Pretzelmaker to move to Downtown Springfield

With the closing of the Upper Valley Mall, local favorite Pretzelmaker has made plans to relocate to a prime spot in Downtown Springfield.

The franchised business will be making the move to North Fountain Avenue, and store manager Mandi Perrin couldn’t be happier.

When the announcement came recently that the mall would be closing its doors, after steadily losing business tenants for years, Perrin says she “sprung into action.”

Perrin reached out to the owner – Jong Suk Sohn, a CPA located in San Francisco – to ask permission to start seeking a new home for the pretzel shop.

After working with the Clark County Land Bank, The Turner Foundation, and Dillin Property Group, Pretzelmaker was able to lock into the Downtown space that sits directly next to Winan’s Coffee & Chocolates.

“The Land Bank was key in helping to find a new location. We looked at a couple different places, but I really kept the focus on Downtown,” Perrin says. “I see all the work that’s going into Downtown, and I see the vision they have for it. It was a no-brainer to move there, and I really want to go in focusing on building up.

“I knew then and I know now that we are going to thrive Downtown.”

Perrin, a Springfield native, has worked for the Springfield Pretzelmaker location for four years. She says the was able to pitch to move to the owner because of the consistent profits and loyal customer base the business has built.

“We have some of the best customers. They’re really loyal, and they come in all the time,” Perrin says. “If it wasn’t for our customers, we might not be able to be relocating.”

Perrin says Sohn also offered to keep on any employees who wanted to stay through the transition. Because of personal scheduling, Perrin was the only employee who chose to stay, and she says she’s excited to hire another seven to 10 people for when the shop gets up and running.

The space will soon start to be built out to fit Pretzelmaker’s needs, says Pat Williams, a listing agent for Dillin Property Group. He estimates it will be complete in the next 90 to 120 days, with plans for the shop to open its door this fall.

The new location will include space for about 20 dine-in customers, and Perrin says she saved the Pretzelmaker sign that used to hang in the mall to bring some nostalgia to the new space.

Though customers will have a new location to visit, Perrin says the shop will offer the same food and drink menu items people have come to know and love.

One menu change customers will see, however, is the addition of frozen yogurt. Details aren’t yet available on flavors or toppings, but Perrin says she thinks the addition will be a win.

The location Pretzelmaker will fill is one of two adjacent spots in the building owned by the Turner Foundation.

Williams says they’re looking to fill the other space with a tenant that can offer something unique to Downtown, for example some kind old-fashioned ice cream parlor or a specialty retail shop, such as a store for running shoes.

“The Turner Foundation will be the ones to approve whatever concept goes in that space, and they’re looking for a specific, unique tenant to drive even more traffic to the area,” he says, adding that business owners are always welcome to reach out and propose ideas.  

Read more articles by Natalie Driscoll.