|Davidson Will Celebrate 'Cats on Main Grand Opening Saturday, Sept. 26
September 21, 2009
Contact: Stacey Schmeidel
Davidson, NC--'Cats on Main, the new Davidson College spirit shop located at 131 N. Main St. in downtown Davidson, will celebrate its grand opening at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26.
The event will feature refreshments, raffles, door prizes and plenty of Davidson Wildcat surprises. Customers can pick up a coupon for 10 percent off one imprinted item, good Sept. 26 only at ‘Cats on Main or the Davidson College Bookstore on campus. Davidson College President Tom Ross will offer brief remarks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"We hope that folks from Davidson, Cornelius, Huntersville and the greater Charlotte community will join us for the grand opening," said ‘Cats on Main manager Jill Lazarus. "We'll have lots of Davidson t-shirts and sweatshirts-in fact, anything that you want in Davidson red and black you'll find here in the store!"
The ‘Cats on Main building at 131 N. Main Street was constructed in 1914 and operated for many years as White's Drug Store. In 1965, it became Parks Rexall Drug Store. The building was purchased by Tom Clark in 1984, and for the past 25 years, the building served as a retail outlet and museum for collectible figurines sold by Cairn Studios. The offerings included gnomes crafted by building owner and sculptor Tom Clark, a Davidson College religion professor from 1958 to 1985.
The new ‘Cats on Main features Davidson College clothing and souvenirs on the first floor of the store. The second floor has been maintained as a museum of Clark's gnomes.
In converting the building into a bookstore, the college tried to preserve many of the building's historical architectural features, said David Holthouser, director of Davidson's physical plant. The original lead glass transom window above the front door was uncovered and repaired, and the original tin ceiling, the old drug store soda counter, and several other pieces of original casework were preserved and reused. The structure has been freshly carpeted and painted inside and out, and merchandising racks and exterior signage have been installed.
The college's existing bookstore will continue to operate in the Alvarez College Union, where it has been located since that building opened in 2001. The Alvarez facility has 3,750 square feet of retail space, and the new shop has 1,500 square feet. Gwen Gardner, manager of the college bookstore, said, "We've been very happy with sales at the Alvarez Union bookstore, but ‘Cats on Main will make it easier for people visiting town to find us. We're hoping that the Main Street location will open up a whole new market for us."
‘Cats on Main features imprinted college clothing, glassware, and mugs. Gardner said the store may also explore other college-related services, such as ticket sales to college events and cookies and gift baskets from the college's Much Ado catering service.
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,800 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.