Germantown Variety opened this week at 212 Main Street; and for those who have been intensely curious to see it unveiled, the wait was well worth it.
Offering a utilitarian combination of hardware, cosmetics, gardening supplies, papergoods and other routine needs, the store occupies the place once held by stores like Newberry’s or Woolworth’s—before Wal-Mart pushed five-and-dimes off American main streets.
The design of the place is a good fit as well: at once unpretentious and upscale, tasteful but not fussy, old-timey but not cornball, plain without being bland... The location and timing also make a lot of sense. While Germantown is within a 25-minute drive of big box stores in Hudson and Kingston, the convenience of being able to get decent toothpaste, or wood screws, or squirt guns, or plant fertilizer, or potato mashers closer to home will appeal to those who live closer-by. Germantown Variety allows household errands (like picking up deli foods across the street at Otto’s) to be consolidated into a single trip.
Plus, Germantown Variety will likely attract a broader audience of people who want to keep their dollars circulating locally, rather than sending profits off to Bentonville, Arkansas. The only comparable place in the area is A.J. Stickle’s in Rhinebeck, and one can imagine many other semi-isolated main streets which could benefit from having such a store.