Posted by

Neily Raymond Neily Raymond
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Share

Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday celebrate seasonal shopping Featured

November 22, 2021
Rate this item
(0 votes)

BANGOR – Plaid is rad.

Don’t dig your ‘70s flannel out of the closet just yet - we’re talking about the upcoming Plaid Friday festivities in Downtown Bangor. On Friday, November 26, the date when big-box stores feature Black Friday markdowns, more than a dozen small businesses in the downtown district will be offering deals, discounts and promotions to encourage customers to shop local this holiday season. 

Why plaid, one might ask? Plaid Friday is a national initiative to celebrate local entrepreneurs. The plaid texture represents the many threads that come together to form a thriving small-business community. Bangor is the ideal place for Plaid Friday sales: we have talented craftspeople, community-minded shoppers, and family-owned businesses galore. 

(Besides, plaid is Paul Bunyan’s pattern of choice, right?)  

Coming on the heels of Plaid Friday is Small Business Saturday, offering a whole new slate of deals from the downtown businesses you love. It’s also a second chance to visit these local merchants if you simply couldn’t miss the bedlam of big-box Black Friday (not sure we understand your psychology, but we still respect you as a person). 

So grab your wallet - and flannel, if you REALLY must - and patronize the downtown businesses we’re featuring below. You can find a full list of participating businesses at the end of the article.

-

Gifts and Garb

Maine Jewelry & Art is a gallery and gift shop located at 40 Harlow Street. If you’ve ever passed their storefront, just across from the Bangor Public Library, you’ve certainly noticed the incredible art in their window display. (Personal note: I scored an Aztec face necklace from Maine Jewelry and Art a while back, and I’ve yet to find a better conversation-starter.)

The store works exclusively with Maine artists and makers - over forty of them. Owners Amanda Coburn, Anne Reigstad and Roxanne Munksgaard are artists themselves. When you shop at Maine Jewelry & Art, you’re not only supporting local craftspeople, but discovering unique pieces (might we suggest, a distinctive face necklace) that you’ll never find in big-box stores. 

“Holiday shopping can be so much more than just a business transaction,” Coburn says. “Downtown businesses allow for personal conversations and a sense of community while helping you find the perfect gift for someone you love.”

For Plaid Friday, all jewelry crafted by owners Amanda, Anne and Roxanne is 20% off. On Small Business Saturday, and every Saturday thereafter until Christmas, the store will feature assorted discounts and gift basket giveaways. And on both Friday and Saturday, for every $50 spent, you’ll receive one raffle entry for a gift basket of Maine-made art. 

Discounts will be announced on the Maine Jewelry & Art Facebook page. The store will have extended hours from the Sunday after Thanksgiving through Christmas. If you aren’t able to make it to their brick-and-mortar, visit their website at www.mainejewelryart.com; the team is glad to ship items or to pack your order for curbside pickup. 

Grayce Bridal & Formal | Bangor (formerly Blush Bridal & Formal), at 15 State Street, carries upscale formalwear for every occasion. Weddings, prom, black-tie events, your occasional beauty pageant - no matter the event, the team at Grayce is excited to help you find the right look. Grayce carries both men’s and women’s wear and offers tuxedo rentals. 

Allie Brochu, assistant manager and marketing director at Grayce | Bangor, is proud to represent an independently female-owned company. “At Grayce, our mission is to serve, celebrate, and empower women,” says Brochu. “At Grayce, we are ALL about celebrating!” 

Plaid Friday is a fine time to join the celebration. Grayce will be open from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; wedding gown samples from their “Love at First Sight” collection will be up to 40% off. These are gowns that can be purchased that day, off the rack. Grayce will schedule one-hour appointments to shop this collection. You can request an appointment on their website at www.graycebridal.com/appointment-bangor or call them at 207-573-1647. 

Even if you aren’t planning to walk down the aisle anytime soon, Grayce Boutique also offers plenty of casual and semi-formal looks. There will be several in-store specials on Plaid Friday, as well as online deals at www.shopgrayce.com. 

Grayce Bridal & Formal is partnered with the charitable organization To Cry For Grace, which combats malnutrition in children living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. To Cry For Grace was founded by Brianna Dale - the sister of Grayce’s owner, Courtney - after Brianna traveled to the lake island of Idjwi in 2016. She met a young orphan boy, Grace, who was severely malnourished and died before Brianna could intervene. Brianna was determined to save the lives of other Congolese children. She created To Cry for Grace, which is now a substantial 501(c)(3) organization comprising two children’s homes, a clinic, and a malnutrition education and prevention program. 

