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INDEX JOURNAL - 04/02/2022

Article & photo by: DAMIAN DOMINGUEZ

There are new businesses brewing in Uptown, with the goal of getting people to spend more time out and about.

Steve Riley of Emerald Ink and Stitches is working to move his operation into 221 Maxwell Ave., along with bringing an ax-throwing business in beside Good Times Brewing.

The new EIS building in Uptown will offer retail space at front where it will sell Greenwood and local branded merchandise, with the printing and production end of the business in the back. Upstairs, Riley said he’ll have office space.

“To me, I consider that small-scale manufacturing,” Greenwood Community Development Director Lara Hudson said. “Good Times is another example of small-scale manufacturing — they actually make a product there.”

Riley said he always wanted to move his business into the city, but didn’t have a building that fit. Inspired by watching TV shows where people remodel older buildings, he said he’s eager to restore the original character of 221 Maxwell, which was built in 1896.

“We’re not a big contractor anymore, we’re more corporate and small business,” he said. “We want to reveal that original brickwork, build wood stairs in the middle and show off the wood beams above.”

Beside Good Times Brewing, Riley said he’s leasing space to put in an ax-throwing business. Customers are given a safe, controlled environment to hurl axes at targets down an indoor range. The goal, Riley said, is to partner with Good Times so that customers next door can bring their beer in. No alcohol will be served on the premises, and no one can bring alcohol from anywhere other than Good Times, he said.

“I’d actually been talking about ax throwing for a year now, jokingly,” he said. “We hope to bring more people to Maxwell. It’s going to keep people in town for more hours, and it’s two local businesses working together.”

If all goes according to plan, Riley said the ax-throwing business could be open within 45 days.

On Uptown’s main stretch, a mother-daughter baking duo is bringing its talents to the former Rudd’s Camera and Video site. Their bakery, Two Girls and An Oven, aims to share their love of God and the Orthodox Church with anyone who comes in.

Run by mother Carla Riley and daughter Catherine Brown, they plan to offer cupcakes, cakes, pastries and loaves of bread baked fresh daily. The bakery will also feature a bookstore with iconography and books on early Christian theology.

Their aim is to help raise money for the South Carolina Orthodox Christian Foundation, hoping to bring awareness about the Orthodox faith and help establish a church in Greenwood, as well as support other churches in the state.

Near Waller Avenue, where a few new businesses have cropped up recently, Greenwood is getting a new brewery. Sidney Huskey is bringing his Sled Dawg Brewery to 220 Phoenix St., which is on the other side of the alley leading from Waller to Phoenix. Hudson said Huskey’s brewery, alongside other businesses including a sports accessories store, gives people reasons to stroll along Waller.

“There’s a lot of activity over there, and they’ve been doing a lot of remodeling in that building,” Hudson said.

Hudson said with construction and renovations being done at Hampton Plaza, there are upcoming business developments she’s not ready to announce yet. Last year alone there was more than $800,000 in private and public funds invested in putting businesses and renovations in the Uptown area.

“We’re getting calls from people all the time looking for buildings and spaces,” Hudson said.

Uptown is currently undergoing a walkability study to show how easy it is for pedestrians to travel through the area, and Hudson said there’s a retail study and building inventory in the works. She started meeting with people in February to look at and document all available properties in the Uptown area — buildings and undeveloped lots alike.

“We go to trade shows and try to recruit retail businesses,” she said. “We help local real estate agents promote their buildings and available properties.”

The goal, she said, is to create a more park-like feeling in Uptown. She wants space where people can feel comfortable gathering and spending hours out and about, with locations for families to set out a blanket or for students to come and read or study outdoors, among other activities.

“It’s creating a site where people can gather — not just come to restaurants, but spend their time in Uptown,” she said. “We just want to make downtown a place where people can come and spend hours.”

Article can also be found here.

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