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By Hilde Kate Lysiak
Another business is closing its doors in Selinsgrove.
One of the Grove’s most popular eating spots, Micheal’s Family Restaurant, will be serving its last meal on Sunday, December 11th, the OSN has exclusively learned.
Micheal’s owner Judy Stahl told the Orange Street News the reason she is forced to shut the doors because business has gotten so bad in Selinsgrove.
“Its very hard. There is not enough business in town,” Stahl told the OSN.
Stahl also told the OSN that she didn’t feel supported by public officials, who she says could do more to help business.
“The Borough Council do not care about the businesses,” Stahl said.
When asked how the borough could better support business Stahl mentioned possibly using grants like the Rudy Gelnett Fund.
But Borough Manager Paul Williams pointed to several different ways the borough has been promoting local business and also that the Rudy Gelnett fund is only for individuals.
Micheal’s calls itself “A classic family restaurant with good, old-fashioned home cooking at good, old-fashioned prices!!!” It had become a popular breakfast spot for many people.
“I’m really upset they are closing,” one frequent costumer told the OSN. “Now Selinsgrove doesn’t have a single place to go and get breakfast.”
Business is hurting in Selinsgrove.
Earlier this year the Hip Hop Hippy shop shut down after only being open a few months.
Velocity Firearms, located on Market Street in Selinsgrove, recently told the Orange Street News that his gun selling store might have to shut its doors in January.
“Its unfortunate, but we just aren’t making a lot of sales,” Margel told the OSN.
Last March, an Orange Street News investigation revealed that out of the forty-seven store fronts on Market Street between West Pine and University Avenue nearly one fifth are empty or for rent and that number doesn’t include the buildings that are houses or apartments.
Domenico Napoli, who owns Bella’s Pizzeria on Market Street, says he often wonders why so many stores are struggling in Selinsgrove.
“I would really love to have an answer,” he told the Orange Street News. “Its a beautiful downtown. Its very nice. Its a nice university. You would think every store would be full.”
Napoli believes that one of the reasons might be that too many people are skipping the downtown and shopping at the strip or the mall.
“You need to do something different downtown rather than have the same items all the time. There is no variety. There is no reason why someone would come downtown and shop because there is nothing to shop for anymore. A shoe store, anything that would attract the female demographic area. You know if the woman wants to shop the husband will follow,” said Napoli.
Some business owners say that town officials don’t understand business and that leads to problems. Last month when new business Vivace Music cut down a tree on his own property, instead of working with the owner, the town fined him.
“I assumed the tree was part of my landscaping. I didn’t even think that it would belong to the borough…,” Fisher told the Orange Street News.
Helen Walter, President of the Chamber of Commerce and owner of Cottage on Pine, believes that one of the problems is that so many people don’t know about the downtown.
“My focus with the Chamber of Commerce is to let people know our town is here,” Helen told the OSN. “To let people know there is this charming little town here and that its a fun place to go to get away from the busyness and have a unique experience for Christmas.”
Walter pointed out that 33 local business joined together to advertise for Christmas.