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Plenty in store for city businesses

Brookhaven needs healthy businesses to thrive, and local business and real-estate owners are working to keep up with the times and improve their outlook.

John Lynch owns several buildings in downtown Brookhaven. One such building, often referred to as the Lofton’s Building, is getting a facelift and a new name — The Arcade. The name harkens back to the building’s roots as the Arcade Theatre, a once state-of-the-art moving picture theater from the early days of silent film.

Lynch said he has plans to include a common space in the building with sky lights and a fountain. There will be two one-bedroom apartments available, and a bridal shop owned by Joy Jones and Samantha Woo. Lynch said there will be room for three additional retail shops.

The Lofton’s — or The Arcade — isn’t the only building downtown to see work. Sha Walker owns the old military surplus store on West Monticello Street. The building, originally built in 1922, hadn’t been renovated since 1967. Walker set out to update the building, and those improvements are nearing completion.

“This building has survived 100 years in downtown Brookhaven, and now it’s ready for the next 100,” Walker said. “It’s modern, updated with new wiring and connected to the Internet. It’s a modern, usable space now.”

Walker said he’s turned the building into office space. He’s currently in the process of looking for a tenant.

More business improvements

Magnolia Blues BBQ is also planning to enlarge its operations by moving to the former Fred’s building on South Whitworth Avenue.

“We have a design that patrons will enter on the south side from the parking lot,” Lynch said. “Carl Craig, owner of Magnolia Blues BBQ, also has plans to have a take out pizza business and butcher shop on the corner of the building entering off Whitworth.”

In addition, Lynch said the Inn on Whitworth will have a business meeting room, a small office and storage.

“Another section of the building will be used as an ice cream parlor called Ole Brook Creamery,” he said, “primarily serving organic hand dipped ice cream and other treats.”

Eugene Taper, owner of Taper Nation, has opened an additional salon called Taper Nation 2 at 234 West Court Street. He also offers day and night classes at Taper Nations Barber Academy at 714 Halbert Heights Road Suites C and D. Taper said the academy offers flexible hours, with day and night classes, and a flexible payment schedule that can be weekly or monthly.

Co-Lin Feed and Seed at 1232 Hwy. 51 NE is filled to the brim and is expanding the size of the building by 2,600 square feet. They plan to take the opportunity to re-organize the store, and may also add additional items for sale, though the ownership was not ready to make a definitive announcement.