Businesses Surge in Downtown Providence

Jun 10, 2013

The Providence Downtown Improvement District is out with its annual business guide and it shows a surge of new business for the city center area.

The guide shows 13 new restaurants and shops opened last year. Thirty-five new businesses have opened their doors in the past two years.  And this is just in the downtown area. It does not include College Hill, Federal Hill or other popular business districts.

Joelle Kanter of the Providence Downtown Improvement District said the new businesses run the gamut.

“We have jewelry stores. We have Alex and Ani and a new design shop on Weybosset. We have eateries from Ellie’s Bakery to Flan-y-ajo to Providence Cold-Fired Pizza, and Figidini has opened with another wood-fired grill on Washington Street. So it’s a great mix. And I think it’s also accessible. These businesses are lifestyle-oriented but they’re not only high end.”

Kanter said the resurgence of the downtown area is part of a national trend.

“What we’re seeing around the country is that people are appreciating their downtowns and they see the value of being in locations where you don’t really need to own a car, where you can get there using public transportation.  You can bike. You can walk. You can appreciate the historic architecture.”

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