Things to Do in Downtown Gillette, WY

Whether it’s runners, groups of art lovers or just shoppers looking for the best deals, folks know that downtown Gillette is the place to be these days.

By Joe Morris on December 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm EST

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Conti

Whether it’s runners, groups of art lovers or just shoppers looking for the best deals, folks know that downtown Gillette is the place to be these days.

Gillette Main Street

The city’s center has always been a strong business hub, but now several efforts are in progress that are, literally, putting it on the map. Chief among those is Gillette Main Street, the city’s affiliation with the state’s Main Street program, itself a part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s countrywide effort to recognize and support thriving historic urban centers.

“We have absolutely loved being in the program, because it’s allowed us to plan some events for downtown, and work on storefronts and facades and do the things that will continue to bring visitors and residents back into the area,” says Tara Lindblom, manager of Country Elegance and a second-generation Gillette business operator.

Lively Downtown Restaurant Scene

Downtown Gillette benefits from a strong group of restaurants, including the 311 Lounge, which serves up everything from fine wines to burgers and beer, and the Chophouse Restaurant, a steaks-and-seafood mainstay since 1999. Brothers Coffee and Coffee Friends provide steaming cups of joe and great atmospheres for conversation.

Retail Mix Continues to Grow

And as far as shopping’s concerned, downtown merchants have got you covered with clothing, toys, cookware and more.

On the clothing front, Country Elegance offers fine women’s attire and accessories, as does the Blue Butterfly Boutique and Crazy Woman. Sole Mates also sells shoes and clothing. And for special events, pick up that designer dress, tuxedo or even bridal gown at Lasting Memories Bridal & Formal Wear.

Parents of growing children are frequent shoppers at Everything Kids, a consignment store that carries everything from clothing to furniture, toys, books and bedding. Children’s needs also are front and center at the Teacher’s Corner/Kid’s Mart, which has toys, puzzles, art kits and classroom supplies.

If any of your purchases are a gift, swing by Pat’s Hallmark for the perfect card or maybe a little something extra to slip into a gift bag. If that gift bag’s for a do-it-yourselfer, chances are you’ll find more treats at Mike’s Hardware, which offers a catalog of more than 7,000 items, not to mention free pickup and delivery.

And if the restaurant scene isn’t enough, foodies also keep the Gillette Cheese House’s aisles full. Everything from Wisconsin cheeses to meats, jams and jellies can be found here, and gift baskets are a favorite. After a stop there, those in the know head on over to Cook’s Nook for gourmet kitchen accessories and cookware.

Downtown Art Walk/5K

In addition to highlighting local merchants, the Downtown Main Street team also has been busy with a roster of special events. Those include the Downtown Art Walk, which was held on the second Thursday of each month from October through December, and connected 25 different artists with 23 businesses, and will likely return in spring 2013, along with a summer festival. Another big hit was the Paint The Town 5K, which was held the first weekend in June and is also set for a return appearance.

With all this success, it’s hoped that within two years the program will have its own executive director and be a fully certified Main Street program, says John Cosner, president.

“We’ve had tremendous turnout for our events, and we have a lot to build on,” Cosner says. “The more business our merchants have, the more they can reinvest in their businesses and see those prosper. The pace is picking up, so we’re making sure that we have good-quality programs so that we can keep building our momentum.”

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