the cigar shop. Now Island Jack and I've already heard the rumor of another unnamed store. What's the deal? No people is the deal. To a somewhat "new comer" to Havre de Grace, it seems to me like the only draw that the town really claimed to have were the Antique Shops. But Havre de Grace missed a step when creating a down town business area. Because the only real 'draw' is the antique shops, the town is only going to draw in one crowd of people, and not many.
Havre de Grace seemed to forget that you need "essentials" before you can have the "fluff". You can't build only "fluff" and except the downtown area to flourish with people from all over. The town claims to have all of these appeals, but after living here for two years, I still search for them everyday... and I don't really see them.
And while there may be SOME appeals to these unique businesses, I find that a lot of them could be doing a lot better in terms of advertising and interesting ideas to draw in more people. I've heard that there was a bakery in town, as well as a coffee shop. But I've only been in the coffee shop once, and the bakery is tiny and I've never seen opened. Where do people get their coffee and bread for dinner? These businesses are so small, and never seem to outreach to other people, they kind of seem to just sit there. People create these impressions that making another "wacky, unique Ma & Pa" shop downtown will help the situation. And yet on weekdays while walking down town, I notice that the same stores somehow seem to stay open and empty.
Havre de Grace needs to go back to the first step they need, which is to create "essential" businesses and shops to bring in more people. And then, they can focus more on the "fluff". Having "Mom & Pop" stores aren't enough. I thought that having a 7/11 in the town was one of the first steps. Where are the diners, movie theaters, bowling alleys, "hot spots" and things to do? If Havre de Grace is really the only so called interesting place that rings itself as a place to stop off of 95 before Baltimore, why isn't tourism and the down town committee really grabbing that potential idea by the horns? There seems to be a major lacking on this.
And how are people supposed to really know how to get here? Where IS here? Define the grand entrance of the old, historic Havre de Grace. Are the old, decrepit and vine-covered signs off of the hill on 155 really supposed to invite people to come down town?
Why is the old diner in town closed on odd days of the week and not reaching out and advertising to the Harford college students? Why aren't these businesses reaching out? Why is the big cruise boat not offering teen cruise nights, or special nights to the college students? Why haven't I heard of the coffee shop or bakery shop? Why is that cool, vintage theater down town shut down? If this town is so historical, why isn't there a General Lafayette himself? Or more than just an 1812 reenactment and the "Pirate Gala." Is the cruise boat that is coming down here this summer going to be greeted by nothingness? A bunch of questions that I've never seen talked about or resolved, or taken into consideration for ones with creative minds.
There is some kind of problem, because I haven't heard of any of these places and I live here. Do you think that other people out of town have too? Is it that Havre de Grace wants to remain like a hermit crab in a shell and stay like this? Maybe I'll never know. Maybe one day, I will just move away and forget about this place and it will just stay the way it is.