Stephanie Goodwin-Cline, whose family owns the Glamour Shop in downtown Brownwood, recalled people urging her family to leave downtown and relocate to a strip mall or shopping center.
A lieutenant governor, Goodwin-Cline recalled, once told her grandmother “the mall is going to eat your lunch.”
“We stuck true to our downtown roots,” Goodwin-Cline said during Mayor Stephen Haynes’ State of the City presentation Friday.“I’m proud to say, the downtown location is still where we need to be.”
Goodwin-Cline and Micah Jaynes, who with his wife Ashley owns the Pioneer Tap House, joined Haynes for a question-and-answer session about downtown Brownwood.
“My grandmother and grandfather started the business downtown,” Goodwin-Cline said. “It was the place to be. It was the heart of the city. It was centrally located off the highway. There’s stuff north of us, south of us, but it’s the center.”
Goodwin-Cline said she’s excited about the redevelopment of downtown and about events the city as instigated such as Cinco de Mayo and Sipping Under the Stars.
She said Sipping Under the Stars, held for the first time in December in conjunction with Christmas Under the Stars, reminded her of “the Camp Bowie days when the streets were crowded. I feel really good about the start that we’ve created here,” Goodwin-Cline said.
Jaynes said he and his family returned to Brownwood from Cisco because “we wanted to start something new. We came back actually to help launch a church. Everything that’s happened so far is because amazing relationships that have continued to form.”
Jaynes said he was working in Cisco when the Red Gap brewery opened there. “I watched how that little brewery changed that town,” Jaynes said. “You could go down there and meet people, get to know them, get to know their families, get to know their stories.
“I saw that and I (said) if Cisco can do it, Brownwood can do it easily.”
Jaynes said he’s excited about seeing “the collaboration with other businesses. There was maybe some fear in the beginning. We’ve only been open six months and we’re seeing collaboration wth other businesses that are open. That’s probably one of the most exciting things I’ve seen.”
Haynes was also joined on the stage by economic development director and assistant director Ray Tipton and Marshal McIntosh, who recapped events of last year and referenced upcoming business expansions.
McIntosh said the Brownwood Municipal Development District spent $150,000 last year with the Building Improvement Incentive grants, which he said spurred more than $600,000 in private investment.