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Beyond Walls meant business

ITEM PHOTO BY SPENSER HASAK
The Mayo family takes in the mural being done by Don Rimx.

By MATT DEMIRS

As more than 2,500 people flocked to downtown Lynn for Saturday’s “Rock the Block” celebration of the Beyond Walls mural festival, local businesses were also rocking.

The Lynn Museum/LynnArts collectively saw more than 1,300 people between Friday and Saturday visiting the exhibits and galleries, said executive director, Drew Russo, who believes it was one the most attended two days the institutes have had in recent history.

Between Friday’s programmed events for Free Fun Friday, a day sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation providing no-cost admissions for Lynn’s historical hub, to the spike in people coming downtown for Beyond Walls on Saturday, the place was well attended.

“It was a combination of the incredible joint press effort with the Highland Street Foundation to promote our Free Fun Friday and the intense interest in the Beyond Walls Mural festival and Rock the Block party,” Russo said.

The White Rose Coffeehouse saw the busiest day it has ever had on Saturday, beating its best day by three times for sure, said owner Kato Mele. After the block party, the coffeehouse hosted the after party and reached full capacity, she said.

Tacos Lupitas, which is the spot for two of the murals, saw about a 15 percent increase in business, said manager Antonia Guevara.

Rossetti Restaurant of Lynn had a steady flow of people coming to eat on Saturday, according to hostess Jasmine Rosa.

Although the business is usually filled with people every Saturday, she did notice a push in the amount of people, which she attributed to those visiting the murals and block party.

Land of a Thousand Hills also saw a 30 percent increase in sales, according to manager Eric Rondeau.

“A lot of that business came from people on foot watching the artists work throughout the week,” he said.

Al Wilson said the town won’t be able to see the effects on all businesses until things die down, giving owners a chance to really analyze their data.

He plans on looking into the busiest hours and the economical effects the festival and the day of the block party had on businesses.

Mele, who opened the White Rose Coffeehouse Sunday when it is usually closed, said she had visitors who never knew the small coffeeshop with an open bar existed at 56 Central Square.

Although she loves the support of those from all over, she admits that people who live in Lynn are the people she was most happy to see find the place, since those are the ones who are more likely to come back.

One older couple, who stopped in for coffee and came to the block party Saturday night from Everett, told Mele they were actually touring apartments and considering a move to the area after watching the downtown change throughout the last decade.

“Overall this was a good week for us and everybody in downtown Lynn it seems,” Mele said. “Now we just have to keep people coming back.”


Matt Demirs can be reached at [email protected]

 

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