As summer comes to a close and the kids go back to school, there seems to be a whole lot of movin’ going on. Marguerite Vann teachers moved back into a renovated building this past week while other school personnel were moving to new positions or even new schools. Teachers were moving in new supplies and displays to assist them in teaching their new classes.
And those yellow school buses will be moving again tomorrow, some over newly paved highways and roads. The Salem Road extension from Exit 124 to Highway 25 at Lake Beaverfork opened last week and frequent travelers are loving it.
Stoby’s had a soft opening to raise funds for Haven House yesterday but if all goes well, the restaurant will be opening on Wednesday. Two of the most anticipated improvements for the new restaurant are more seating and restrooms that aren’t located in the kitchen.
After several readers commented about the sign for Captain Hook’s Fish and Chicken being down, a message from the restaurant, which is based in Stuttgart, clarified that they still have plans to open in the former Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins location on Oak Street. They would like to be open within the month.
Burge’s Hickory Smoked Turkeys and Hams, on the other hand, will not be opening their restaurant on Dave Ward Drive until March 2018. Owner Jeff Boyles said this week that they had hoped to open this year but would likely have to start focusing on their holiday business in November. They plan to return to the building project in January and try to open in March. He is still very excited about opening the Conway location.
Outback Steakhouse is planning to move to its new location on Oak Street by October 4. The restaurant, which is being constructed by Chipotle on the old Superior Chevrolet property, will be a more visible location for the popular Australian-themed restaurant.
The big news in downtown Conway is the closing of EM Jeans which has been doing business in Conway for 32 years. The owners, Liz Snipan and Larry Rogers, are retiring and the liquidation sale started Friday, August 4. Store fixtures are also being sold. Rogers said that the 18,000 square-foot building at the corner of Oak and Chestnut would be leased but he is open to offers to buy it as well.
Some new shops recently opened in the downtown area. Board and Brush Creative Studio opened at 1875 McKennon and Outfit Alley, a women’s apparel shop, opened at 1010 Oak. Francis M. Fine Jewelry is now occupying the space long held by Dayer Jewelers on Front Street. The Men’s Mall Store has moved to 1105 Deer Street, Suite 7.
In addition to John Daly Steakhouse, which is scheduled to open September 1 on Front Street, WunderHaus Restaurant will open in mid-September at the corner of Oak and Locust. The popular Wunderbus food truck is putting down roots to serve its German cuisine in the old Central Fire Gas Station restaurant location.
Three significant construction projects will be starting downtown over the next several weeks. The construction of JLoft Apartments at Spencer and Smith is scheduled to begin this next week while George Covington is planning to start another mix-use renovation at 1121 Front Street in September. The third project, already underway, is the creation of 44 new parking spaces on Parkway.
Natural State Olive Oil and Spice Company recently announced that it would be moving its store to Conway Commons. Owner Nicole Cypert lost hundreds of bottles which sit on the floors during the spring flooding downtown. Tuesday Morning, which has been in the North Plaza Shopping Center a number of years, is said to be moving next to Kroger on Oak Street. Rumors have flitted around that periodically that the Oak Street Kroger eventually plans to build a new location elsewhere.
For the long-range planners, here are a couple of dates to put on the calendar: The downtown Christmas Open House is scheduled for Sunday, November 12, from 1-4 p.m. The annual lighting of the Conway Christmas Tree at Rogers Plaza is scheduled for Saturday, November 25, at 6 p.m.
Cindy Beckman writes about business rumors and happenings for the Log Cabin Democrat bi-monthly in “A Look Forward.” Send rumors and new business tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.