Oak Creek residents taking a summer stroll tonight will have a new reason to stop when they reach downtown.
Typically, people looking for nighttime activities have had a choice between dinner at a restaurant or drinks at a bar.
But tonight, residents will have the option of sipping on iced lattes, enjoying a homemade piece of pie and shopping for a new outfit or a unique piece of furniture.
Two of Oak Creek's downtown stores -- The Mugshot, which features coffees, drinks and homemade desserts and pastries, and Brand Spankin' Used, a high-end thrift store that offers clothing, accessories, furniture, outdoor equipment, books and more -- will hold evening hours from 6 to 9 tonight.
The stores' normal business hours are morning and early afternoon. But both storeowners said they thought a little night business would be positive for their shops and for the town.
"I do most of my business for early morning people, but I've had some of my regular customers say it'd be really nice for an evening thing every now and then," The Mugshot owner Tina Bird said.
"It's the idea that people are strolling about on a nice summer evening and want to get out and do something," Bird said. "It's just nice to have another option."
For Janine Pierce, owner of Brand Spankin' Used, the night hours also are an opportunity to attract new customers that can't always make her 9 a.m.-to-2 p.m., Tuesday-through-Saturday schedule.
Both stores are relatively new. Bird opened the Mugshot in May 2001, and Pierce's thrift store is less than a year old.
Recently, Pierce doubled the size of the store so it's now about 800 square feet.
Oak Creek residents have supported both stores and have said that both stores fill a need in the community, Pierce said.
In Pierce's store, anything that she doesn't sell she passes along to other donation-based stores. That way, she said, she can keep the store's standards high.
"I've done my best to try to be selective when I'm going through donations to keep the quality and everything nice," Pierce said. "Everybody has been extremely complimentary of the quality of the items I'm carrying."
Pierce, who has lived in the Yampa Valley for six years, has a background in interior design, which she said she put to use in remodeling and decorating her store. She also has experience refinishing and making furniture, which she uses to add her touch to some of the pieces she sells in her thrift store.
"What I'm focusing on when I'm taking in old furniture pieces is redoing those pieces and adding my own flair to make something unusual and really unique," Pierce said.
Tonight, residents can browse through some of those unique items, while also sampling Bird's coffee drinks and desserts. Both store owners said that eventually they would like to hold night hours a few times a month, and to add live music onto the schedule.
Call Tina Bird at The Mugshot at 736-8491.
-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203
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