Upbeat on Downtown

Shops and restaurants infuse energy along Main Street and its arteries.

Newark is a college town. It’s a historic town. It’s a lively town. And it’s a great downtown, a place where you can browse for comic books, dig for garden ornaments or shop for boutique fashions. And downtown is home to more than 60 restaurants that feature foods for any palate or purse, including Asian, European and Mexican cuisines.

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“Newark is a vibrant, culturally diverse community, a population that enjoys eating out, enjoys all kinds of shopping,” says Ricky Nietubicz, administrator of the Downtown Newark Partnership (DNP). The DNP is a private/public partnership dedicated to the aesthetic, economic, cultural and social enhancement of downtown Newark. The group has created a unique environment in which the city, businesses, residential communities and the University of Delaware work together toward a common goal of enhancing the life downtown.

In 2011, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the Downtown Newark Partnership a winner of its 2011 Great American Main Street Awards. Commerce in Newark dates back to 1758, when King George II of England granted a charter officially establishing Newark and giving the right to hold weekly markets and semiannual fairs near what is now the Academy Lawn.

In a healthy urban environment, there’s a mix of new and old. For more than 35 years, Newark has been home to a popular food cooperative and Bing’s Bakery on East Main Street is a long-time favorite. “Grassroots just turned 40, and Minster’s Jewelers has been in business for more than a century,” Nietubicz says. “And the reimagined Stone Balloon is very popular.”

Events like Wine and Dine are designed to draw newcomers and regulars downtown. On June 13, A New Night Downtown will celebrate summer in the city with a street festival from 3-9 p.m. Main Street will be closed to vehicles so that pedestrians can peruse local wares, services and foods. Expect strolling musicians and games for kids. 

A New Night Downtown is scheduled for June 13.

Photograph by Krik Smith

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Families enjoy A New Night Downtown.


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