March means downtown grand openings

Published 1:23 pm Monday, March 6, 2023

What’s up, Middlesboro? Happy March. This month is stacking up to be full of fun in the downtown area. On Saturday we have two very exciting events downtown. The official Grand Opening for MiMi’s Sweet Treats will be at noon at 123 Lothbury. I know that many of you have already had the chance to go check them out and get a sweet-tooth fix. However, today is the official Grand Opening – Matt and Melissa will have Mason Sidebottom from WFXY doing a Live broadcast from 12 to 5 p.m.

Also today at noon-3 p.m. we will have the Read Across America Celebration in the City Parking Lot. There will be several different activities for families to enjoy. So come downtown to enjoy MiMi’s Grand Opening and the Read Across America Celebration.

I want to give a shout out to Rick Chadwell, the Economic Vitality Committee Chair, on his first Connect @ 6 on Feb. 28. For this Connect @ 6 we met at Shades in the new lounge area. It was great to have Larry and Judy Grandey at the meeting with us. Larry shared more information on the progress of the Elk’s Building Project. It seems that we are getting closer to seeing the building come down. I think the day of demolition Larry and I will do a happy dance down the Avenue. We also talked about the possibilities for the lot when the building comes down. I enjoy thinking about what an improvement the downtown skyline will have when that building comes down. Another topic that was discussed was the buildings that are not in such good shape downtown and how that is hindering more new businesses coming to downtown. I look forward to the future Connect @ 6 meetings that we already have scheduled. The next Connect @ 6 will be on March 28 6pm at Mountain Mugs Craft and Coffee.

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I am sure that you are aware that one of our former Middlesboro residents will be heading to the International Space Station in May. I think it is pretty awesome that John Shoffner will be the pilot on the trip. To celebrate this incredible event and to show our support for John and the rest of the crew, the downtown businesses are being asked to decorate their windows with rockets, stars, planets and anything space related. The decorated windows will be done by April 7, which will be in time for a special visit from John before he heads to space. We are hoping that John will be able to come down and meet the downtown business owners that have participated in the project. I am looking forward to all the photo ops we will have during his visit. Our celebration will continue during the flight, stay on the international space center, and the return back home. Our May shopping night (May 4) will be an Out of this World Shopping Experience. I look forward to seeing what our businesses will do for that night. Linda Frazier, owner of Cosmic Cafe, has mentioned that they plan to do a space themed treat- that should be out of this world. More things will be shared the closer we get to the visit and launch.

The applications for the Bell County Talent Show are up on the Middlesboro Main Street website – Make sure you get your application in early, because there is a limited number of spaces. I have my fingers crossed that the Entertainer of the Year will be from Bell County.

Downtown has a new place for lunch and light dinner, Mountain Mugs Craft and Coffee now is serving food. They have a Caprese’ Grilled Cheese- if you enjoy a Caprese’ salad then this sandwich is a must try. My daughter, Jenni, gives it a 10 out of 10. A chicken salad sandwich is also on the new menu. They serve the chicken salad on a croissant with bib lettuce and a fresh tomato. This was the first sandwich I tried and I thought it was delicious. The chicken salad is nice and creamy with pecans, craisins, and celery- a great combination. I would get it again for sure, however I must try that Pennsylvania fried bologna sandwich and the Kentucky Club sandwich. Each sandwich comes with chips and a nice crisp pickle. I am looking forward to eating all of them.

MMS is currently working on a project that we could use your help with and that is the Middlesboro High School Class of 2023 Block Party. On Saturday, April 29 from 5pm to 9pm Cumberland Avenue from 20th to 21st will be the location we will be celebrating our graduating Yellowjackets. There will be yard games, music, prizes, BBQ, and more.

We are looking for monetary donations to help with funding the event. The seniors will pay nothing, but hopefully they will make great memories and know how proud we are of each one of them on their graduation. Besides monetary donations, we also need volunteers to help with the event. If you are interested in helping with this event just send me an email at

Over the next few weeks I would love to hear from you about things you would like to see downtown. I would also like you to share some of your memories of your life in Middlesboro. As you are checking out the new places downtown I encourage you to take pictures and post them on FB or you can email them to me. Email address is –

I am looking forward to getting your emails and seeing your pictures.

Make sure that you take time to share a kind word and/or a smile with the people that you see this week. A simple smile or a kind word can totally change someone’s life.