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Downtown: Clothing boutique ready to open; parking policy forum

  • Tracy Westcott will open up a baby, children and women’s clothing store later this week. Caitlin Andrews / Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Monday, November 13, 2017

For months, the large windows of the sunny storefront at 10 N. State Street have been obscured with big sheets of grocery-bag-brown paper, leading many to what’s going on in the long-vacant location.

The air of mystery is just what Tracy Westcott wants. It’s part of her marketing strategy for her new store, ReChic Boutique: Keep people guessing, then – bam – open up for business.

It’s worked, Westcott said.

“People keep trying to peek in to see what we’ve got going on,” she said.

Now, as the store’s grand opening approaches, Westcott is happy to reveal what’s literally in store: a boutique shop for women and children’s clothing.

Westcott said she’s always wanted to start a clothing business of her own, but it wasn’t until a year ago, when she realized her now-2-year-old daughter had outgrown most of her clothes before she could wear them. Around the same time, a family friend closed their women’s clothing boutique, and the opportunity to chase her dreams “just sort of fell in my lap,” she said.

Westcott bought the closed store’s entire inventory, and since then, it’s been a rush to design the store she said “she wants but can never find” – a midrange-priced clothing store that offers everything from basics to wedding dresses and caters to infants (sizes up to 5T) and grandmothers alike.

The interior is going to be “shabby chic,” Westcott said, but her wares will be high-end and affordable.

ReChic Boutique’s grand opening is Nov. 18.

Christmas parade

The city will be kicking off its annual Christmas parade at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 18.

The parade will form in the parking lot of the state’s Department of Transportation building on Hazen Drive and proceed to Loudon Road, going east on Loudon Road until it reaches the Steeplegate Mall.

The following streets will be closed partly or completely closed: Loudon Road; Blodgett Street; Grover Street; Ormond Street; Burns Avenue; Canterbury Road; Drew Street; Ellsworth Street; East Side Drive, from Christian Avenue to Ormond Street; Northeast Village Road; Woodcrest Heights Road; Old Loudon Road; Branch Turnpike at Loudon Road; Allard Street at Loudon Road.

Now hiring

The city has opened up its search for its first-ever public information officer.

The Concord city council approved the creation of a PIO in September in an effort to better respond to residents’ social media inquiries and to manage the city’s brand.

The need for the position, according to a report by Deputy City Manager Carlos Baía, is because residents want information more quickly and declining coverage of city affairs.

“In addition, with the decline of traditional media, coverage of local governments is even more scant,” the report says. “This creates a vacuum where the City’s message is no longer in the hands of professionals who would take the time to analyze an issue but instead, could be controlled by anyone with a smartphone. As many communities are realizing, this creates a significant challenge.”

The report continues: “With the incredible reliance on internet search engines to learn about communities, if a City’s message is being controlled by individuals with limited or incorrect information, the image conveyed to the mass public may be distorted. This is particularly important for the City’s economic development initiatives. When site selectors or business executives search Concord, New Hampshire it is hoped that they would be directed to information that illustrates the many positive projects and initiatives in our community.”

Duties advertised with the position include creating layouts and designs of logos and advertisement, monitoring and responding to social media posts, and planning and executing the development and dissemination of information to maintain a favorable public perception of the city’s assets and accomplishments.

The gig requires a bachelor’s degree in communications, public/media relations or journalism, as well as four years of experience, or a combination of education, training and experience that would give someone the skills for the job.

The salary for the role is $51,064 to $73,965.

Noodleless

About a month ago, we let readers know that a new ramen and bubble tea shop was coming to Pleasant Street.

Since then, Noodles and Pearls has opened, only to suddenly close again. What happened?

Owner Richard Weisberg said fear not – he’s only temporarily closed due to ongoing work on the facade of the building closing off access to the sidewalk in front of his shop. In the meantime, he’s been redoing the interior of Noodles and Pearls. He expects to reopen sometime this week.

“These projects never move in a straight line,” he wrote in an email.

Public parking

The city will be holding a public forum in advance of deciding whether to make changes on how the city regulates its parking.

The city’s parking committee recommended increasing parking rates from 75 cents an hour to $1 an hour, allowing a maximum time span of three hours of parking instead of two, adding new metered areas on several downtown streets, and several other changes to the parking scheme last month.

The city council won’t be deciding whether to act on the changes until at least December, but in the meantime, the city has invited anyone with an interest in downtown parking to show up and sound off.

The forum will take place at Red River Theatres at 8 a.m. Nov. 16.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)