Second entertainment spot may be part of the deal for downtown

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A second entertainment venue may be coming to South Main Street, courtesy of investors Horace Balmer and Sherwin Turner.

The two, who are planning to open Main Street Jazz Restaurant at 136 S. Main St. in September , also have a contract on neighboring property owned by Epps Farm Supply. A closing date on the property at 162 S. Main is slated for September.

If the sales goes through, Epps – in business in downtown Suffolk for the past 55 years –

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will close, said owner Kevin Beale.

But if all goes as planned, longtime customers will still be able to deal with Beale and his father. Another investor-who Beale declined to name-is looking at buying Epps’ inventory and hiring them to run his business.

&uot;The same faces will still be there, just in a different place,&uot; said Beale.

He declined to discuss further details, saying he didn’t want to elaborate in case the property sale to Balmer and Turner falls through.

Balmer and Turner plan to lease the building for use as another sort of much-needed restaurant or entertainment site.

&uot;If we are hoping to bring several hundred thousand people here (to downtown) each year, we need clubs and restaurants,&uot; Balmer said. &uot;If we are bringing people here, they should have a choice of where they go to eat or spend their money.&uot;