Businesses prepare for SU student return
As Shepherd University students ready for another school year, businesses in Shepherdstown prepare for an increase in the town’s population – and hopefully their business.
The Fall 2011 semester at Shepherd begins on Monday, Aug. 22. Incoming and returning students may want to revisit or discover places to eat, drink, shop and listen to live music.
Garth Janssen, owner of Lost Dog Coffee, calls his store a community hub.
“It’s a place where people will hang out and meet each other,” Janssen said.
In the summer and school year alike, Shepherd students and town residents can be seen sitting outside the Lost Dog enjoying beverages and chatting with each other.
Janssen said he doesn’t have any specific preparations in mind for the coming weeks until Shepherd students return, but he said he is looking forward to the start of another school year.
“I’m going to be really stoked when the students get back to town,” Janssen said. “The town gets kind of gray, colorless and lifeless. When the students come back, the town gets a lot of color, and the energy is up.”
Roxanne Shields of Shepherdstown Paint and Art said she is hoping for an increase in business with the start of a new school year.
Shields has been ordering art supplies recently in hopes that art students will buy their class materials from her store once school starts.
“I got an email from somebody in the art department (at Shepherd University) that had a list of the basic art supplies that art students need for their classes,” she said.
Shields said that she would like to have received more specific lists from individual professors but hopes that she can stay up-to-date with the curriculum.
She would also like to see the store partner with the university and host more student art shows at the neighboring War Memorial Building throughout the school year.
Shepherdstown Liquors offers of-age students a selection of beverages if they decide to skip the bar scene some nights. Manager Courtney Lehman is making sure the store is well-stocked with new products as well as old favorites.
“I’m thinking of maybe offering discounts the first week school’s back in session,” Lehman said. “As holidays come around, we’ll be offering gift sets. We’ll also be doing promotional stuff to promote certain products, such as giving away T-shirts or keychain lanyards.”
Lehman said that the store’s popularity spread by word-of-mouth. She said that business picked up toward the end of the last school year because more and more students discovered the store’s location along Princess Street.
Elizabeth King, owner and general manger of Blue Moon Cafe, is preparing for the arrival of Shepherd students by partnering with the university for the first Late Night in the Zone event of the school year.
“It’s kind of a meet-and-greet, a mixer – a safe one that doesn’t involve alcohol – with lots of events and activities,” she said.
King said that the Blue Moon and other restaurants and businesses in town have signed up to cater the event.
King said that students can pick up to-go menus during the Late Night event. She said that by offering a to-go menu, students can pick up their orders between classes if they want a change from dining hall food.
King said that she also plans to use the table at Late Night to promote Blue Moon as a live music venue where students can hang out.
“We want to give all of those new students an opportunity to see what we offer in terms of food and entertainment in the town,” King said.