When David Wilcox sang the line "downtown came uptown for you," he very well might have been foreseeing the newest pop-up shop at the Georgian Mall.
The Shops of Downtown in Georgian Mall’s lower level features five shops from Dunlop Street that are looking to showcase why both ends of Bayfield Street have so much to offer.
ZuZu owner Tracey Baker told BarrieToday it was all about co-operation and seeing the five businesses band together, and much less about how much space each gets.
“It's split five ways,” Baker said. “We weren’t too worried about measurements and just figured to make it work for what each business needed.
"We all get along as businesses on the same street and do so in the same shop as well," she added.
The store opened up on Nov. 27 after a discussion between Barrie Olive Oil owner Denise Tucker and the short-term leasing representative at Georgian Mall about the possibility of utilizing an empty space for a pop-up store over the holidays.
“Given that we are all downtown shops and working together to bring new business down there, we thought it would be a great idea to collaborate and come together,” said Baker. “This allows us to introduce ourselves to people who may not normally come downtown and are used to just heading to the mall.”
Downtown business improvement associations came about in the 1970s when owners realized many people were choosing malls over the main streets of town.
Baker knows the history of the BIAs, but believes this collaboration is about the whole city.
“This is not an ‘us’ and ‘them’ thing at all,” she said. “It really is about community and the support from the community. This truly helps develop our city and bring businesses together in a great way.
"Our regulars have been coming up to see and support us, which gets them into the mall," Baker added. "In turn, we’ve heard great things from people who didn’t know we were on Dunlop Street and this has helped us spread the word.”
The Shops of Downtown will be open during regular mall hours until Dec. 31.