A portion of every purchase made at Grayce Bridal & Formal goes directly toward the initiatives at To Cry For Grace. If that’s not a reason to shop local, we don’t know what is. You can learn more about To Cry for Grace at tocryforgrace.com.

Now, if you’re going to dress yourself up, it follows that you ought to dress up your home as well. And the homes of everyone on your Christmas list, while you’re at it. It’s the courteous thing. Accents Home Furnishings & Decor, located at 84 Harlow Street, is the place to go. Accents is more than just a furniture store: they work with makers from across Maine and New England to bring their customers beautifully crafted gifts and statement decor. 

Alicia Tozier, owner of Accents, grew up in the Bangor area. She had always dreamed of opening her own Downtown Bangor business. After a long and successful career in healthcare, Tozier pulled her dream back off the shelf and opened Accents in March 2018. 

The shop has since gained a loyal following for its lovely curated collection, which is constantly in flux. “New inventory is received weekly and products are retired to keep the store fresh,” says Tozier, “so make sure that you don't wait too long before purchasing that item you have your eye on!”

Beginning on Plaid Friday, and continuing through Christmas, Accents will showcase the work of Maine artists. You’ll find information about these artists on the Accents Home Furnishings & Decor Facebook page, alongside photos of new and exciting products. (Somebody at Accents has a penchant for gnomes, which continually grace the shelves with their pointed hats and little beards, so if you have any interest in that direction it’s worth a visit.)

AND if you wear plaid on Plaid Friday, you’ll receive 10% off items from the unisex clothing line by Maine designer Salt & Fare. If there ever was any reason to put on the plaid …

-

Grub and Grog

When one has been shopping around Downtown Bangor all day, it follows that one must refuel oneself with caffeine. Cheryl Michaud, the owner of West Market Square Artisan Coffeehouse at 24 Broad Street, is dedicated to a high-quality coffee experience. 

“We are a specialty coffeehouse,” Michaud says, “which means we work with small-batch specialty coffee roasters who have direct relationships with many of their farmers and work with them on sustainability and the production of high quality coffee beans … They roast these beans in such a way that the natural taste notes come through in every cup. We then take special care to dial in our espresso and brewed coffees, each and every day, to be sure we are honoring the hard work that others have put into making exceptional coffee.”

West Market Square Artisan Coffeehouse offers a variety of coffee drinks and house-made goodies (read: croissants, crullers, cookies) as well as chai lattes and hot chocolate. For true aficionados, the coffeehouse sells specialty coffee beans, teas and coffee equipment. 

On Plaid Friday, the coffeehouse will be offering their Grump Hour deal, which is normally only available for the first hour after opening, all day. You can enjoy a 16 oz brewed coffee for $2. The coffeehouse will be open from 8-4 on Plaid Friday and from 8:30-4 on Saturday. For the frost-nipped shopper, there is indoor seating available - it is, after all, almost December. 

If you need something a little stronger to warm yourself up, head to Benjamin’s Pub, a bar and restaurant at 123 Franklin Street. Benjamin’s was a Bangor classic decades ago, drawing crowds in the ‘70s and ‘80s for live music and good eats. Since 2019, the pub has been owned and operated by Clarko and Mandy Clark. 

Clarko has been in the restaurant business for 35 years, and he and Mandy had the know-how to restore the pub to its former glory. They have added a huge video wall, darts, and several pool tables. Diners can now relax with friends and family - children are welcome - while enjoying pub-style food and straightforward drinks. 

For Mandy Clark, that sort of simple, friendly experience, so rare in the restaurant industry, is paramount. “Benjamin's is a mom-and-pop business, just the two of us,” Clark says. “We have great drinks crafted with fresh fruit, a great atmosphere and great guests. Everyone loves it at Benjamin's because they feel welcome.”

For Plaid Friday, Benjamin’s will have $3 tall domestic beer on tap until 7 p.m., $6 margaritas and $2 pints of PBR all night long. They will be open on both Friday and Saturday from 5-11 p.m.

We understand, we understand - sometimes you can’t make it through to 5 p.m. We direct you to 2 Feet Brewing, located at 80 Columbia Street, which opens (conveniently) at 11 a.m. on Plaid Friday. 

