Letter: A bakery would be good for downtown

Published 9:34 am Thursday, July 24, 2014

As a new resident of Austin, one of the things I find lacking on Main Street is fun. I see this as a serious problem for tourists who in the near future will be going to the new Spam Museum. The question we must ask is where will they go when they leave? Picture the scene: they will already be in a good mood after leaving the museum, but where next can they go? What else is there to bait them to stay on Main Street? I think, also, there is a good chance their appetites will have been tweaked after looking at all the food displays. Additionally, they will already be on foot because they have parked their cars. These folks need a lure, a tempting follow-up to the museum that is just down the street. This begs the question: once we have them on Main Street, how can we keep them there?

I would suggest that some enterprising soul open a bakery! Many main streets throughout the U.S. are greatly enhanced by the wafting smells from a bakery. Indeed, bakeries alone are often the central attraction for many small-town American main streets. To enhance this idea further, how about one corner of the bakery devoted to ice cream? The real hand-scooped kind. Let’s face it, the two go hand-in-hand and Austin’s central corridor lacks both. This is exactly the kind of destination that tourists love; the kind of destination that tourists with children love!

Picture the scene. The visitors’ attention has already been captured by the museum. Now they need an inducement to stay. We are leaving them there cold if there are no other attractions on Main Street. The moment they exit the museum they will be looking for another form of entertainment. Now is the time to tease them into strolling down to the shops. The smell of a bakery could just be that enticement. And remember, an Austin bakery does not have to sell only American pastries, but could also include some of the delicious Mexican goodies. Let’s face it, a goodie is a goodie.

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With all the empty store spaces on Main Street, why not fill one of them with some yummy enjoyment? Any bakers out there listening?

Peggy Keener