A tasty A'Faire in Adams Square

Josh Kleinbaum

Saro Tomasian is confident in his food. Three months after opening

the Philly Cheese Steak and Pizza House in Adams Square, Tomasian

already has a loyal base of customers. He just needs to expand on


"I'm just trying to get my food out there so they can taste it,"

Tomasian said. "I'm sure they'll be back once they taste it."

Tomasian will get plenty of exposure Saturday, when his cheese

steaks will be for sale at the Fifth Annual Adams Square Summer

A'Faire. More than 4,000 potential customers are expected at the

fair, which showcases Adams Square stores.

"It's brought our neighborhood closer together, our community

closer," said Carol Cianfrini, a board member for the Adams Square

Merchants Assn. "We hope that the merchants in the square notice that

we're trying to bring more people down here to draw more attention to

the area."

The 1100 block of South Adams Street will be closed for the fair,

which runs from 3 to 10 p.m. Four bands will play live music, four

restaurants will sell food, vendors and merchants' association

members will have booths set up, and rides will be available for


The fair is the marquee event thrown by the merchants'

association, and it comes just weeks before the City Council is

expected to form a business improvement district there. Only 12 of 50

merchants in the area participate in the association, but a business

improvement district would force all 50 to participate by

contributing $300 each year. Some merchants have protested a

mandatory fee.

Cianfrini and other proponents of the business district have said

the participation is necessary to throw successful events like the

Summer A'Faire, and the events benefit all of the area merchants.

Tomasian is hoping that proves true.

"It's our first time [at the fair], so I'm not really sure how

it's going to help," Tomasian said.

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