First Friday in Downtown West Chester

By: Connor Showalter

Daily Local News

First Friday, held the first Friday of every month, is a chance to experience West Chester’s unique shops and boutiques. Lots of businesses extend their hours until at least 8 p.m.

  1. Stores will be open late!
  2. Every shop is fully stocked with great selections you won’t find anywhere else.
  3. Meet new friends.
  4. You can take your time to relax and browse.
  5. Most shops will be offering refreshments and specials.
  6. It’s Friday night–the best time for some serious shopping therapy!

For a list of First Friday stores, go to

“Downtown reinvents itself every single month and First Friday is a great time to see what’s new and interesting in the shopping and retail part of it,” said Malcolm Johnstone, executive director of the West Chester Business Improvement District.

On First Fridays, retail shops will often have new items on display and will entice shoppers with refreshments and sales. Johnstone said that the event encourages consumers to participate in some shopping, but he also stated the area’s 75 retail stores form what he describes as a “browser’s paradise.”

“Most of the stores, if not all, are home-owned,” Johnstone said. “So when you’re supporting downtown shops, you’re also supporting your neighbor and that’s what downtown West Chester is about.”

The event is presented by the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce and it will create an entertaining atmosphere for the community to enjoy the night out in the borough.

“It’s a great night in that we got a few different events going on and the town’s being promoted,” said Katie Walker, president of the chamber. “The retailers in town do a really great job of promoting First Friday.

There are currently 58 restaurants in the downtown area, and according to Johnstone, the numbers will continue to increase. By the year’s end, he anticipates several new developments to open for business such as Piatto di Pasta (134 E. Gay St.) and Sarconi’s Deli (230 W. Market St.), as well as a market for local farmers and a hookah bar.

“I think that a person can think of downtown West Chester as a giant food court in a historic district,” Johnstone said. “There is enough diversity in the downtown area to satisfy anybody’s taste, whether they’re vegetarian or just looking for a little bit of entertainment.”