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Main Street in Oneonta: A Holiday Stroll
ONEONTA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Those who live in the Oneonta area know what kind of unique shopping gem they have close by on Main Street in Oneonta, but for those who live a bit further away, it may be a secret they've never heard about.
Oneonta Mayor Richard Miller says it may be a hidden gem to some, but for those who do know about it, they are coming, and coming in large numbers.
"Well, we've got momentum, number one, we've got a lot of enthusiasm for downtown," Mayor Miller said.
Miller said Thursday night's Christmas tree lighting drew a very large crowd, and retailers and restaurants saw a lot of extra business. He says free parking is a big draw, not only during the holiday season, but throughout the year.
"It's also very intimate," he said. "It's a two lane road, there is parking on Main Street, but when you walk down Main Street here, I think you feel like you're in some place, not at some place."
Up and down the several block area sit stores and restaurants with some very unique names. There's a very artsy gift shop called Razzle Dazzle and a fast food place called Boudreaux 'N Thibodeaux's Po' Boy & Jambalaya Shoppe.
Debra North opened Razzle Dazzle 37 years ago. She says the big reason why people come to Main Street is because of its uniqueness.
"We're really Mom & Pop stores," North said. "Everything just seems to be so positive, and it ekes out. Even if you don't have money, you come down here and have fun."
We spotted Nancy Scanlon, the owner of Sport Tech, a very popular sporting goods store on Main Street, shopping at Razzle Dazzle. Scanlon says she, and other owners help each other out.
"Absolutely," Scanlon said. "I like to shop local whenever I can."
For those who may not have ventured to Oneonta to shop before, Scanlon says it is the perfect place to come for a stroll.
"If you want to find unique things, a friendly atmosphere and great food, downtown Oneonta is a great place to come," Scanlon said.
Oneonta resident David Kachel was strolling Main Street on Friday morning. He says he and his family and friends enjoy the atmosphere.
"It's a nice thing to just take a walk during the day," Kachel said. "And the kids like to come down and see the tree and the lights and everything."
David Zummo opened The Latte Lounge nine years ago, and this April opened a second business across the street, an upscale restaurant called Prime 298. Zummo says Main Street is the place to be, whether you're from here or not.
"Main Street to me is still the hub of Oneonta," Zummo said. "I'm a native of the area, so I still feel as though this is where it all happens, and I'm glad that myself and other retailers down here feel that way and we stick it out through the thick and the thin."