Coming soon to Newberry

Foster Senn - Contributing Columnist

Good news. Downtown will be overtaken next Saturday by good smells, tastes and sounds as Pork in the Park will have 16 barbecue teams grilling and music groups playing from 11-3:30 p.m. Samples, sandwiches, bluegrass music and a free inflatable fun park for children will be a few of the items on the menu.

The Corner Scoop ice cream parlor will celebrate its one-year anniversary with the “Birthday Extravaganza” during the festival. Also next Saturday, the SummerFun Horseshoe Tournament will be held at Marion Davis Park with two world champions entered and competitors from 14 states.

Downtown, Joe and Mary McDonald are renovating the Old Newberry Hotel, and it will be beautiful when complete in 2019. The renovated first floor will have meeting and event space and will continue to be the home of the Newberry Art Center and the Newberry County Literacy Council. The second floor will consist of nine apartments and space for art studios. It will be an exciting addition to Newberry.

In other business news Papa Johns will open soon. They were recruited to Newberry by Retail Strategies, the Birmingham, Alabama firm that Newberry and over 100 other communities use for retail recruitment. We met with them last month in Newberry as they updated City Council and city staff on efforts they’re making at the interstate, Wilson Road and other parts of town.

One area we haven’t had much success with is grocery stores. Retail Strategies has spoken to all of the chains in the Southeast on behalf of Newberry in the last year, but we haven’t succeeded in attracting a new grocer. For some grocers, our population isn’t large enough, and for other chains, they’ve curtailed expanding because of the struggles in the grocery business.

With the upcoming closure of Harvey’s, Retail Strategies is pointing out to grocers there’s an increased market share available at Newberry. The good business at Food Lion certainly reflects that.

On April 23 South State and Park Sterling will merge with South State moving to the newer Park Sterling building.

At Rite Aid, as part of Walgreens purchase of the Rite Aid chain, the pharmacy in Newberry is now a Walgreens pharmacy. Rite Aid stores will fully convert to Walgreens in the next two years.

On Highway 219, past Willingham & Sons, the land being cleared is for future growth at Samsung.

You’re invited to the city’s “Coffee with the Mayor and City Manager” on April 23 6-7 p.m. at the Firehouse Conference Center. In addition to city updates, there will also be presentations from city department heads, pictures of future city projects—and lemon pound cake.

Thank you for supporting Newberry businesses and events.

Foster Senn

Contributing Columnist

Foster Senn is the mayor of Newberry. His columns appear periodically in The Newberry Observer.

Foster Senn is the mayor of Newberry. His columns appear periodically in The Newberry Observer.