Since the website launched in January, we here at the Menu have provided you with a look at openings and closings around town, and some community events. One thing we seemed to have forgotten in our quest to bring you the very latest is the happenings in our own Historic District. While Arbor Place has the chain stores, Hwy 5, Chapel Hill, Fairburn have the big box stores sprinkled with some locally run businesses, the Downtown Area embodies everything about “Shop Local” in our great city. As with Arbor Place, from time to time as it is necessary we will take a look at Downtown Douglasville, the beacon of locally owned and that special weekend trip for that one of a kind meal. What’s new, what’s gone and what’s to come.
What’s New/Updated: We will travel back a year or so to bring you what has opened in Downtown. Some places you might already know, and some might have been a secret. We’ll start with the opening of a truly needed shop Downtown. The historic district lacked a good local coffee option, and a good place to get your morning joe while reading the paper and relaxing. Over the holidays, Cabin Fever Roasters opened to much fanfare and excitement. Along with coffee, they have great breakfast and lunch options including bagels for breakfasts and unique sandwiches for lunch and dinner. Live music also fills the halls making it another location to enjoy local bands and talent.
Looking for a great art piece or personal gift? Two new places opened to fit your needs, with Tuoia next to Station Loft Works, and Something More than Ordinary next to Cabin Fever Roasters. Handcrafted trinkets and galleries of local artist await you at both locations.
One of Downtown’s most innovative developments opened in the past few years, some might not be aware of what it is. In an old car dealership, in a block of downtown that sat nearly vacant for years; Station Loft Works brings together an eclectic group of local business owners together under one roof. From bankers, to construction, to web design, Station Loft works has been recognized by numerous business associations as one of Georgia’s leading innovative re developments. Other cities in Georgia have looked to Douglasville and Station Loft Works for the example of how to redevelop Main Street without knocking down its history.
On the eastern block of Broad St towards Campbellton St tucked away is Tamika Bell’s Salon. A new option for those who want to pamper themselves, or pamper a loved one with facials, hair, nail and a place to get away for the day and just relax. On Church St, a new Farmers Insurance branch has opened in a former bail bondsman office.
Several Businesses have updated their looks over the last year. Celebrating almost a year, Irish Bred Pub of Douglasville opened their new balcony overlooking O’Neal Plaza for their St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Of course they plan on celebrating again this year and turning it up a notch! Another staple of Downtown just recently finished a minor renovation to their seating area. Gumbeaux’s Cajun Cafe which some would describe as the Weekend destination for downtown added seating to the waiting area allowing those who literally line the block to try that cajun cuisine a chance to wait comfortably. For the history seekers, The Douglas County Old Courthouse Museum is hard at work collecting and displaying old artifacts from Douglas County’s past to tell our history. Make sure to visit to see what story might be told to you.
What’s Gone: Sadly as with the mall, even local staples can’t last forever. One of the most shocking closings happened in the early morning hours last year as resident’s woke to find Town and County Fabrics and Upholstery destroyed by fire. A long time business in Hiram with clients here in Douglasville, the building that housed Town and Country still sits boarded up, waiting on fire investigations to finish. Not much is known about the cause of the fire, or whether the building will be able to be salvaged.
A Japanese Steak house, turned Mexican restaurant, turned Steaks and Chicken, turned into the Sweet Beignet Cafe. It was a short lasting local breakfast and lunch option that had a Louisiana flare to it. Sadly one day without warning it was gone.
As we reported in January, a local business that had been in downtown for decades closed their doors without much notice. The Medicine Shoppe on Church St feeling the pinch from larger national pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens closed and has redirected their customers to the Rite Aid on Chapel Hill Rd and Stewart Mill Rd.
What’s to Come!: In the last few months, the largest and most anticipated opening in Downtown will be that of Gabe’s Douglasville location. Gabe’s Downtown original location in Villa Rica is a huge success. The owners hope to replicate that success in Douglasville, reconstructing an old bail bondsman center, with the new parking deck right next to it. Late word this week that the opening has been pushed back to April. When we get an opening date we will let you know.
Also reported last week, the new Streetscape project by the city will create a new front door to O’Neal plaza and the welcome center. The project in conjunction with the Hwy 92 relocation project seeks to close the Campbellton St crossing at Broad St, a new streetscape from there to McCarley St, with a new lighted crossing in front of the welcome center and O’Neal Plaza. The project is in the design phase at the time and construction is set to start early in 2016.
And of course, if and when we hear of a new project for downtown we will let you know. A huge shout out to Main Street Douglasville for attracting new, exciting local businesses and hosting exciting local events. A big shout out to the city as well for getting Downtown to become more than just a government complex, but a destination for people across Douglas County. We can’t wait to see what else they have in store.
For a look at the gallery of new places highlighted in this story with links to their facebook pages: Click Here