‘A wonderful experience’: Downtown Alive wraps up successful first weekend

Downtown Alive wrapped up its first weekend on Sunday evening (photo: Sydney Bouchelle/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Downtown Alive wrapped up its first weekend on Sunday evening.

Business owners and patrons say it was a success.

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“It has been a wonderful experience so far with Downtown Alive,” Beer Barrio Co-Owner Hayley Jensen said.

“I really like it,” Wilmington Resident Miles McCall said. “Personally, I think they should do this every summer all summer because it kind of makes it like a festival atmosphere and there’s no crowds.”

Chuck Archer, general manager of Rebellion, says they’re getting back to normal.

“We’re right about back to our projected numbers for this year with the additional seating,” Archer said. “So that really has helped and kinda keeps everything level and everything afloat.”

He says they’re doing even better than just staying afloat.

“Our goal was to make sure our employees were making money, rent was paid, and the lights stay on,” Archer said. “So we’re definitely there and actually putting a little bit of money in our pockets which is always nice.”

Hayley Jensen, co-owner of Beer Barrio, says the event has been a game changer since her restaurant has not yet opened their indoor dining room.

“We essentially doubled the capacity that we had been working with for the weeks prior,” Jensen said. “We’ve brought more servers back to work and it’s just been a way that’s felt very safe for us to kind of expand back to normalcy.”

She says the support has been awesome and she hopes it continues.

“Downtown businesses really need your support right now,” Jensen said. “We’re all trying to bounce back. Most of us are locally-owned, independent restaurants. So please come down and support us.”

Street closures will follow this schedule for the rest of the summer: Thursdays and Fridays 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sundays 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.