Ghost Town?

A brief thought for a busy Friday morning:

Every once in awhile, mainly on social media, I’ll see someone state that “downtown Fort Atkinson is a ghost town”, implying there are lots of empty buildings, etc. I even heard a comment about that this past Monday night, at the local candidate forum I participated in.

downtown fort atkinson

(Image of downtown Fort Atkinson, via

Just to get an exact idea of the reality of the situation, my wife and I counted empty storefronts on Main Street yesterday, between 3rd St and Sherman Ave. We counted a total of four empty storefronts on Main Street (one of which is the building where Bent Kettle has their tap room below street level). Yes, four total.

While there’s always some room for improvement, I’d say this makes the case that we’re doing pretty well overall in our downtown area. Any city is going to have some turnover in its downtown district. We’re definitely not immune from this.

If you’re a Fort Atkinson resident or a visitor, what do you think? Share your thoughts below!