Ladies Night Out in Berkley to welcome guests with COVID guidelines

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published July 21, 2020

BERKLEY — While many cities have had to cancel events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Berkley will be going ahead with one to help promote its downtown businesses.

The Downtown Development Authority will be hosting its Ladies Night Out event over the course of three nights, from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 23, to Saturday, July 25. The event features businesses in downtown Berkley staying open late for visitors and customers, with some also offering special deals and discounts.

DDA Director Jennifer Finney said the decision to stretch out the event was to help with crowd control, as Ladies Night Out typically draws hundreds of women into the downtown.

“Given the pandemic, we would love to draw in that to help support our businesses, but it’s a little bit unsafe,” she said. “By having it three separate nights, we’ll know that’ll kind of thin out the crowd per night, but it’ll give ladies the chance to pick and choose what day they want to come into downtown Berkley to help support our businesses.”

An even bigger change to the event, Finney said, is the DDA is encouraging businesses to sell their goods outside. She noted that the city will be closing certain side streets to allow businesses more space to sell.

“While we’re not saying eventgoers can’t go inside a business, I know some people are a little cautious with the pandemic going on, which is why we’ve encouraged outdoor selling, but of course if … they do want to go into one of the stores, they obviously are free to do that,” she said. “We just ask they take all the safety precautions that business has in place.”

Those safety precautions include wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer and practicing social distancing. The city also is asking attendees not to be overly touchy with the merchandise being sold.

Susan Rogal, owner of Vitrine Gallery and Gifts, said her business is participating in the event in hopes it can make back some of the profits it lost during its two-month shutdown earlier this year.

“It’s a full-court press over here. We’ve planned to succeed,” she said. “First we have a collaboration with two other stores that are on Coolidge.  … The three of us had an art design made with the shops on Coolidge … we had a tote bag made and if you shop on Coolidge, you’re gonna get that Berkley bag that night. I think it’s a $25 qualifier, and there’s some crossover coupons in each bag.”

Robyn Coden, owner of Sum Girls Boutique, hopes Ladies Night Out will be a great opportunity for everyone to do something fun at night again.

“We haven’t done that since before COVID started,” she said. “I’m excited to have a nighttime event. I’m hoping that some of our older people that have been with us since the very beginning, I’m hoping that they show up. I’d love to see some new faces, because it’s such a great opportunity for us to plant seeds.”

For more information on the event and participating businesses, visit berkleymich.org/ladiesnightout.