2 Feet is a craft brewery with a flair. Nit-Noi Ricker, who co-owns the brewery with her husband Cory, knows that the offerings at 2 Feet stand out from the crowd. “For example, our signature brew is a Roasted Jalapeno Ghost Pepper Dark Saison,” says Ricker. “My husband, Cory, brews the beer. I make the cakes and desserts and our son, Zak, is behind the bar. Cory has brewed nearly six dozen beers since we opened 2 Feet Brewing five years ago, and continues to come up with incredible recipes. Next up? Our Intergalactic Beasty Brew, an imperial coffee milk stout made with coffee roasted in Winterport.”

In fact, all the drinks sold at 2 Feet - beer, wine, cider, mead and soda - are made in Maine. This is yet another opportunity to support Maine craftspeople. The system is foolproof: the more you drink, the more you help our local economy. A monkey could do it. Of course, for the less alcoholically inclined, 2 Feet offers a pub menu that includes such delights as Maine lobster pot pie and vegan corn chowder. 

If that isn’t enough to tempt you, 2 Feet will continue their Plaid Friday tradition of baking a huge four-layer lumberjack cake: plaid on the inside and coated with heaps of chocolate bark. “Each piece is easily enough to feed two people,” says Ricker. Additionally, 2 Feet merchandise will be on sale for 10% off, including shirts, baskets, hats, growler bags and gift boxes full of Maine-made munchies.

How about dinner and a movie? Local cinephiles will already know about Queen City Cinema Club, the theater, restaurant, pub, arcade, and game shop at 128 Main Street. Yes, it wears many hats - but Queen City is ultimately a place of cultural appreciation, where both hard-core movie lovers and casual viewers can gather for a personalized experience. 

Owners Joshua and Tiffany Moulton are both natives of the Bangor area and film devotees. If there’s a film you want to see, it’s almost guaranteed that Queen City carries it AND that the Moultons can wax poetic about it. They have over 1,700 films in their collection. 

“The thing that sets Q3C apart ... is the endless customization and replayability of the dining and entertainment experience,” says Joshua. “With the fresh, quality ingredients and the creativity showcased on the food, cocktail and beer menus, two full-service private theaters where you can pick your own movie and showtime, the area's only old-school arcade and classic board games and video game consoles, there is truly something for everyone.”

For Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday, Queen City is offering extended happy hours, from 4-8 p.m. on Friday and 12-4 p.m. on Saturday. This includes $6 craft beer drafts and cans, 25% off all pizzas and appetizers and 50% off private theater rentals. They are also offering 10% off all gift cards and merchandise until Christmas and $100 off private full-venue rentals booked for all dates until Christmas.

-

Going Forward

It’s never too late to buy into the holiday cheer. Take the Grinch. Take Scrooge. Sometimes it’s just a while before the spirit takes hold - and we get that. Luckily for you, downtown Bangor will offer opportunities for merrymaking throughout December. 

On Friday, December 3, there will be a holiday tree lighting celebration in West Market Square. Not only will you find carolers, shimmering lights and all manner of festivities, but your favorite downtown businesses will stay open late into the evening. 

The downtown drama destination Penobscot Theatre is running several holiday-themed shows this season, including “Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play,” “Who’s Holiday,” and “Auld Lang Zing.” All three will be joyful. (You COULD just attend one or two, sure, but your heart must be several sizes too small.) Visit penobscottheatre.com or call the box office at 207-942-3333 for tickets.

(Our review of “Miracle on 34th Street” appears elsewhere in this edition.)

Perhaps you’re feeling crafty. Head to Accents Home Furnishings & Decor for a Mixed Green Wreath-Making Class on December 1 from 6-8 p.m. Or perhaps you’re hankering after some holiday music. The Bangor Arts Exchange will host The Heather Pierson Jazz Trio’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on December 3rd at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at bangorartsexchange.org.

This is only a sampling - for a full events calendar, visit Downtown Bangor on Facebook. And don’t forget that the businesses we’ve featured will continue to offer specials throughout the holiday season. 

-

Lastly, here’s a list of many of the business participating in this year’s Plaid Friday/Small Business Saturday festivities:

Benjamin’s Pub

Queen City Cinema Club

The Rock & Art Shop

2 Feet Brewing

Maine Jewelry & Art

Print Bangor

Epic Sports

Mexicali Blues

Central Street Farmhouse

Rebecca’s

Valentine Footwear

West Market Square Artisan Coffeehouse

City Drawers

Accents Home Furnishings & Decor, Inc.

One Lupine/Maine Yarn & Fiber Supply

Grayce Bridal & Formal

Last modified on Wednesday, 24 November 2021 10:45
back to top