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Businesses on Baltimore Credit: Megan Falls

Students who may have spent a little too much money over fall break need not worry about where to look for inexpensive Thursday evening entertainment — Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll is back.

The event, which originated this summer with three strolls, will feature $1 specials from 14 merchants on Baltimore Avenue, from 42nd to 50th streets. The specials, available from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, will range from yoga classes at Studio 34 Healing Arts to a discount scoop of ice cream at Milk & Honey Market.

Lori Brennan, senior director of marketing and communications for the University City District, which puts on the event, explained that one of the main benefits to the summer stroll was exposure. She described the occasion as drawing both local residents as well as “outsiders.”

Both UCD and shop owners hope to increase traffic from residents and remind them of the merchants on Baltimore Avenue. “We want to encourage locals to shop and dine on the Avenue to get to know the kinds of stores and restaurants that are generally within walking distance,” Brennan said.

In addition to the people who live in the area, the event is intended for people who may not have been to the neighborhood before. Brennan said some people came to the summer strolls who had clearly never been to Baltimore Avenue and “were trying to get their bearings.”

However, she said, the newcomers were often “surprised and delighted when they got to experience all these wonderful ethnic restaurants and cute little shops.”

Emily Dorn, co-owner of gift store VIX Emporium, said that after participating in the summer strolls she has seen more “repeat customers.”

Dorn, who describes her main customer base as locals and students, appreciated the increase in traffic that followed the summer events. Located on the 5000 block of Baltimore Avenue, VIX Emporium is “slightly past what people are calling University City,” Dorn said. “It’s nice to encourage people to come out.”

UCD officials and store owners were interested in knowing whether or not customers who were introduced to the stores over the summer would continue to frequent them. Brennan said she and her colleagues asked store owners to track customers, and many of them have “recognized the folks returning.”

Both Dorn and Brennan expressed excitement over the prospect of having school back in session for Thursday’s event. “Students are definitely one of the primary target audiences,” Brennan said. “We’re fortunate that they are here.”

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