What store would you like to see downtown?

An illness and the holidays teamed up to give me some time off but we’re back now with the first poll in awhile. It often comes up in reader discussion and comments, so here goes:

What type of store would you like downtown?

View Results

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Be sure to actually cast your vote on the right side of our home page (below the ads on the right). Voting will take place over the next several weeks and we’ll post the results soon after, probably before the end of the month. I tried to offer a variety of answers, even if there’s an existing similar business downtown, but feel free to use the comments section below to add some flavor or specifics to your vote.

With any luck, perhaps some city official will take notice and our discussion will spark some action, what with all the renewed vigor from an expanded Special Improvement District on its way. Dare to dream.

For a look at poll results from the last time we asked, click here.

21 thoughts on “What store would you like to see downtown?”

  1. What kind of store is going next to St. George Art Glass..windows are covered and lots of work going on inside. Right on Irving and Seminary

  2. The problem isn’t what type of store, the problem is when you try to put one store alone in place it doesn’t draw people. Somehow the city and chamber need to attract several consumer friendly stores at the same time. Then and only then will a new face of downtown succeed. Piece meal efforts fail every time

  3. I am happy that there is now a coffee shop downtown, but their bagels were horrific, like the worst bagels I have ever had, and their hours are limited. I’d love for a coffee shop to have good breakfast food, more places to sit, be open on Sundays.

  4. Small clean grocery store (with not expired products) would be great. One that sells bread, cold cuts, some fresh meats & fresh veggies.

    Also, a book store that’s actually open and sells a variety of books

    1. Expired products are a huge problem with the small grocery on Cherry Street. I bet some things have been there for well past their prime date of sale. I used to use them for emergency essentials on my way home from the train at night but stopped because of it. Let alone, the prices are too high. I once saw the owner in Shop-Rite stocking up on sale priced soda. He then turns it around for nearly double the price!

    2. I like your ideas! I moved to Rahway on Saturday and would love to be able to walk to the store for groceries!

  5. I haven’t been able to get a decent loaf of bread downtown in decades or a cup of coffee after 2 p.m. So I’d like to see a bakery and coffee shop.

  6. Grocery store, and coffee shop people know ” Starbucks ” or panera bread but the excuse is NO PARKING lol lol . Bring them in people will come,

  7. Something doesn’t add up when you have a 16 story building with plenty of residents and the retail section is only occupied by “an investment” company? What, are you kidding me…Either the building owner really doesn’t want retail (figure that out) or the rent asked must be out of this world. How else do you explain thousands of square feet available, directly accross from the train station next door to a massive parking deck. Something smells rotten, You mean no DD or Starbucks, food chain, sandwhich shop, steakhouse would be interested. After all these years signs finally show up for rent..it disappoints me. The re-birth of Rahway will NEVER happen with housing only and no retail. You can’t keep sticking paintings in the windows of empty businesses and calling it an “arts district”. Wake up.

    1. Let alone one with a massive photo of a treescape, which confused birds who smash into the window ALL the time. Every time I walk to the garage, there are dead birds littering the sidewalk right in front of that financial services side window. It can’t be a coincidence. There isn’t any other reason so many birds would perish in the same exact spot.

  8. I think there is good mix of new and old building retail space available on Main, Irving and Milton Ave. Advertising is key so people know the layout of the downtown. Update location of the shops and restaurants available.

    I really would like to see an Indoor Flea Market/mini shops setup in the building across from the YMCA that could over flow to the streets on Spring through Summer Sat. or Sun mornings.

    Other ideas to promote shopping that is hard to do online: Framing/Canvas/Art Supply store
    T-shirt design and printing store
    Music/CD/Vinyl Re-Sell store
    Headphone/Electronic repair/ accessories
    Consignment stores
    Smaller Apt size home furnishing curtain and lighting stores
    an “up-cycle” painted refurbished furniture shop/ studio space to work on your own projects if you live in an apartment

    Fresh Produce Store
    Coffee/Snacks/ Specialty Dry Goods Pantry Items
    Health Food store/ Vitamin Shop
    Beauty Supply store

    Wellness/Massage Center

    I hope new projects will attract chain stores like:
    DunkinDounts/ Panera/ Starbucks
    smaller size CVS/Walgreens

    and I would love a local sushi spot in walking distance to the downtown

  9. I’d like to see a self serve dog washing facility, Similar to In-N-Out Dog Wash in Garwood. Since Animals n Things closed this would be a good option as opposed to professional cleaning services.

  10. We desperately need a great local bagel and sandwich place for early commuters and local lunch grabbers.

    There are 6 Dunkin’ Donuts within 2 miles of downtown all with horrible bagels and coffee. I’ve been living in the area for almost 3 years and the only decent place I’ve found (somewhat) nearby is Linden Hot Bagel.

  11. Bakery, Bagel, Bread, Coffee shop so that not only the people in town would have a great place to go but would bring in people from out of town also, i know that i go to Roselle on Sunday mornings and wait in line at the bakery for a buttered roll and coffee. Our town needs this, condos everywhere but hardly anywhere for the locals within walking distance to gather and meet our neighbors!

  12. I think I mentioned this on another thread, but it’s such a cool idea.

    Vineland, NJ has also been trying to rejuvenate their downtown. The Landis Marketplace occupies a space that used to be a huge Newbury’s, two floors, sort of the “anchor store” of the old downtown. They converted it into a marketplace with several different stores/bakeries/eateries all run by different people.

    The only thing I would add is that the hours are not that great – but it could combine many of the above ideas, plus have room perhaps for artists to sell their art, I think there’s even a little candle shop at this marketplace.

    I don’t know exactly where it would go, perhaps in the “mall” connecting Lewis and Cherry?

    Just a thought.



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