The plan was to relocate the scattered shops in the district to a central location along what is now known as Duke of Gloucester Street, between William & Mary and the Historic Area. Merchants Square was designed to incorporate the many perspectives that helped shape the British Colonial and early American landscape, mixing the designs of American architects, such as Thomas Jefferson, with the building influences of Caribbean warehouses.
Today, Merchants Square boasts more than 40 shops and restaurants. Both locals and visitors flock to Merchants Square for the one-of-a-kind shopping, dining, special events or just for a scenic stroll along the bricks.
Take a retail adventure into the mix of nostalgic shops and chic boutiques at Merchants Square. This historic retail village showcases posh apparel and fashions from distinguished designers. The square also houses jewelry stores, colonial-inspired souvenir shops, a classic candy store and William & Mary campus store. Specialty shops include cooking and kitchen supplies, and fine houseware items to transform your home into a swanky abode.
The restaurants within Merchants Square range from upscale eateries to quaint cafés and pub fare. Local restaurants entice visitors with a wide range of rich and savory entrées for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Most restaurants even have seating on an outdoor patio so you can take in the sights and sounds of the charming square, and even eat with your pet.
Merchants Square, and the businesses within it, host a number of events during the week. Local restaurants offer tastings, live music and more throughout the year. You can find even more live entertainment right in the center of Merchants Square.
From April through November, Merchants Square hosts a weekly farmers market every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. At the farmers market, you are sure to walk away with the best in locally sourced vegetables and seafood, pasture-raised meats, fresh bread, homemade pastries, eggs and more. You can also purchase cut flowers, handmade soaps and potted plants. Williamsburg Farmers Market also holds themed markets where you can browse seasonal goods. When you aren’t shopping, watch chef demonstrations and enjoy the live music that fills the open-air market.
Along with shopping, dining and live entertainment, take time to catch a movie or performance at the historic Kimball Theatre. The theatre dates back to 1933 and still maintains the classic colonial architecture and beautifully crafted design. Kimball Theatre hosts indie and classic films, live plays, as well as dance and musical performances.
With so much to see and do while in Merchants Square, it’s worth spending the whole day!