GREENVILLE – Downtown Greenville was a flurry of activity for the May First Friday event, with two new shops opening for business and a self-guided tour that allowed visitors the rare opportunity to explore the upper floors of some of downtown’s historic buildings.
In addition to the Chillz frozen yogurt shop, which opened earlier in the day, The Cozy Nest home decor shop at 418 S. Broadway opened its doors for business for the first time early Friday evening. The opening took advantage of the downtown crowds brought in by Main Street Greenville’s First Friday event, and it featured a drawing for $50 in store credit for one lucky winner.
The Cozy Nest features Modern Farmhouse style home decor items such as throw pillows, wall art, small plants and pots. Items are described as handmade, rustic, unique and repurposed. Rustic-style wood, glass and pottery dominate the cozy space, and downtown visitors kept the shop and owner, Melissa Dubbs, busy on its opening day.
Another popular event during First Friday was the Upper Floor Tour, during which visitors were able to take a self-guided tour through the upper floors of some of downtown Greenville’s businesses.
The tour included the second and third floor above The Merchant House restaurant at 406 S. Broadway; the second and third floors above Bach to Rock at 334 S. Broadway; the space above Readmore’s Hallmark, including the “hidden” areas beyond the offices of Aurora Marketing and Green’s Appraisal Service at 524 1/2 S. Broadway; the upper floor of The Palace Building, above The Coffee Pot, D’Alessio’s and the Double M Diner; and as a bonus stop, a look into the Darke County Model Railroad Club’s elaborate miniature railway at 405 1/2 S. Broadway in the space above the Barb Rethlake Dance Studio
• 406 S. Broadway was home to the Gordon and Alter Store from 1898 to 1904, before it changed location to 523-27 S. Broadway. It was owned by Frank Gordon, of Greenville, and Franklin Alter, of Cincinnati. It featured dry goods, carpets and curtains.
The location was occupied by A.N. Wilson and Sons for the next 15 years, as agents for Pictorial Review Patterns. The store also sold linoleum, floor coverings, sheet music, Crystola Phonographs and player rolls.
The Economy Store, managed by Oscar Vannoy, was in the space from 1920 to 1934, which also sold flooring and home items.
The Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co, with Strauder S. Smith as manager, came in from 1935 to 1947, and was eventually known as the A&P Grocery store.
Moore Auto Accesories Store was located there from 1947 until it closed in 1973, when Duffey Hardware Store’s second location took over the space and stayed until closing in 1981.
Gobbie’s Restaurant opened there in 1982 with homestyle cooking until 1991, and the following year the space held Harley’s Food and Spirits.
• 334 S. Broadway housed Koester’s Clothier 1898-1908; Turner’s Harness Manufacture 1908-1915; Booker and Roesser Grocery 1915-1928, which then became Booker Market until 1950; Fourman’s Men’s Shop 1952-1967, which evolved into Fourman’s Men’s and Women’s Store through 1976, then was sold in 1976 and became Fourman’s Bridal and Tux Shoppe until 1992.
• 537 S. Broadway housed Moore and Winners Dry Goods store 1885-1900 before becoming the site of the famous Palace Department Store for 70 years. The store featured dry goods, men’s and women’s clothing, short, art and household items. In 1969, the store became Uhlman’s Department Store.
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