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Downtown Tuscola is nearly a full house

By Kayleigh Rahn
Parking problems are a fantastic issue to have to overcome.

Or at least that’s true if your job is overseeing the economic development of a community.

“We’re as close to full occupancy (downtown) as we’ve seen in as long as I can remember,” says Brian Moody, director of Tuscola Chamber & Economic Development. “The nice thing about downtown right now, most days or evenings, there is traffic down there. Which has not always been the case.”

And with several additions to the blocks surrounding the Main and Sale streets intersection, traffic problems are sure to continue to grow in all the best ways.

Five buildings are under renovation on Sale and Main streets and will soon be home to both new and familiar businesses in Tuscola.

“I think we’ve had enough of a transition and additions to the mix that we have been able to keep traffic in downtown,” Moody said. “That will help us sell businesses to the area. When we can show that there is enough activity through here at different hours that they can operate a business from.”

And Moody says he believes that will continue to grow as the Hogues get underway at Irma Lou’s Kitchen and Cast Iron Pub.

“They will fit right in with the Vitales (at Joe’s Pizza) in the evenings,” Moody said. “It’s enough of a mix, and we have enough of a lunch and dinner crowd that they will rotate their options.”

Kenny and Angela Hogue’s space looks to really be coming along, Moody said, as they have gutted the former restaurant space and are beginning to bring it back now.

“The large renovation is not uncommon in the downtown areas,” Moody said. “We’ve done enough of these projects to know that sometimes they grow. Obviously we continue to be very excited about what they are doing, and we think they are going to be a great fit. We continue to see lots of positive comments about them and their food. It’s something people want to see–restaurants and a greater variety. Anytime we can add a sit down restaurant it sure is a wonderful thing. It’s just a good quality project for the downtown.”

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Feb. 20 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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