Continued Growth in Downtown for 2020: Despite Challenges, Local Businesses Adapted
2020 has shown to be a year of growth for Downtown Brownwood despite a challenging year! From new businesses, to adapting business models, and continuously pivoting operations – our downtown community has shown resilience and success across the board. Here are just a few examples that our downtown business owners showed us in 2020.
Teddy’s Brewhaus – Opening of Biergarten, and Launch of Wine Label
After an extensive remodel and restoration of the Weakly-Watson Hardware Store downtown, Teddy’s Brewhaus opened in October 2019. Teddy’s is Brownwood’s Craft Brewery located at 102 Fisk Ave, Brownwood, TX.
Just as owner Jeff Tucker was ready to welcome customers with open arms into the brewery and restaurant, the COVID-19 pandemic caused him to shift gears. Along with brewing his own craft beers, Tucker and his Master Brewer Wes Kearney began producing hand sanitizer for the community when need was at an all-time high. They started pumping out medical-grade, FDA-approved, (80-percent alcohol) sanitizer. Teddy’s used what vessels they had, mostly half-gallons – thanks to a stockpile of growlers and the addition of pump dispensers – and a limited supply of 8 and 12-ounce vessels. Eventually, they began filling 55-gallon drums for use in health centers, hospitals, nursing homes, and first responder stations.
In addition to producing handsanitzer, Teddy’s launched their wine label and opening of their beirgarten! With ample space both indoors and out be sure to look into their event space! Learn more about Teddy’s Brewhaus at their website or follow their social media pages for Jeff’s rotating entree menu that changes daily!
Pioneer Tap House – Continued Growth
After a successful opening July 24, 2019, Pioneer Tap House fully expected the usual struggles any new business faces during its first year of operation. Owners Micah and Ashley Jaynes never could have predicted a pandemic could threaten to end their dreams of a successful downtown destination. The couple rolled up their sleeves and met each new challenge the pandemic threw at them with creativity and determination. Throughout 2020, Micah and Ashley found creative solutions to keep their business thriving. When indoor gatherings were limited, Pioneer Tap House took to the streets, literally, to establish outdoor seating and bring live music to their patrons. When the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) laid down new guidelines for alcohol-related businesses due to COVID-19 restrictions, Pioneer Tap House adjusted quickly and efficiently in order to keep serving their customers.
Learn more about Pioneer at their website here, or check out their facebook for upcoming live music and more.
The Hen House – Successful Black Friday despite COVID-19
New to the downtown area, the Hen House is a self-proclaimed western style boutique where “Dolly Parton meets Stevie Nicks”. The boutique celebrated their new location on Fisk Avenue with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 12, 2019. Less than a year later, the boutique was forced to adapt their business model for shopping inside the store, moving to curbside pickup and online shopping facilitated through their vigorous social media posts in a Facebook group.
The Hen House boutique recapped the year by sharing they had their most successful Black Friday shopping event ever, despite the struggles of operating a small business in the middle of a pandemic.
CJ’s Cigar Bar – Opened in Downtown Brownwood
CJ’s Cigar Lounge held their ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate opening downtown on February 6, 2020. CJ’s Cigar Lounge is a relaxing environment to enjoy quality cigars, wine, and alcoholic drinks with excellent customer service. For smokers and non-smokers alike, this is a unique and trendy place to spend free time. CJ’s has several unique rooms you can choose from to enjoy the cigar and drink of your choice. They’ve been flexible and adaptive throughout the COVID-19 restrictions and have found new ways to serve their customers.
Intermission Bookshop – Found New Ways to Connect
Intermission Bookshop fearlessly held their grand opening in August of 2020, just when the pandemic was reshaping our idea of “normal”. Owners Brent and Kim Bruton (of the Runaway Train Café) knew the community still needed ways to come together and connect. Recently the bookstore announced they are now offering online shopping, with direct order shipping, and audiobooks available through Libro. Visit their online store: https://bookshop.org/shop/intermissionbookshop
Saturdays – Opened in 2020 in Downtown Brownwood
Another welcome addition to our thriving downtown area is Saturdays retail shop on Center Avenue. Saturdays had a ribbon cutting ceremony in August 2020 to celebrate their location downtown. Owners Levi and Shawn say Saturdays is an oldies, oddities, and home furnishings shop specially curated for the designer, collector, and treasure hunter. The location is the only retail store in Brown County to sell Dixie Belle Paint Company products. They’re connecting with customers with Facebook Live videos often showing how to use their paint products and other fun finds in their store. View their facebook to see new items, and satur-trasformations.
