Check out all the new downtown businesses

Published 2:24 pm Thursday, April 20, 2023


Mainstreet Middlesboro

What’s up, Middlesboro? As I write my column, I am enjoying the sun, nice breeze and the sound of downtown traffic.

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Some of you might be saying “Why do you enjoy the sound of downtown traffic?” It let’s me know that our town is alive. Now I wish the traffic sounded a bit slower, but that will come in time. As you drive downtown I hope you have been able to notice a couple of things:

• The Space Art in the shop/office windows. Jamie Bowling and Judy Grandey created the project to celebrate the space flight of John Shoffner. It has been great to see downtown businesses participating in the project. Hopefully, we will be able to do more of these projects- especially during football season.

• The limited number of empty buildings. Now, this really excites me. From May 2022 to today, Middlesboro Main Street has welcomed 14 new businesses to our downtown. Coffee shops, art studio, boutiques, sweet shop and more. Within the next couple of months that number will grow by four more. We have one shop that will be selling regional items. I have been able to sneak a peek at some of her merchandise, and I am confident that you will really enjoy shopping there.

If you haven’t noticed these things happening on Cumberland Avenue between 19th and 22nd then I encourage you to come down, park the car and spend some time walking around. Hopefully, you will find that our downtown shops will become your go-to for gifts, clothes, specialty items, sweets and meals. It is possible that you are still waiting for a particular shop or eatery to be downtown and that information is something that I want to know. I truly want there to be the perfect shop/place for everyone to come downtown and enjoy.

Next Saturday, I am looking forward to our Middlesboro High School Class of 2023 graduates coming downtown to celebrate with family and friends. Shae Moyers, MMS Organization Chair, has worked with a group of seniors at MHS to create an event that they would enjoy. There will be music, late night movie, BBQ, yard games and more for them to enjoy. Of course, Main Street and the MHS Gear Up program could not do this alone. We have had some amazing local businesses help us in creating this special event. Here are our sponsors to date: Hearthside Bank, Community Trust Bank, Tri-State Recycle, Smithfield, SKCTCS, Middlesboro Independent School System, Dianne Collins, Elevation, Shades, Larry and Judy Grandey (Crater City Coffee Shop), Taco Bell and Little Caesars. We really appreciate each of these sponsors for what they have done to make this event possible. If we have anymore sponsors after this writing I will share that with you next week. I think it is important to share the businesses that do support events, so you can go shop and support their businesses.

Just wanted to mention a few events coming up that you will want to check out:

• Bell County Regional Talent Contest. Applications are available on our website-

There are still a few weeks to sign up for this new event. The Talent Show will be the first weekend of June at Old Yellow Creek Baptist Church located at 225 S. 38th St. in Middlesboro.

• May 4 at 6-8 p.m. is our Out of this World shopping night downtown.

• Celebrate Main Street Week is May 8-13. Be watching for opportunities to win some Main Street swag during that week. We would also like for you to email us special memories about our Main Street district and even an email to tell us about your favorite places downtown. Remember to follow our FB page for more details.

• May 13 at 11 a.m. is the grand opening and ribbon cutting for Oooh La La. They are located at Fountain Square right next to Vets Serving Vets.

• May 20 from 3 to 9 p.m. you will want to be downtown. Cruisin’ the Crater will have its first car show of the year and we are having a concert to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Country artist Cody Joe Hodges will be here to perform for us. Both of these events are free, so you really should plan to join us.

You can always count on me for crazy ideas- which sometimes turn out awesome. You can always count on me to listen to your ideas and suggestions. You can always count on me to encourage you to come spend time (and money) downtown. You can always count on me to brag about our amazing town.

Remember it takes more than one person or organization to make things happen — it takes all of us.

As always feel free to drop me an email at — I really enjoy hearing from you.