Businesses plan to open on Fourth

PAUL BILODEAU/Staff file photo. Mark Adrian Shoes on Main Street will be open on for the first time in 45 years on the Fourth of July, said owner Adam Farber. Other East End businesses will be open too.

On any other given Independence Day, the businesses and restaurants of Gloucester's East End often close up shop. 

But, as owner Adam Farber of Mark Adrian Shoes on Main Street puts it, "this is a year like none other." 

Twenty-two businesses and restaurants on Main and Rogers streets are planning to remain open on the Fourth of July to serve residents and visitors who have been cooped up for the past four months due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

"With so many things not happening this year, the merchants on Main Street want to give you something fun to do for the day," the retailers said in promotional material sent out to the community. "Come on down and stroll Main Street!"

In 45 years, Mark Adrian Shoes has never opened on the Fourth of July, said Farber, a fifth generation shoe salesman whose father opened the store.

"It has always been a time for parties, families, concerts and gatherings," he said.

The push to remain open during this holiday weekend came when the pandemic took all of that away. 

"None of that is happening this year," he said of the city's usual festivities — the Horribles Parade and the Fourth fireworks and concert. "All of those things made me considering opening this weekend." 

With this consideration in mind, Farber walked up and down the street to get the pulse of other business owners.

One by one, other businesses and restaurants agreed that they also wanted to stay open to provide opportunities to locals and tourists.

"The fact that the holiday is on a weekend swayed us," said Bianca Giacalone, the owner of Castaways Vintage Cafe. "With all of this going on you have to take advantage of all the time you can be open." 

The cafe tucked away in between Main and Roger streets will be opening a half day this Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., in order to give their staff time with their families and friends. 

As her coffee shop has weathered the pandemic, Giacalone is grateful for the locals who have kept her business afloat. 

"We can't thank our local customers enough," she said. "You don't really know how much you depend on locals until they are the only one's who are able to come."

Staff writer Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705 or


These East End businesses, as of Wednesday morning, are remaining open for the holiday weekend: 

Mark Adrian Shoes


Dogtown Books

Design of Mine


Floating Lotus

Sweats of New England

Pop Gallery

The Bookstore

Cape Ann Olive Oil Co. 

The Gloucester Shop of Cape Ann

Mystery Train Records

Cafe Sicilia


The Brass Monkey 

Castaways Vintage Cafe

Metaphysical Shop

Supreme Roast Beef

The Liquor Locker

Leonardo's Pizzeria

Tonno Restaurant


Opening hours will vary by business and restaurant.

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