BMDD looks back, ahead at downtown development
The Bulletin asked the Brownwood Municipal Development District to summarize business activity in 2020. This is the BMDD's response.
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 in a year where many shut their doors for good. 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.
Teddy’s Brewhaus – opening of Biergarten and launch of wine
After an extensive remodel and restoration of the Weakly-Watson Gun and Sporting Goods Store downtown, Teddy’s Brewhaus opened in October 2019.
Just as owner Jeff Tucker was ready to welcome customers 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.
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 close their doors for shopping inside the store, moving to curbside pickup and online shopping facilitated through their vigorous social media posts in a Facebook group.
Recently the Hen House boutique announced 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.
Saturdays – Opened in 2020 in Downtown Brownwood
Another addition to our 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.
Coming in 2021:
* Luna Maya – a children’s boutique
* Shaw’s Marketplace
* 10 Mile Production – Wine Tasting Room located in former Wittig’s Jewelers
* Earth & Noble Boutique – Ashley Jaynes to open boutique 2 doors down from Pioneer Tap House
* Samantha Rodriguez Photography – to be located next to Saturdays