Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shopping -- Jake's Playhouse Opens in New Hope PA

Jake's Playhouse has taken the former Hot Plates retail space and opened its doors to the public.

I'd passed the storefront a few times, trying to discern what a picture of a dog named "Jake" and "fun for the whole family" adds up to, but the windows and signage aren't clear. So I decided to wander in.

It's an attractive, well-organized space filled with children's puzzles and board games, dog treats, and t-shirts and baseball caps with stick figures saying things like "life is good."

The owners already operate two stores in Lake Placid, NY; one called Jake Placid Doghouse and the other A Placid Life, which says it's "what's called a Life is good® Genuine Neighborhood Shoppe."

Never mind that New Hope PA already has a dog store called "Jake's" (Jake and Elwood's House of Chews is located at 122 S. Main Street), lots of t-shirts, and a "playhouse". Apparently, for this new "neighborhood shoppe", what's good in Lake Placid must be good for New Hope.

The store itself is spacious, well-lit, flows well, and the products appear to be of high-quality. Sales help was excellent, as it was at its predecessor.

I bought a yard-long beef chew stick for my dog for $3.00 (the dog was thrilled, BTW).

I hope the store resolves its identity crisis and does well. It's located on Main Street near Ferry Street in New Hope PA; my efforts online to find an exact address, phone number or contact proved fruitless.

Maybe they will fit in New Hope after all...


  1. Hi There!

    Thanks so much for stopping in and giving us a chance to make an impression, and for sharing your experience with others. As the new kids on the block, it's great to know folks are willing to give us a chance.

    We're pleased that you had a good customer experience, and have, ourselves, struggled a bit with identity in these, our first 3 weeks of being open. The great news is that the community (Borough, business owners, and residents alike) has been very welcoming, and we've had a lot of great feedback from the folks who've taken the time to come on in and give us a spin. We've been listening closely, and making adjustments based on every interaction.

    To address our self-acknowledged identity crisis, we've spent the last few days rearranging the store to better showcase the diversity of fun we do bring to New Hope shoppers. We've also received HARB approval for our sign, and should have that up in the next couple of weeks. We're vigorously making sure our online presence reflects our desire to drop roots. You can find us on Facebook (Jake's Playhouse) on the web ( and hopefully our Yahoo, Google, Yelp, and other online listings will begin to work their way into search results soon enough.

    Not a dog store, nor a Life is good Genuine Neighborhood Shoppe, as you've mentioned our other stores are, our concept in New Hope was to take the best of both of those worlds, fold in some other products (toys & games) that would help gather families and friends together for fun, and fill a void we've seen as New Hope shoppers over the years - a family shopping experience for families of all kinds.

    Jake, our Chief Marketing Officer, and the dog you see in our brandmark, is an integral part of our business. A 5 year-old Wire Hair Fox Terrier, he's our only "kid" and he has helped define the direction of our business through his love for all things fun and family-oriented. He's often in the store, and welcomes kids and dogs to come in and play.

    We're open daily from 11am to 7pm, with extended hours as the holidays approach. We'd love to see folks come on in and see what we're all about, and tell us how we're doing.

    Though we know Hot Plates is sorely missed after the Popkins retired from retail last month to move into their next life adventure, (we were big Hot Plates fans too!) we hope that we will make a similar impression, and have similar longevity in New Hope.

    Again, thanks for the spotlight!


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  3. Hi there,

    Funny thing...I actually saw that you posted my blog comment to Facebook within seconds of my posting a comment there (I wasn't sure if you accepted comments on your blog directly), and I pulled mine down so as not to be redundant.

    Here's our pertinent contact info:

    Jake's Playhouse
    40 South Main Street
    New Hope, PA 18938

    phone: 215.862.2067
    Facebook: search Jake's Playhouse

    We're physically located at the corner of South Main and Ferry Streets, adjacent to Farley's bookstore, and diagonally across from the Logan Inn. We're in front of Martine's Waterfront Restaurant, and the famous Hot Plates duck food IS still for sale by the building owners on the Ferry Street side of the building.

    Again, thanks for coming by. We hope you'll be back!