Good news in downtown SuffolkPublished 8:49pm Tuesday, September 3, 2013
It still might be too soon to declare complete success in the city’s effort to restore its downtown core, but a spate of good news there has city officials and downtown proprietors feeling optimistic about the state of things in this important area of Suffolk.
Three different businesses celebrated their grand openings on Saturday with ribbon-cutting ceremonies, special offers, giveaways and generally high spirits, and some existing businesses joined the celebration by offering their congratulations and well wishes.
Simply Susan’s Bakery and Café, Serendipity Hair Salon and All About Virginia & More all opened their doors to customers Saturday morning following the ceremonies and welcomed a steady stream of customers eager to see and sample their wares.
The festivities served as photo opportunities for some of Suffolk’s elected officials eager to be seen congratulating and thanking entrepreneurs for taking a chance on downtown Suffolk. But they were also emblematic of what one hopes is a turning point for an area that has seen too many unfortunate departures and too few hopeful openings during the past couple of decades.
The new businesses add even more variety to an eclectic assortment of retailers, professionals, service providers and restaurants catering to a diverse clientele. And that customer base is expected to continue growing with the planned renovation of several buildings on West Washington Street.
The Monument Companies, a group that already has renovated several historic Suffolk buildings, converting them into high-end apartments and lofts, plans to build about 68 loft apartments in the second floor of most of the vacant buildings along the south side of West Washington Street. The lower floors will then be used for more retail or professional spaces.
An influx of new downtown residents can only help the new and existing businesses downtown continue to thrive. And the word-of-mouth advertising of those satisfied customers can be expected to bring folks downtown who might have avoided it in the past.
The folks at C3 Vino, located at the corner of Washington and Main streets, have been inveterate cheerleaders for the downtown area since moving in a little more than a year ago. On Tuesday, they were true to form, posting the following on their Facebook page: “BAM!!!! Downtown Suffolk is on the move with 3 GRAND OPENING’S TODAY! Welcome to all of you!”
We could hardly say it better ourselves.