Liberty businesses band together for “Shop Liberty Day”

By Jordyn Grzelewski


The impact of this week’s closure of Northside Regional Medical Center will go beyond the nearly 500 job losses.

Local businesses say they, too, will feel the effects of losing business from patients and their visitors who eat and shop in the area surrounding the Gypsy Lane facility.

Now, those businesses are coming together to raise awareness about the issue and let the community know they’re not going anywhere. Numerous township businesses will offer deals on Thursday for Shop Liberty Day.

“We realized that the closure was going to have an effect upon Liberty and especially the Belmont Avenue corridor,” said Jack Kravitz, who helped organize the event and owns Kravitz Deli, which has a location on Belmont. “We wanted to do something as a merchants’ response to say, ‘Hey, we’re still here. We’re still going. There’s still life on Belmont Avenue.’”

A dozen businesses are participating in the event: Kravitz Deli, Jimmy’s, Plaza Donuts, Chad Anthony’s, El Tapatio, K’nafa Restaurant, Goodwill, Minuteman Press, Station Square, Raks Nearly New consignment boutique, Golden Hunan and Handel’s.

Many of them are offering $5 on certain items, a nod to the nearly 500 job losses.

Kravitz, for example, will offer $5 corned beef sandwiches; Plaza Donuts will sell a half-dozen doughnuts for $5; and Station Square will offer $5 off calamari.

Jimmy’s, an Italian speciality store on Belmont, will sell its bricks (paninis) for $5.

Frank Occhibove, whose parents Irene and Jimmy opened the store 44 years ago, said he is a little worried about the hospital closure’s impact on business, but he is confident businesses along Belmont will weather this loss as it has many others over the years.

“As you can see by how many businesses are participating, we stick together,” he said. “I want everyone to know our Belmont strip is very resilient, and we’ll make it through this.”