Sunday in the City back to downtown NPR

Sunday in the City comes back to New Port Richey this weekend as a way to promote downtown activity by encouraging the public to come hang out and businesses to open their doors.

NEW PORT RICHEY – Sunday’s have tended to be a little sleepy on Main Street, but a new effort is encouraging downtown businesses to open up and customers to come hang out.

The monthly promotional concept is dubbed Sunday in the City and was created by Rock the Boat Productions, a downtown business that’s been working to revitalize the area. This Sunday, March 10, will be the third Sunday in the City.

“Sundays are tough because not all the businesses are open, so people really don't think of the downtown as a place to go,” Lia Gallegos, part owner of Rock the Boat Productions, wrote in an email to The Suncoast News. “Historically, the downtown hasn't been really exciting that day. We decided to try putting together a fairly loose promotion that just highlights what each business is doing that day to raise awareness that they are open.”

Sunday in the City isn’t an event with a centralized theme, but rather an effort to inform residents both inside and outside of New Port Richey about the variety of businesses located downtown and that they are in fact open Sundays. Guests to downtown this Sunday will find that participating businesses are offering deals, such as special menu items, drink specials, activities and sales. Gallegos stated in a press release that addition activities will be planned each month as Sunday in the City evolves.

Gallegos described the first Sunday in the City as Rock the Boat Productions gift to downtown merchants to thank them for their support of promotions back in October. Rock the Boat Productions paid for the advertising and donated services to promote the first Sunday in the City and now a handful of business owners are funding the advertising because they “understand the dire need to create a new image for the downtown,” Gallegos wrote.

March’s effort is sponsored by Scott M. McPherson Personal Injury Attorney, JGI Insurance Group, CPR-Stat, The Central Apartments, Ordinance One, Wright’s Natural Market, Sip Tapas & Wine Bar, Pete’s Grand Central, Johnny Grits, Will Cardinal Lawn Care and Henning Heating and Air.

Rock the Boat Production’s latest press release lists more than 20 downtown businesses taking part in Sunday in the City. This month’s effort includes a few new additions, as well.

Rose’s Bistro Off Main, 6238 Grand Blvd., is hosing its ninth annual Strawberry Festival from 12-5 p.m. and participating businesses are getting in on the strawberry theme.

Bazaar Art is hosting an Art Walk between 11 a.m. and noon, Ordinance One, a downtown craft beer and wine bar, is hosting Family Feud with Zackman at 3 p.m., the West Pasco Historical Society with have their monthly rotating photo exhibit, “Let Me Tell You a Story,” on display, and the group Pasco Pride is hosting its “Love is Love” Instagram scavenger hunt throughout downtown.

Gallegos wrote that many businesses have reported increased Sunday sales since the promotional effort began, adding to the desire to continue Sunday in the City each month.

“We are seeing businesses who aren't normally open on Sundays deciding to either add regular Sunday hours or at least be open on the second Sunday (of each month),” she wrote.