hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

February 13, 2014

Mix of businesses attractive to downtown visitors

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — There’s a lot to be said for variety.

And there’s plenty of it in the center of Haverhill these days.

Downtown’s restaurant row has many flavors to choose from, whether you have a taste for Italian or a good steak, or simply want tasty appetizers with drinks.

When it comes to drinks, you can try the locally made brews of The Tap or martinis at other bars.

If you’re looking for some artistic items as a gift, you can check out the various shops in the downtown Wingate Street district.

For a different twist, you can catch local boxers training at the Haverhill Downtown club at the edge of the city center. In addition, personal trainers are a relatively new addition to the downtown, with several setting up shop there in the last year or so and drawing many customers.

You can even get a tattoo at the city’s only body art shop, which is also downtown.

Now another kind of business has moved to the heart of Haverhill.

Aaron Pic has opened what he calls a “modern antique’’ store. (See story, Page 1.) The shop sells stuff from the 1950s and 1960s, such as furniture seen on the popular TV show “Mad Men.’’

Pic’s shop is on Wingate Street, the arts district of downtown.

He is a trained interior designer who once worked for Filene’s and, appropriately, Macy’s, which has its roots in Haverhill. Macy’s first store was here.

Pic goes to auctions and antique wholesalers and buys his items there. He began as a collector, but, after accumulating many items, he decided it was time to sell some. He discovered there was a strong market for ‘50s and ‘60s style furniture.

And so came the idea for his business.

Pic sets up the furniture in showroom style so shoppers can see a complete room’s worth of furniture and other items.

His shop has added another dimension to a downtown that for years was marked by empty storefronts and boarded-up windows.

Whether it’s restaurants, lounges or furniture stores with a different theme, the downtown benefits from a quality mix.

Variety is sure to draw consumers, make sales and boost the economy.