Hamilton’s – Drive Up Fashion Shows
When regulated by new safety protocols Hamilton’s delivered by offering a unique experience during a global pandemic – Drive Up Fashion Shows! Patrons were invited to this special event, while encouraged to stay in your car, stay safe, and stay comfy. Hamiltons offered Drive Up Fashion Shows while you safely sat in your vehcile, and were served refreshments! The fashion shows were streamed on their facebook group live. Guest were able to stream safely from the car the showcase of outfits and merchandise from inside of the store. After each model was featured on facebook live the model would stroll outside Hamilton’s along the side walk for shoppers to see the outfits in person, after seeing them just moments before on their screens. “Just pull up and join the fun,” shoppers were told when encourage to RSVP a spot for each show. Hamilton’s partnered with their neighbors promoting #neighborshelpingneighbors. Steve’s Market & Deli provided refreshments during one show, and the Turtle Gelateria was featured for the perfect treat during a warm summer afternoon show. You can keep up with all the creative sales and current offerings on the Hamiltons VIP facebook group.
Steves’ Market & Deli – Curbside, and Outdoor Dining Implemented
No stranger to downtown, Steves’ Market & Deli is a well known and established spot for locals and visitors alike. Steves’ opened its door in 1996 with the idea that good food in a fun, eclectic environment would be a welcome change from the normal, everyday fast-food experience. Steves’ closed indoor dining, and adapted to curbside pick up! With the closing on interior dining Steve’s purchased on their own accord several outdoor picnic tables for downtown along Chandler street. Interior dining has remained closed, although guests have welcomed the addition of the outdoor dining and being able to enjoy the carefully crafted meals by take-out! To place your order call or text 646.6108 to order and schedule your pick-up time. Visit their facebook page to see specials.
Lyric Theatre – Adapts and Overcomes
Entertainment has also felt the long-reaching arms of the coronavirus, including the Lyric Theatre, which has become one of the most popular venues in the area. For more than eight months, the Lyric Theatre had gone dark due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In November, that changed as a three-day run of ‘Get Smart: COVID Edition’ took the stage. Returning to the stage presented a unique set of challenges the cast and crew had to tackle. The Lyric Theatre ended the year with bringing ‘A Christmas Story’ to life on stage! Momentum hasn’t stopped as the Lyric Theatre recently revealed the schedule of general productions for the 2021 calendar year, with more plans for the coming year expected to be released in the not too distant future. To keep up with the happenings at the Lyric including upcoming productions, by visiting brownwoodlyrictheatre.com.
Coming to Downtown in 2021:
The future looks bright in 2021 for Downtown Brownwood. Several new businesses have been announced already.
Luna Maya is a baby and children’s boutique coming soon to Historic Downtown Brownwood offering everything from clothing to swaddles, to diaper bags, and more!
Located at 508 N. Center in Brownwood, the revitalization of the property is being spearheaded by Matt and Steven McCrane. Shaw’s Marketplace will be a shopping and community market located in Historic Downtown Brownwood. Since 1890, the original structure has expanded to three buildings which were once home to Shaw’s Model Laundry. Shaw’s has serviced the Central Texas area for over 100 years. The indoor/outdoor market will feature local artisans, quality goods, food and entertainment! Opening Spring 2021.
10 Mile Productions
Add another new business to the revitalization of downtown Brownwood as the 10 Mile Productions wine tasting room is slated to open in 2021. 10 Mile Productions is owned and operated by Sara Cox and Hayley Fowler. The tasting room will be located at 401 Center Avenue, the former site of Wittig Jewelers.
Earth & Noble Boutique
A familar face of Pioneer Taphouse, Ashley Jaynes to open boutique just two-door doors from their current business. Earth & Noble is slow-made, handcrafted jewelry in Brownwood, Texas.
Samantha Rodriguez Photography
A downtown photo studio by Samantha Rodriguez to be located next to Saturdays on Center Avenue!