One will be a bicycle rental & sales place and one will be an ‘internet cafe’.
The second entity anywhere else consist of coffee, desserts, pastries and sometimes more involved foods served while a group of patrons are using computers along a wall or on tables that have access to the Internet.
They exist in tourist destinations all over the world and are great for a visitor to download their day’s pictures and getting caught up on their email or necessary online tasks like banking or paying bills. The computer use is by minutes or by quarter-hour segments. This is certainly no threat to locals who will go to the library and have free access to the Internet. The location between the downtown and the Chamber offices and boardwalk is ideal.
My only concern is them leaching away business from our beloved Plum Island Coffee Roasters.
I put in quotations internet cafe because my definition of one doesn’t seem to be the same as what seems to pass as one here in Newburyport. We had one a few years back behind Storey Avenue on Low Street but it was a fraud. We don’t need yet another coffee shop and we don’t need computer lessons or computer sales or what ever else will be passed off as a real internet cafe.
The bicycle rental will work but only if they are aggressive in promoting it. (Tourists tend to be lazy and if it is too hard to find the place, or too complicated to rent a bike, they won’t bother.) I don’t want to beat a dead horse but a place like this will really take off if we have multi-day visitors. I feel bad for this business owner if the business plan relies on the Chamber or the City promoting extended-stay guests.
On these places? Keep your fingers crossed and wish ‘em good luck!