Subs Key to Downtown Development

On the outside, this is just another regular Subway restaurant, like the thousands of others that are across the country or the dozen or so around Meridian.

This Subway, however, because of its location at the corner of 22nd Avenue and 4th Street, may lead to even more businesses coming to downtown Meridian. One of the owners of the new restaurant, Alex Lisi, tells us that several nearby businesses have been anxiously awaiting its opening for weeks.

"A lot of the banks around here, especially the downtown banks, we have a couple people that have always asked us every day, 'When is the new restaurant opening up? We're ready to come in there and eat with you,'" Lisi tells us.

Besides local businesses, college students also will be taking advantage of this new restaurant.

"Well, now that we have the Mississippi State college down here, the Riley Center, and all the other places around Meridian, we expect to get a lot of younger people and all the business people around Meridian to come up here and do business with us," Lisi says.

As the selection of restaurants grows, and the number of arts and entertainment events increases, downtown Meridian should continue to be an attractive destination for new businesses.

John McClure, executive director of Meridian Main Street, explains, "I think we're moving in the direction of being more of a destination for food, beverage, and entertainment. With the advent of the university's presence here, that creates more of a demand for food in the afternoon and evenings. We've got more people living downtown which means you catch people on both ends, so I expect more of a ripple effect."

The success of the Subway in downtown may be the key to future economic development.