For some, the walk around Decatur Celebration is the one time each year they are guaranteed to see the changing retail landscape of downtown Decatur.
With that in mind, we did a little walking ourselves this week to take in what has changed since last year.
Much to our surprise, there have been quite a few changes, and some of them were still taking shape this week.
The 200 block of North Main Street was a hotbed of activity on Tuesday with Kim Kyle, owner of Made by Me and the authorized Fed Ex shipping center, doing some painting in her new location at 219. N. Main, just a couple doors down from her current location.
Her new spot is the former location of All Things Beautiful, which moved next door to 225 N. Main, in what had been Hulida Productions. Next to them, at 233 N. Main, is a new business, Farmhouse & Main, which features furniture and home décor.
There also is some activity in the former Haines & Essick building at 130 E. William St. Striglos, which used to display a sampling of the office supplies it offers when the spot was home to the iconic local retailer, has remodeled a portion of the first-floor retail space into a showroom for the office furniture it sells. The floor has been redone, but regular visitors will notice some of the slopes and steps that had to be navigated when shopping there previously.
Around the corner, back on Main Street, Louis' Treasures Thrift Shop is in the process of relocating to 2924 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
In the 100 block of North Main, Posh Nails has taken up residence at 111 N. Main next to Chinese Tea Garden.
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Speaking of Chinese Tea Garden, we have made numerous attempts to determine the future of the business which stopped opening its doors a while back. We looked through the glass many times (judging by the smudges on the glass, others have too), flashed our business card one day to someone who was inside and asked a few questions through the closed door, to no avail.
At the other end of the block, the recent first-floor renovations to Heritage Behavioral Health Center are a very noticeable addition.
The 100 block of South Main continues to come to life thanks to Main Place Properties' redevelopment of the area with a mix of businesses and upscale/upstairs apartments. New to the block since last year's Celebration are Teran Elain Photography (170 W. Wood St.) and R Bar & Grille (157 W. Main St.). Scheduled to open next month are Dalibliss Boutique (160 W. Wood) and Fine and Dandy (190 W. Wood). One retail space remains to be filled and six apartments will be coming available soon. One downside is the closing of Locals 101 Bar and Grille inside One Main Place.
The spot along Merchant Street probably best known for being home to Katz is in the process of being transformed into the new home of Giggles. Passersby are encouraged to look through the openings in the sunglasses painted on the boarded windows to monitor progress.
However, there isn't much to see right now. Owner Chrissy Spurlock said much of the current work is taking place downstairs. She did whet our appetite for the new location, noting it will include a bakery where cookies, cupcakes and other treats can be purchased. Look for that in the fall.
Last year, we made the same teasing pitch for a couple of businesses along Prairie Avenue. New to the block are Brass Horn Too and Penelope Boutique. Nestled in the back of the Hickory Point Bank building is the Blue Brew coffee shop.
Northwestern Mutual, which used to have an office on the second floor of the office building situated between Merchant and Main, has grown and required a move a couple blocks away into the Olde City Hall building at 240 S. Main St.
Venturing around Central Park along the two Park Streets, you will notice the new The Art Farm and Liaison Home Automation and a remodeled FirsTech. Gone are Glenn Nordholm Insurance and Victory Pharmacy.
Then there is the remodeling project undertaken at Dick Van Dyke Appliance World, 134 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
We told you at the outset, there are a lot of changes to take in. Grab yourself a drink of your choice and a yummy snack and check them all out — including some new murals — during your Celebration walkabout.
Contact Scott Perry at (217) 421-7976. Follow him on Twitter: @scottperry66