‘Not enough business for us to go forward’: The Artisan Gallery to close in January after 36 years in city

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  • Patty Arbour, right, owner of The Artisan Gallery in Northampton, helps customer Sarah Pfatteicher of Northampton trying on a jacket at the Main Street shop on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • A sign in the open doorway of The Artisan Gallery on Main Street in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Patty Arbour, owner of The Artisan Gallery in Northampton, lightly steams a few sweaters at the Main Street shop on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Patty Arbour, owner of The Artisan Gallery in Northampton, lightly steams a few sweaters at the Main Street shop on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Patty Arbour, owner of The Artisan Gallery on Main Street in Northampton, photographed on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. STAFF FILE PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 8/24/2020 2:10:04 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The Artisan Gallery, a staple of downtown Northampton for 36 years, will shutter in January due to financial concerns brought about by COVID-19.

The shop was “hit hard by the shutdown of nearly four months,” owner Patty Arbour said in a statement to the Gazette. “And now, there is just not enough business for us to go forward.”

The shop, which highlights the work of local artists and sells gifts and clothing, did limited business through its website beginning in April or May, Arbour said, and was able to reopen on June 25. But this limited business was not enough to sustain the store for the future.

The shop has received an outpouring of support since the announcement and will stay open through through January to sell its remaining inventory, Arbour said, noting that she still has “a store full of merchandise.”

“So many people have come in and written,” she added. “I had no idea really of the amount of love out there. The customers have been incredibly loving and supportive and have said they’re looking forward to one more holiday shopping season.”

The Artisan Gallery has spent 16 years at its current 162 Main St. location. Previously, it was located in Thornes Marketplace for 20 years.

The shop is not the only downtown business hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns: Green Bean cafe and Village on Main salon also announced permanent closures due to COVID-19 in recent months, and even prior to the pandemic, some residents questioned the health of the Main Street business community after a string of businesses closed.

Despite the hardships that many businesses are facing, Arbour is confident that Main Street will eventually return to its former vitality, as she noted has occurred in the past. 

“The Artisan Gallery emerged in the early 80s when Northampton had suffered a different economic downturn ,” Arbour said. “We thrived by grace, grit, vision and the support from people who believed in us and who believed in the town. We grew, moved twice, which ultimately lead us to our beautiful Main St. location.”

She added, “I am sure that Northampton will not only survive, but will come back in a new way — reimagined, much like in the 80s.  There are energized, creative souls out there waiting for their time. Now is that time.”

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com. 


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