It’s a common refrain from folks strolling along downtown Mount Dora sidewalks after 5 p.m. They ponder why the vast majority of quaint shops close just as patrons arrive at local watering holes and restaurants to enjoy their happy hours and live music offerings.
Well, times may be changing, albeit in small steps. Downtown’s new merchant association, formed last year, will sponsor a new event dubbed After Hours Around Mount Dora in which many stores will remain open until 8 p.m. The event will take place on the second Friday of every month beginning on June 14 with some shops offering special promotions. If evening shopping is well received, merchants may opt to extend their hours with more frequency.
Crissy Stile, owner of Barrel of Books and Games, said her store will be hosting poetry readings by local writers beginning at 6 p.m.
“The newly formed merchant's association, run by and funded by your local merchants, is working on some very cool and fun new events for downtown,” wrote Stiles on her store’s Facebook page.
After Hours Around Mount Dora coincides with downtown’s free Art in the Alley event which features artists selling their creations and live acoustic music along Royellou Alley from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The alley intersects Fifth Avenue near Mount Dora Center for the Arts and JK Thai Garden restaurant. Most downtown galleries are also open for Art in the Alley including Painting Outside the Lines which features 17 artists. Participating galleries are open from 6 to 8 p.m.
After enjoying the art and shopping, customers can head to one of the many downtown restaurants and bars to enjoy their diverse fare, craft cocktails and regular lineup of stellar live music.
Check this weekend’s entertainment calendar for local live music. Sign up for the free Mount Dora Buzz' monthly updates here.For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, visit the area's websiteand download the area's free mobile app.