Longtime Downtown Bangor businesses close while others open

Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 5:36 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The new year will bring a new look to Downtown Bangor.

Another long-time tenant has decided to close its doors next month.

But, as some stores shut down, others are just getting started.

TV5 headed downtown to learn what’s behind these recent trends.

After 12 years in business, Maine Jewelry and Art recently announced it will be closing its Harlow Street shop at the end of January.

Amanda Coburn is one of the store’s three owners.

“I was 28, I was just a baby when we started this shop. I grew up here, and I’m going to miss it,” said Coburn.

The trio will continue to sell their own work online, but Coburn says the brick-and-mortar location is no longer working for them.

“Overhead costs, for one thing. And recently, almost everything on our block has either relocated or gone out of business, so there’s not a lot of foot traffic back and forth. So, we haven’t been seeing the faces that we’d normally see,” said Coburn.

Maine Jewelry and Art is the latest in a trend of businesses departing Downtown Bangor.

Among the others – Valentine Footwear and Epic Sports.

“I think what you see is a lot of businesses who really put on their thinking caps and worked really hard to survive the pandemic but maybe kind of exhausted themselves in the process and are just ready to transition into something else,” said Executive Director of Dowtown Bangor , Betsy Lundy.

At the same time, a number of new businesses have come on to the scene.

UniKue and OriJinal’s, Red Rabbit Bazaar, and White Lobster Vintage have all opened their doors in the last couple of months.

Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness also announced their administrative offices will soon move into the old Epic Sports.

“We’re definitely at a point right now where we’re gaining more businesses than we’re losing at the moment, which feels good. However, we’re always sad to see our businesses go because one of the things that makes a downtown like Downtown Bangor so special is that it is very much like a family. It’s very personal,” said Lundy.

Coburn says the familial feeling, seeing customers’ faces every day, is what she’ll miss the most.

But, just like most relatives, you can find them on Facebook.

“We’re still around. We’re still here, and we’re still easy to contact. We just don’t have a physical location for you to come meet us at anymore,” said Coburn.