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Arlington is keeping the 'Main Street U.S.A.' spirit alive and well

Olympic Avenue is lined with small, locally-owned businesses.

ARLINGTON, Washington — Arlington's main street, Olympic Avenue, is worth a visit. The street is quintessential Main Street U.S.A. and runs directly through the heart of downtown.

At Moe's on Olympic, customers can order coffee to go – but most choose to stay a while.

"Community, gathering, laughing, homework, being with your friends… it represents all of that," said owner Kaitlyn Davis.

The coffee bar is one of the town’s newer establishments, but it follows the same model as other longtime mom-and-pop shops on the block.

"You feel at home when you come down here,” Davis said. “We know most of our customer's names and vice versa."

Generations of customers have known the name 'George,' when it comes to fresh flowers.

Flowers by George was founded in 1968 and more than half a century later, George Boulton's family still runs the store - hand-crafting floral arrangements and featuring gift items made by other family businesses.

"My mom's the first one to greet people as they come through the front door, she comes to work every day, at 84 years old,” said owner David Boulton. "It's the heartbeat of America, these small towns."

Arlington is also home to a shop so unusual, it's the only one of its kind in the country: Perfectly Knotty.

"It's the only known allergy-conscious yarn shop in the United States,” said owner Suzi Quillen.

Shelves are stacked with unexpected yarn fibers like alpaca, llama, and silk. But Quillen said it's the experience that really sets her place - and Arlington - apart.

"If I don't know somebody that's coming in, I'm going to greet them and I'm going to find out who they are,” she said. "You can go in and out of every shop, and you're going to find something that's unique and interesting and you're going to get greeted like a neighbor." 

Another shop worth visiting is Arlington Hardware and Lumber. It's been up and running for more than 115 years. They've been busy this winter selling plenty of shovels, sleds, and salt. 

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