NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — Throughout the year, people go to Northampton for the restaurants. So, it shouldn’t be any surprise that food, from sit-down dinners to pizza, is big business on New Year’s Eve.
“Lots of cheese pizza for the kids,” said Wendy Powers, Manager of Sam’s Pizzeria and Cafe. “Lots of coffee, hot cocoa. Smoothies, ironically.”
“Constant people from 11 o’clock in the morning till two o’clock in the morning,” said Powers. “We don’t see the door. So, I tell my employees, get your bathroom breaks in early.”
For businesses that don’t sell food, First Night isn’t always a door buster.
“It depends on the day of the week it happens, weather, etc.,” said A.J. LaFleur of The Mountain Goat which sells outdoor clothing and equipment. “If I had to put a general sense on it, it certainly is stronger for retail if it’s in the middle of the week because it’s a draw in itself. It brings people that haven’t been here before. It gives us an opportunity to expose ourselves to folks and show them how much fun you can have in downtown Northampton.”
Gabriel Moushabeck, owner of Booklink Booksellers in Thornes Marketplace, sees mostly browsers on First Night. But he said it’s worth it to be open because a good impression could mean business in the new year.
“I don’t think it’s particularly a shopping day if you will,” said Moushabeck. “But more people find out and maybe they come back and shop here. So, it’s always good to have more people in town.”