Downtown Lincoln business
owners bring unity and small town friendly feel to the
heart of the city
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[March 14, 2020]
Earlier this week a group of business owners from the Downtown Lincoln
area got together for a meeting to talk about efforts to increase
consumer traffic to the heart of the city. The group on hand represented
eight of the 23 downtown businesses that are participating in what they
have dubbed Lincoln Downtown Express.
The meeting was held at Sorrento’s Pizzeria and was led by Lisa Drew,
Owner of Sorrento’s. Also present were Matt Arnold of Grieme-Arnold
Insurance; Tony Curcuru with Sorrento’s and Tony’s Cannoli’s; John
Hoblit, Hoblit Law Office; Ernesto Leon of Rio Grande Restaurant; Eileen
Mullins, Sir Rena Tea; Colleen Roate, Spirited Republic; Theresa
Schieffer of Copper Penny and Kathie Williams, Small Town Creations.
This is the same group of people who put together the Holiday Express in
Lincoln in December. That event was such a success and served to bring
the local business owners together in a very positive way. When the
holiday season was over, they decided that they did not want to lose
that momentum and spirit of unity in the downtown area.
They have been meeting regularly since then, with all who are able
sitting together and just throwing out ideas about how to increase
consumer traffic to all the businesses in the heart of the city.
Drew noted before the meeting began that the number of participants
varies. They met at 9 a.m. because most of the downtown businesses open
at 10 a.m. This allowed an hour to get together and talk about various
Drew said that the meetings are energizing and that they often leave at
the end of the hour excited about the work they are doing, and excited
about being a part of the heart of the city.
This week the group was excited about their latest promotion, Lincoln’s
Lucky Leprechauns search. There are two leprechauns hidden daily in two
different participating businesses. Shoppers are encouraged to find the
leprechauns then enter for a drawing of a “pot of gold” courtesy of the
businesses. The pot of gold is growing with additions being made by the
businesses that include gift cards or merchandise from each of the
They shared stories about searchers who have come into their stores, and
how from time to time they gave little hints to shoppers of where the
leprechauns might be.
Kathy Williams said that the leprechaun search was different from the
Holiday Express because the shoppers at Christmas time needed to make a
purchase to be entered into the drawing for the gift basket. With the
leprechauns no purchase is required. She said that the purpose was more
to get people in the various businesses and get them acquainted with
what is available downtown. Of course, when the winner is drawn for the
pot of gold, that lucky person will have some shopping opportunities in
the downtown area as well as opportunities to enjoy the local eateries
and coffee and tea shops.
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For those searching for the leprechauns, you still have time! The leprechauns
will be hidden in various locations through Sunday. The drawing for the winner
will be held on March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day.
In addition to the leprechauns, the downtown group launched ‘I love (heart)
Downtown Lincoln’ tee-shirt campaign in February and that is still ongoing. The
group ordered tee-shirts and shop owners and staff wear those shirts in their
places of business on Friday’s. In addition the shirts are being sold at Small
Town Creations and Sir Renna Tea for all those who share the sentiment.
There are more promotions coming around the corner from the downtown group. This
week they began outlining a plan for April and Easter and hope to get details
nailed down next week.
They are also working on a big event to be held on July 11th. Nashville Night
will feature many of the downtown eateries and bars and will include live bands
at each establishment. Drew said that the hope is to promote that event outside
the area and perhaps bring more out of town visitors into Lincoln on that
As the group discussed all the things they are working on, Drew also offered a
review of the goals of the group and invited everyone to pitch in and add to the
list. The primary goal of the group is to work together, to create a fun
environment for local shoppers, the encourage out of town shoppers and visitors,
to promote the downtown businesses as a cohesive group, to feature individual
businesses and their owners and create a “small town realness and feel” and to
create events that can include all the participating businesses.
It was noted that to have this kind of unity is something that many shoppers
The group shares information with shoppers not just about their shop or café’
but also about all the other great locations in the heart of the city that are
worth the time to visit.
All in all, they feel they are working together in a way that the downtown has
not seen in quite some time. They are seeing the results of this unity and are
very pleased with what they are accomplishing.
In essence, this group is bringing heart to the heart of the city. The small
town feel is just that, a feeling of community and a feeling of warmth,
friendliness, and a desire to please shoppers and satisfy the needs of those
Kudo’s to this group for their tremendous effort to come together and be a
‘family’ of sorts in the heart of Lincoln.