The following is a republished press release from the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and NOT written by The Ithaca Voice.  Click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact me at

Three different types of businesses —  a coin shop, women’s clothing store and escape room — have opened recently in downtown and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, City Mayor Svante Myrick and other prominent members of the community are planning to welcome each of them with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Downtown Ithaca’s ribbon cuttings are free and open to the public and members of the press.

The first ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. at Cayuga Coins and will be immediately followed by ceremonies at Willow and Escape Ithaca.

From left, store owner Bob Lisk and his assistant Frank Anderson of Cayuga Coins.
From left, store owner Bob Lisk and his assistant Frank Anderson of Cayuga Coins.

Cayuga Coins, formerly known as Harold’s Coins, is located on the ground floor of the Dewitt Mall, near Moosewood Restaurant.

Trumansburg resident Bob Lisk, a long-time antique dealer, took over the site and created the business this past summer after the sudden passing of Harold’s Coins owner Harold Benjamin Jr.  He was Lisk’s friend.

“Harold was a mentor to me. He was an honest and good business man,” Lisk said. “It’s an honor for me to continue his type of business and his legacy.”

At Cayuga Coins, visitors can buy from the ever-changing collection of stamps, coins, notes, postcards and covers, and philatelic supplies and they can sell their collections, too.

For more information about Cayuga Coins, call (607) 277-3301.

Willow, a women’s clothing boutique, is the site for the day’s second ceremony.  The store, located on W. State Street, sells trendy and basic fashions — many of them dedicated to social good whether it is American made, fair trade, or eco-friendly. A variety of scented lotions along with jewelry and other accessories are also available.

During the ceremony, guests will meet store owner Laura Bishop who has a degree in fashion marketing from the Art Institute of Philadelphia and 10 years of retail experience, including four years of managing a store in Cortland.


As part of Willow’s grand opening celebration, customers will receive a special gift with purchase from December 7 through December 10.

For additional information about Willow, call the store at (607) 319-4935.  You can also follow Willow on Facebook and Instagram @willowIthaca.

The series of ceremonies will conclude at downtown’s latest entertainment hotspot, Escape Ithaca.

This two-room establishment, which opened in late October, is the city’s first interactive, immersive puzzle game. Filled with riddles, gadgets, and mind tricks, the mysteries behind Escape’s doors will challenge guests and their teammates to 60 minutes of isolation where problem-solving, creativity and resourcefulness are the only skills that will set them free.

Escape Ithaca’s mission is to create educational experiences that foster creativity, team building, and human ingenuity. The entire theme, display, and experience at Escape will be designed for a unique educational experience — packaged in an entertaining format, said owner Ray Weaver.

What’s interesting about this concept is that a new puzzle is developed every three to six months, so guests may never experience the same adventure twice.

The current puzzle is the Sorcerer’s Study where guests must complete a series of puzzling task to retrieve a magical wand. This room is available until December 3.

Weaver will unveil the newest adventure, Escape the Abominable Snowman, during the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Additional information about Escape Ithaca can be found at

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.