Put this one on your list of things you thought you’d never see in Davidson: Credit cards at The Soda Shop. More on that shocking news, plus a report about what that video crew was doing downtown Thursday and the secret behind all the holiday greenery outside local shops this week.
CREDIT CARDS AT THE SODA SHOP
Yes, that sign outside The Soda Shop on Main Street this week is accurate: They now take credit cards. I tried it out Thursday and I’m happy to report it’s for real.
How many people have found out the hard way over the past few decades that it’s cash or nothing at the quaint and popular eatery?
Owner Deborah Caudle, who has been trying to shake things up at the restaurant over the past year or so, says she finally bowed to the inevitable about a week and a half ago.
“I’ve had people trained for 20 years to bring cash,” she joked on Thursday. She even installed an ATM in the front of the shop to help. She held out for so long because of the hefty fees that merchants pay to accept credit cards – tens of thousands of dollars a year in her case, she said.
But the cash-only policy was a problem for some customers. “People would come in and order and then find out that we didn’t accept credit cards, and they couldn’t pay. They’d get embarrassed,” she said. “I finally just had to give in.”
How much pent up demand was there? In just 1 1/2 weeks, her sales went from 0 using cards to two-thirds on plastic. Wow.
But cash won’t disappear from the till. “Heaven forbid the satellite should go out,” she said. “But we’ll always take cash.”
Those of us who’ve all but given up on cash thank you, Deborah.
SOAKING UP OUR SMALL TOWN CHARM
Davidson oozes “small town,” and has become a favorite pick of creative directors and producers for advertising and TV shoots. On Thursday, with downtown all dressed up for Christmas in Davidson, a Charlotte ad agency spent a morning in town shooting a commercial for a new line of baby strollers.
We ran into Thom Blackburn of Limerick Studios of Charlotte as he lunched with local musician Rusty Knox out behind Toast Cafe. He told us the weather was perfect and Davidson had “just the right feel” for a commercial for Bob’s Strollers.
Actors including a baby filmed several scenes on downtown sidewalks and at Toast. After lunch, they headed off for some action shots at Cornelius’s Jetton Park with the strollers that are aimed at active parents.
GREENERY ON MAIN STREET
As you stroll up and down Main Street this weekend during the 25th annual Christmas in Davidson and the 30th annual North Mecklenburg Christmas parade, look up on the walls of the buildings. You’ll see hanging baskets of greens, adorned with red ribbons and other seasonal decorations.
Pam Grant called Thursday hoping we’d take note of how that happens every year. Those baskets – dozens of them – are assembled by an army of volunteers from the Davidson Garden Club. She said the team was at Ada Jenkins Center Wednesday to put them together, in just three hours.
The baskets use local greens, including many supplied by Davidson College.
Life in Davidson is an occasional feature on DavidsonNews.net. Send tips or fully-written items to editor David Boraks, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nov. 28, 2012, Dining News column, “Carrburritos hiring for January opening” – an update on the new Mexican tacqueria coming to South Main Street.