One retail store has shut down, but new drinking and dining options are opening up along Thomasville Road.
While the Florida legislature was working to change laws in Tallahassee’s Capitol Building, just two miles up Thomasville Road, business leaders have been hard at work changing the face of Capital Plaza.
“Long time coming,” said Kent Steels. He owns Clusters & Hops. “I didn’t expect to be closed for 15 months.” He closed his shop on North Monroe Street so he could relocate to Thomasville Road. The transition took longer than expected. “We had trouble getting people to show up to do the plumbing, the electricity, electrics, and stuff like that,” said Steels.
Now that most of that work is done, he is getting to work serving customers loyal and new.
Steels said it’s been, “reassuring, because you know when you close down a place 24 years and start a new chapter, it gets tricky. You don’t know if you’ve done the right thing.”
He’s got 3,700 wines from around the world. The showroom has just a fraction of that collection. A few doors down, an FSU graduate and Army Veteran is rolling out his own new business venture.
“We’ve gone completely from a refinery bar/fitness studio to now we’re selling warm delicious donuts that are customized and made to order, explained Timothy McGrew. He is leading a team at Duck Donuts.
It’s a franchise that began in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. They opened in Tallahassee June 24th.
“My wife and I went to school at Florida State University,” McGrew said. “I graduated from the Dedman School of Hospitality.” He also spent years in partly active duty, the national guard, the Florida National Guard and Army reserve.
“You know the Army itself is a great proving ground for leadership training, how to handle things under stress, keep people motivated and then just the overall ‘what's the big picture,” McGrew added.
The big picture at Capital Plaza has also seen some closures. Tuesday Morning is one of the storefronts recently shut down. Just across Thomasville Road, Burger Barn recently opened its doors to welcome customers where Burger Fi once stood.
“It’s exciting, because we’re bringing a diverse crowd together,” McGrew added. “We get to be part of that change and growth here in Tallahassee.”
It’s growth that both he and Steels say could benefit the city as a whole.
“Just be patient with us till we get it all settled but come on in and enjoy,” Steels concluded.
Steels said Clusters & Hops is open 4-10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. At Duck, McGrew says his busiest hours first thing in the morning during the drive going into work.