Backstreet Betty's is back, larger than ever, at new location

Betty True, owner of Backstreet Betty's, is already enjoying her new location on Frazier Avenue. Easily accessible from the sidewalk, the long-time business owners place is the first location where customers can window shop for her wares.
photo True wasn't happy to leave her longtime neighbors on Market and Broad streets behind, but the opportunity to be more visible to the local community was something she said she couldn't pass up.

The North Shore is welcoming a longstanding member of the downtown district to its growing boutique scene. Backstreet Betty's, run by Betty True for almost 13 years in Jack's Alley near Panera, made the move several weeks ago after dwindling foot traffic and sales forced her to consider a change.

"This is the first time in 12 and a half years that I'm visible on the street," said True, who has moved into the storefront at 111 Frazier Ave.

Her boutique was one of the first in the 400 block of Market and Broad streets, and has been a favorite of locals for years. But when bike lanes were installed by her shop, True said the number of people who walked in was drastically reduced.

"I can't speak for everyone, of course, but I imagine it affected everyone else in the same way," she said of the bike lanes, which made an already-tight squeeze for cars and pedestrians even tighter. True said she has seen one of the city's electric shuttles hit a parked car because of the limited space.

With less local foot traffic, she had to appeal more to tourists, which subtly changed what she offered in her shop.

"There were some things over the years I stopped carrying that are a little pricier and less mainstream," said True.

With her streetside location, prospective customers can now window shop at her boutique, and a bonus for True is that for the first time in nearly 13 years, she doesn't have to pay to park.

"I'm really excited to be able to offer more trendy pieces. I can't wait to bring some new things in," she said.

True said she got a warm reception from the other stores on Frazier, such as River City Apparel and Blue Skies, and her new location should provide new opportunities to which she is looking forward.

"I've already gone to the first Northshore Merchants Collective meeting, and I think we all have some fun ideas," said True. "It feels good to be so busy after two years of no busy."

For more information, contact Backstreet Betty's at 803-9858.

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