STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — “Magic. Absolutely Magic,” Marilyn McAllister described her time shopping at The Marketplace in downtown Sturgeon Bay.

The building formerly housed Younkers, which closed in 2018.

“They did such a great job with this place and it’s magic,” McAllister said. “It’s just what we need at this time with the pandemic and everything.”

In fact, the pandemic almost pushed back the store’s opening.

“Kelt and I had a brief conversation about pulling the plug on this and waiting until after all this passes,” Owner Todd Trimberger told Local 5, “and we were just like, ‘no, let’s give the community and give everybody something positive to focus on,’ and that’s what we did.”

Trimberger’s store, Bliss had previously been open on Sturgeon Bay’s Jefferson Street.

“Friends kept saying ‘you and Kelton [Trimberger’s husband] should buy that building,’ and I said no, it’s way too big,” he told Local 5.

However, the building’s central location in downtown Sturgeon Bay eventually lead the Bliss team to look into it.

“The universe never put up a roadblock,” Trimberger said of the process.

Bliss is now the anchor store in The Marketplace, which will eventually feature several small businesses.

Currently, three shops including Bliss are tenants.

“Think of a department store where every department is their own point of sale,” Trimberger explained.

That idea began taking shape over months of renovations to the building.

“We tried to balance between the nostalgia of the 1935 department store and some contemporary flavors as well,” Trimberger said.

“It’s so fun to be back in here,” McAllister said of the buildign. “It was the place to go, so yes, it’s nice to have it back.”

The Marketplace opened Friday, November 20th, in time for the holiday shopping season.

Trimberger said he’s anticipating a busy weekend for shopping in the days following Thanksgiving.

“Everybody’s just excited to see the new space and see all that’s been created and they remember the store like it was,” he said.

Some, like McAllister couldn’t wait for the weekend to start their shopping.

“I loved every minute of it,” she said Tuesday afternoon. “This is the third time I’ve been back since they opened.”

The Marketplace is located at 53 N. 3rd Avenue in downtown Sturgeon Bay.

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