The State Street landscape is changing once again. The space that was once the former home of Ann Arbor mainstay Shaman Drum Bookshop will officially open today as Pitaya, a women’s clothing store that provides “stylish clothing at affordable prices,” according to owner Michael Mazor.
The Ann Arbor location is one of the company’s 16 stores and will take over the lower level on the south side of the Shaman Drum space, which was previously used for its bookshop but not for textbook sales. Mazor said he has been waiting for a spot to open up on State Street for years.
“Ann Arbor is perfect for what we do,” Mazor said. “The students are under-served and are going to appreciate what the store has to offer. I only wanted to be on this block and would have waited forever.”
Mazor signed the lease for the space in September and immediately began the process of turning the old bookshop into a clothing store.
The clothing and accessories in the store range from $12 T-shirts to $69 jeans. The merchandise is a mix of Pitaya brand clothing as well as other merchandise purchased for the store.
Mazor said he arranged all the items by color to try to make shopping easier for customers. He added that the company prides itself on having a new stock of merchandise available each week to vary the products for its customers.
“We keep almost no back stock,” he said.
LSA sophomore Kristine Haines said she thinks the new store will provide students with good clothes at a decent price.
“The prices are OK and everything downtown is pretty expensive,” she said. “But (the clothes) look cute and I’d probably go there.”
School of Art & Design junior Ariel Markowitz said the store fits well in the neighborhood.
“I maybe would stop in there. It looks similar to Poshh or one of the stores on East Liberty,” she said. “I think the price is definitely reasonable. The clothes are specific and target a certain group of people.”
Pitaya did not advertise the store’s opening, and Mazor said he is currently looking for employees and a store manager. He added that the company chooses the locations of the stores based on where the managers would also enjoy living.
Mazor said the store is named after a Guatemalan fruit that comes from a cactus. After returning from a trip to Guatemala, Mazor sold items he bought there and made back all the money that he spent on the trip. He did this multiple times before deciding to open up a store, and said he chose the name because it “had a nice ring to it.”
Mazor said he and other managers — who have been setting up the store since Tuesday — will remain in Ann Arbor until all the employees are hired and all the finishing touches are made to the store.