Businesses get ready to open at Watt’s Mill.

Where are they now?

Businesses get ready to open at Watt’s Mill.

Many of the flooded businesses are on the verge of reopening.

By Brad Lucht

While both the waters and the memories of the floods at 103 Square have receded, several local businesses continue are relocating to the Watt’s Mill Shopping Center.

Tavern on 103rd
The sign is up for Tavern on 103rd.  A new custom-built bar, 28 feet long, has been installed, and new chairs have been assembled.  Owner Bob Yancey is pleased with the progress being made.

“I think it is going really well,” Yancey said.  “The city has been fantastic.”

A final inspection is scheduled to take place the middle of October.  Once that hurdle has been cleared, a new liquor license must be applied for and granted from Regulated Industries.  Yancey does not expect obtaining a license to be an issue.

“Hopefully we will be up and running next week (around October 25),” he said.

Yancey anticipates they will be open a week or so to get the kinks out, then probably have an official grand opening on a Friday or Saturday.   Details can be found in the next issue of the Telegraph.

Gold Rush Exchange
Another business close to reopening is Gold Rush Exchange.  

Last week the drywall and mudding was completed; this week the interior is being painted.  Owner William Reneau expects to be open within the next three weeks, and is excited about their new location.

“I think it is going to be better, because now there is only one strip mall, one place to go,” Reneau said.

The sign from their previous location will be mounted inside the store as a remembrance of the flood that drove them out.

“We’ll be open in time for the holiday season,” Reneau assured the Telegraph.

UPS Store
While the UPS Store was the first to relocate to the Watts Mill Shopping Center, they only received their building permits last week.

“Now we are waiting for our furniture to arrive,” said owner Ayush Penta.  “By the end of the month we should be starting work.”  He expects it will take less than a week to get everything done.

Penta is also enthusiastic about the new Watt’s Mill location, which is almost double the size of their previous store.

“It is much better.  There is easy access, and nearly unlimited parking with 240 spots available.”

Taking advantage of the extra space, they are also upgrading their printers.  A new, large format printer will be available to print vinyl banners.  

“It’s not just limited to paper,” Penta explained.  “We’ll be able to print any size.”  Self-service printers and a fax machine will also be available.  Mailbox holders will have 24-hour access.

The UPS Store is also hiring additional employees for the upcoming holiday season.  Applications can be found in the store or at the website  With the additional employees, three people will be in the store at all times to assist customers during the holidays, making shipping more convenient with less wait time.

“I’m really excited for the new store,” Penta concluded.   

Coach’s Bar & Grill
One business that hasn’t moved on is Coach’s Bar & Grill.  

Owner Brian Darby explored moving into the old Applebee’s location, as well as the empty Berbiglia building in front of Price Chopper, but after speaking with the owner of 103 Square he decided to hold off making a move.

“I was just talking to the landlord over there last week,” Darby said, “and learned that there is still a 5% chance the strip mall will reopen.”

Federal, state, county and city offices all need to evaluate whether or not it is worth the taxpayer investment to make the location viable.

“What finally happens to 103 Square is stuck in the wheels of bureaucracy,” Darby explained.

“While we are still exploring our options, it would definitely be a couple months before anything happens,” he concluded.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: