October 20, 2005
The Swan Antique Mall moved to downtown Aiken a year ago. Owner Elaine Yarson still works to gain exposure by participating in the new Aiken After Hours.
“The After Hours, staying open on the third Thursday, has brought new people to our store,” Elaine said.
Aiken After Hours started last month and will continue through May. The third Thursday of every month, fifty downtown shops and restaurants open from six to nine. The extra time gives people from Aiken and other places like Augusta a chance to head over after work.
“People come out, get to see one another, to spend some time together and support the local merchants,” said Doug Raybould, Organizer, Aiken After Hours.
Downtown’s newest merchant, Philippe Chin, is hoping for exposure like Elaine’s.
“Downtown Aiken has so much to offer. I think everybody should know about it and come join us and come have fun,” Chin said.
Philippe’s restaurant, Cuizine, opened two weeks ago. It’s his first Aiken After Hours.
“This is the first, so we’ll see what happens, but I’m sure it will be good,” Chin said.
And business owners say when people come to look at antiques or eat a meal at night, they often come back during the day.
“Every time you have people come in your door it’s the opportunity for a sale and people do remember and they remember things maybe two months later and come back and make a big purchase,” Elaine said.
Aiken After Hours, opportunity for a sale and a good time.