Downtown Development Update

Efforts are being made to welcome some new development and events to downtown Meridian.

Within the next three weeks a new restaurant is set to open and another to reopen. Aside from that, plans are being discussed about expanding activities that are already a big draw.

After inaugural success, this Friday a new and improved Brick House Bar and Grill is set to reopen.

"They're strengthening what they had. They brought in some new faces," says John McClure, executive director for Meridian Main Street.

McClure said he's also excited about the projected opening of Subway restaurant in downtown Nov. 5.

According to McClure, these developments are just a reflection of growing momentum for downtown Meridian.

One of the big attractions is the 'Downtown Alive After Five,' month long concert series. Averaging between 400 to 650 patrons week to week, talks are underway that could expand the concert series.

"This looks like something that has been so well received that we're going to have to continue it," said McClure.

McClure says that concert series could also be offered in the spring.

Meanwhile, an event that started earlier this year is proving to be a major success. The sixth and final Earth's Bounty Farmer's Market will be held the first Saturday in November.

Since Earth's Bounty started, Main Street officials estimate that the events have generated more than $100,000 for this area. They say this is a conservative estimate. Coupled with the economic success, officials say Earth's Bounty has also boosted business for the regular farmers' market.

"Everything's picked up a whole lot since the Earth's Bounty started," says Farmers Market vendor, Ronnie Chatham. "I see a lot of people coming back several times during the week and you get a few new people every week which is great too.'"

A great turnout is also expected next Tuesday for the Fall Festival and Candy Crawl in downtown. About 250 children were expected for the event premier last year. Instead, more than 750 showed up; even more are expected this year.

The Candy Crawl will be held from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. next Tuesday. It's for children 12 and under.

Meanwhile, this Saturday morning Meridian Main Street is sponsoring a downtown cleanup effort from 8 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. All volunteers are welcome.