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'Sip, Shop and Eat - Lewiston Style' returns this Saturday

by jmaloni
Fri, Feb 2nd 2024 10:05 am

Lewiston merchants and restaurateurs will team up on Saturday to present the fifth annual “Sip, Shop and Eat – Lewiston Style!” This year’s Valentine’s Day-themed event features a scavenger hunt wherein shoppers can enter to win the prize baskets shown in these photos. In addition, stores will have special deals available for customers.

NOTE: Organizers are pivoting from balloons at participating businesses to these window signs. Pink is for “Sip/Shop” while blue is for “Sip/Eat.”

(Photos courtesy of Donna Garfinkel and Kathy Pignatora)


Scenes from 'Sip, Shop and Eat - Lewiston Style'

The Lewiston Business Group teamed with the Upward Niagara Chamber of Commerce to present the fifth annual “Sip, Shop and Eat – Lewiston Style!” on Saturday. This year’s shopping/dining event was Valentine’s Day-themed, and offered patrons a scavenger hunt wherein they entered to win baskets filled with gift certificates and other locally sourced prizes.

Inspirations on Canvas owner/artist Kathy Pignatora is shown with her customers.

Her husband, Dr. Neil Pignatora, DC, provided free adjustments to patrons. He is shown here with their daughter, Olivia.

The store also offered cookies and beverages.

•Donna Garfinkel, pictured inside Sgt. Peppers Hot Sauces, Etc., organized the gift baskets – and had samples for guests.

Revamped New York partnered with Bella Rose Vineyard & Winery for a true “Sip/Shop” experience. Michaela Serafini, left, and Linsey Myers welcomed customers.

(Photos by Joshua Maloni)


Lewiston's 'Sip, Shop and Eat' has new date, new twist - same (shop) small business benefits

Lewiston Estates & Antiques owner Richie Pysz is discounting an entire jewelry case for "Sip, Shop and Eat - Lewiston Style!"

By Joshua Maloni

GM/Managing Editor

The fifth annual “Sip, Shop and Eat – Lewiston Style” is returning to its roots this year – and looking to reclaim its place as the River Region’s premier Valentine’s Day-themed event.

The “shop small” celebration – presented in March the past two years – will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, along Center Street in the Village of Lewiston.

As in years past, people are asked to visit locally owned stores – some of which will have a winery or brewery pop-up component – and then finish the day by having drinks or a meal at a restaurant.

“We've got a little twist to what we're doing this year by bringing back the theming of Valentine's Day, but also having it as like a scavenger hunt, rather than the punch cards that we've had in the past,” said organizer Kathy Pignatora, owner/artist at Inspirations on Canvas. “We thought this might be a fun way to get people to run around from store to store to find what each store is hiding as their scavenger items.”

Here's how the hunt works:

“We're requesting that you go to at least 10” participating retailers, Pignatora said.

These businesses will have a pink balloon.

“Each location will have kind of a secret item,” she said. “There's going to be a scavenger hunt item in the store and it'll be marked and indicated. You have to go find it, jot down the store name, and what the scavenger item was, per store.

“Mark those on the pages, and submit them to one of the restaurants that are participating.”

Those eateries will have a blue balloon.

“We're going to be drawing for some baskets from that point,” Pignatora said. Prizes will include gift certificates and other items unique to the donating merchant.

“It's a free event,” Pignatora stressed. “You don't have to go and spend any money. We just appreciate the folks coming out and visiting the shops, and just bringing some energy back in what's kind of a tough season for us small business owners, obviously in the winter months. And, honestly, the last few days have been pretty rough, because we finally got hit by that snow boom.

“Hopefully, the sun is shining that day. It may be 20 degrees, but you'll still come out and have some fun.”

Lewiston Estates & Antiques owner Richie Pysz is discounting an entire jewelry case for “Sip, Shop and Eat – Lewiston Style!”


This will be the first “Sip, Shop and Eat” for Richie Pysz, owner of Lewiston Estates & Antiques.

He opened last August at 621 Center St. – the Kelsey Tavern building that also features Century 21 and Giusiana Architects & Engineer.

“We have a variety of vendors, and we offer a great collection of vintage and antiques,” Pysz said. “We have a wide variety of jewelry. We do sell a lot of furniture, home décor, lamps and lighting. We do a lot of that.”

In his co-op, “there's about eight vendors here, and we all just offer a wide variety of merchandise pertaining to those things I listed,” Pysz said.

“Similar to The Country Doctor. I was with The Country Doctor, so that's kind of what we branched from, and then rebranded and renamed. We do have some of the same vendors from The Country Doctor,” including Linda Moscati and Rose Livingston.

Over the course of his first six months in business, “We've had a lot of amazing support from the community,” Pysz said. “Our customers love the store. Every time they come in, they comment about how nice and clean everything is, and how it's nicely organized and you can see everything well. They like the variety and the merchandise that we provide.”

In addition to the retail items, “We offer estate sales in the local Niagara Region,” Pysz said. “We've been doing great with those; we just had a couple last week.”

For those not familiar with estate sales, “If you are looking to liquidate a property, you would give us a call and we would come and let you know if there was an appropriate amount of stuff to run a sale; and then we would appropriately price your merchandise and have a three-day sale to liquidate your property – and hopefully get you the most money possible,” Pysz said.

For “Sip, Shop and Eat,” “We actually have an entire jewelry case that's going to be 50% off,” he noted. “And then we also will have Brickyard Brewing Company handing out free samples and selling their four-packs.”

The Brickyard Brewing Company will have cans of its Northern Neighbors available for purchase at “Sip, Shop and Eat – Lewiston Style!” (Photo courtesy of the BBC)


BBC and Brickyard Pub & BBQ Chief Operations Officer Steve Matthews said, “We are re-canning and releasing the commemorative RJ label – Mama’s Cookies – a sugar cookie IPA we did for the late, great Rick Jeanneret. This will most likely be the last batch we do this year, so it should sell out equally as quick. We will have four-packs available on site at Lewiston Estates & Antiques for the ‘Sip and Shop’!

“We will also be featuring our Canadian pilsner, Northern Neighbors, brewed from all Canadian malts and Rocky Mountain yeast.”

Pignatora said, “There’s a lot of people with some treats and something to drink. Come and welcome some of the new stores that are opening up on Center, and support shopping small again through some of our toughest months.”

At Inspirations on Canvas, she will discount all in-store items by 10% (excluding commissions and gift card purchases). Plus, her husband, Dr. Neal Pignatora, will provide free chiropractic consultations and $25 adjustments.

“Smell great” specialty boutique Trait-Carre will offer “10%-20% off storewide during the event, depending on the product type,” owner Matt Villnave said.

As chairman of the Upward Niagara Chamber of Commerce, Villnave has noticed, “One of the things that's nice about an event like ‘Sip, Shop and Eat’ is that it leverages the strength of our excellent and diverse dining options to benefit our retail businesses.

“As a largely seasonal tourism market, boutiques in Lewiston desperately need the business January through April, when little else is happening in the region to bring sidewalk traffic. We're a very small community, and small retail cannot survive on the support of locals alone. You need the influx from tourism, events and concerts.

“We have some really nice businesses here in Lewiston, but you do have to be creative and work together to get folks out of the warmth and coziness of their homes.

“At the chamber, we've embraced the mantra ‘Support Local Everything,’ because it's so critical to keep dollars local in an increasingly online culture.”

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