Milton downtown area on a roll with upcoming SummerFest, booming food scene


Published May 26, 2023 at 8:57 am

New restaurants, the Farmers’ Market, SummerFest and a calendar full of events has the head of the Milton Downtown Business Improvement Area excited.

“The downtown area is really becoming a great destination again,” said Rachel Shuttleworth, the executive director of the MDBIA.

While she admits things aren’t perfect, Shuttleworth believes the future is bright.

“It’s been a difficult few years for everyone. Some restaurants had to close down during the COVID-19 pandemic, and some are struggling with increased costs and labour shortages, but we’re also seeing new places open regularly.”

In addition to the new restaurants, the warm weather and lack of restrictions is bringing events back to Main Street.

The Chamber of Commerce’s Farmers’ Market has already made its Saturday morning return but next week is the one Saturday they take off as SummerFest will be in full swing.

“We’re very excited about SummerFest on June 3 from noon to 8 p.m.,” said Shuttleworth.

“We’ve got 80 vendors lined up from local businesses, and there will be some great shopping, everything from food to gifts to home decor to clothing and accessories.”

There will also be two music stages set up and kid fun zone.

“We’d love to see everyone come out.”

On another downtown topic, Shuttleworth confirmed the restaurant Pretty Rad, located in the post office building at Main and Martin streets would be replaced with a music-forward venue called The Eighth Note.

She hoped the new concept of the restaurant would bring it some success.

“There’s been a lot of turnover in that space. Hopefully the venue will attract more of an afternoon and evening crowd that will help alleviate parking issues in the area.”

Parking woes continue to be one of the main issues facing the downtown, with limited on-street spots. Many people, who might just be popping in and out of a single store don’t want to stay in one of the nearby municipal lots.

“There is parking down there, including a pair of municipal lots on Mary St. We’re looking at improving signage to help people navigate their way.”

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