State Senator Boucher, State Representative Harding, First Selectman Knickerbocker and Selectman Straiton joined owners of 5 local businesses and Bethel Chamber of Commerce President Bradley Koltz in Grand Opening / Re-Opening and Recognition event
By Gazette Staff
Community leaders, state politicians and business leaders came together with the owners of five local businesses and dozens of friends, well wishers and shoppers to celebrate the Grand Opening of Patricia's Presents, the Grand Re-Opening of the newly relocated Byrd's Books and The Toy Room, the return of the Doherty Petri School of Dance and the re-dedication of DiLillo Real Estate.
Readers may recall that the building spanning 162 Greenwood to 182 Greenwood Avenue was mostly destroyed in a fire in late 2017.
Just before the event, local ROTC leaders were busily seeing to the condition of the flags that line Greenwood Ave.
The restored town landmark was bustling with shoppers, community leaders and well wishers Saturday, September 15 for the first ribbon cutting at The Toy Room. First Selectman Knickerbocker and Chamber President Koltz each made a few comments welcoming The Toy Room to its new location. Owner Kim Ramsey acknowledged the recognition and welcomed shoppers to a day-long series of toy demonstrations as she cut the ribbon. One attraction had adults transfixed, trying to master a unique game of 21st century marbles played with magnets.
At 11:30, the festivities moved to Byrd's Books, where owner Alice Hutchinson thanked the store's wellwishers, cut the ribbon and invited shoppers to enjoy the new space, updated book selection and the unique door connecting the book shop with the the Toy Room next door. Shoppers were impressed with the selection as well as the inviting space.
At 12 noon co-owner Karen Petri of Doherty Petri School of Dance cut the ribbon and invited well wishers to attend a dance exhibition in celebration of the school's return to the renovated space.
At 12:30 community leaders joined Patricia's Presents owner Patricia Polk as she cut the ribbon for her Grand Opening of her shop, newly relocated from Ridgefield. Shoppers were literally gasping in awe and delight at the selection of jewelry, clothing and home accessories.
At 1 p.m. civic leaders joined Jim DiLillo and staff for the ribbon cutting recognizing their resilience in staying open throughout the rebuilding of their neighboring shops, and were then treated to cookies and cider.
First Selectman Knickerbocker praised the local businesses for their investment in relocating to, returning to or staying in downtown Bethel. Thoughts echoed by Selectman Straiton, State Senator Boucher and State Representative Harding, as did Economic Development Commission Chair Michael Boyle.
The event was coordinated by the Bethel Chamber of Commerce.
Readers can visit these businesses in person or online at the following addresses:
178 Greenwood Ave.
DiLillo Real Estate
162 Greenwood Ave.
Doherty Petri School of Dance
170 Greenwood Ave.
164 Greenwood Ave.
The Toy Room
180 Greenwood Ave.