In the eight years since has opened has been open, the owners have had joys and concerns.
They joyfully have found their niche, with return customers and new customers that find their storefront everyday. But in their success – a business with staying power in downtown Joliet – they have seen other businesses fail.
“We have a lot of loyal business,” Gina Duffy, co-owner said. “On the downside, we’ve seen a lot of businesses open and close.”
Jitters is owned by Duffy and her sister, Toni Dactilidis, but the family association doesn’t end there. Mary Ann Dactilidis is the face that greets you when you walk through the door.
Like any family-owned, downtown business, Jitters has had to roll with the punches of customer needs and the atmosphere around the store. For example, although they are currently open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., with additional hours between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. for drinks only, the store will have expanded hours soon.
We will open an hour early when the (Drew Peterson) trial starts,” Duffy said. “We will be opening at 6 a.m.”
The trial begins July 23.
The store also expands its hours when there are large events downtown.
Recently, the store has relaunched open mic nights on the last Friday of the month. Jitters has hosted open mic nights before, but the downtown area was suffering a crime wave, so the store stopped for a while.
They had their first new open mic night in June.
“It was a great big success, a great turnout,” Duffy said.
Any act is welcome — music, poetry, etc. And, musicians need not worry about bringing amps or microphones — the store has them on hand. Duffy encourages performers as well as those who just want to watch the performers.
“There’s no cover, just a one drink minimum,” Duffy said of the events.