Downtown Elkins is reinventing itself

The Dollar General Store has reopened on Third Street many months after an upstairs fire set off the sprinkler system causing damage to furnishings and merchandise in the store.

Now the renovated venue is clean, bright and well-organized with an office for the manager in the front of the store.

The new store offers much more food for those who live, work or shop downtown. One could always find great prices for cleaning supplies at the old Dollar General, and there are still great prices on things like bleach and laundry soap, but now they carry real food.

Cereals stretch down half an aisle and frozen meats and vegetables fill several cases. Brand names include Progresso soups, Edy’s ice cream and Starbucks coffees.

Shoplifting had become a problem for the Dollar General before it closed last year, but now the aisles go straight from front to back, allowing clerks to see if anyone is tampering with merchandise. A safe and efficient shopping experience is available seven days a week on Third Street.

If anybody had told me that a Dollar General Store could become an anchor store for a downtown, I would not have believed it before I saw this newly organized and brightly painted store.

Now we also have several other new venues on Third Street for those who love to shop and eat downtown. Salvage Style, Rusted & Dusted is the nearest new neighbor to the Dollar General. This was the store window with the wonderful lighted Santa in his sleigh at Christmastime. It is the perfect place to find a small piece of furniture or interesting old kitchen gadget. The things I like best are their antique toys. I could spend hours browsing in that shop.

A few doors down from Salvage Style is the new Mama Mia Pizza & Pasta. Here again the atmosphere is clean and bright. The eggplant parmigiana tastes great and the prices are reasonable. Mama Mia offers Italian dishes people crave at prices they can afford.

Most of all, we have been so lucky to have had merchants who have paid their B&O taxes and kept their storefronts clean throughout the period when city water and sewer systems have been under reconstruction.

Trickett Hardware is open early in the morning if you need to get a key made or replace parts for just about anything.

Classes are going on at Elkins Sewing Center and Ceramics with Class most of the day and into the night.

If Elkins can keep old stores and develop new ones, we’ll have a bright future.

Next week I’ll talk about the amazing things that are happening at Seneca Mall within downtown.