Our little slice of Norman Rockwell
We all have our favorite part of Georgetown. Besides the rejuvenating lake, quality schools, gorgeous homes, and rich history, one feature of the city stands tall and proud: Georgetown’s Square and Main Street area. However, the Downtown Georgetown team behind this area’s success isn’t resting on its laurels. Shelly Hargrove, Main Street Manager, says, “We want people to live, work, and play downtown, twenty-four-seven. We want Main Street to be a magnet, a destination for both locals and tourists. We’re striving for a sustainable downtown that is living up to its potential.”
How will this goal be achieved? By adding more space to hang out in the open air, for starters. “One of our goals is to get people outside when the weather is nice,” Shelly says. Sidewalk expansion along the west side of the square has begun, providing more room for outdoor seating. The expansion allows businesses to get more visual exposure, and it provides ample space for public art displays. A courtyard for Grape Creek Vineyards near 7th and Main is going in, and New York artist Mark Schlesinger, known for his paintings along the River Walk in San Antonio, will beautify the sidewalk and retaining wall near El Monumento.
Additionally, a cluster of wineries is in the works to attract tourists. So far, two wineries are slated for downtown Georgetown, and consultants are recruiting more to expand the cluster. The team has a vision to fully utilize each space of Main Street. Once Fire Station 5 is built, all fire administration and storage will be moved from the old Fire House, freeing up that building as prime downtown commercial real estate. The numerous upstairs vacancies can also be repurposed as residential areas.
In addition to the new restaurants that have recently taken up residence on or near the Square, such as Burger University, Roots Bistro, Uptown Social Club, and El Monumento, more are on the way. Thundercloud Subs, the iconic Austin-area sub sandwich shop, and WPA (Wilco Pizza Authority) have already secured downtown locations.
What will the new Main Street district look like? Laurie Brewer, Deputy City Manager, describes it as “a completely pedestrian-oriented, vibrant downtown that begins at 7:30 a.m. and doesn’t end until late. We envision boutique hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, restaurants, outdoor cafés, cultural centers, art galleries, wineries, outdoor courtyards, museum attractions, and much more.”
Shelly says that she has heard visitors comment, on seeing downtown Georgetown for the first time, “I feel as if I’m stepping into a Norman Rockwell painting.” With the new face of Main Street underway, visitors may not only feel as if they’re seeing a visual representation of a Rockwell painting, but they may actually believe they are part of it.
For more information, visit mainstreet.georgetown.org