Downtown Salisbury has plenty to offer
Downtown Salisbury has unique shops, restaurants or small businesses. In the 100-200 blocks of East Innes Street, one can find a variety of merchants, from 20-year resident US Beauty Supply to the one-of-a-kind, Dead Ed’s alternative clothing and accessory shop to the new eatery Gritz, and more.
After visiting with some of these merchants, you can see a common thread running through the block, that of a love for the quaintness and being a part of the downtown activities. They enjoy being downtown, and serving customers from Salisbury and beyond — here we explore why.
In the 100 block of East Innes Street you can have your auto needs met by Miller Tire and Auto. They provide tires in addition to other services such as brakes, shocks, wheel alignment and wrecker service. Next to them is Bumper to Bumper, opened by John Collins three and a half years ago. “We love the location,” John says. Customers can walk into downtown while their car is being serviced, “or we can take them home or to Lowe’s or the grocery store, and pick them up again when their car is ready,” he adds. They provide all types of service on cars, trucks, motor homes and RV’s, truly bumper to bumper. “We plan on staying here for a long time,” he adds.
The newly renovated Hardiman Building anchors the 200 block. On the street level is Bangkok Downtown owned by Teng Phomsa Ly. She moved her popular Thai restaurant here in the fall of 2011. Open seven days a week, this has become a favorite spot for regulars and newcomers alike. Teng is very happy with the location and has seen her business increase since moving there.
US Beauty Supply at 129 E. Innes has been there 20 years supplying hair, beauty and perfumes for the African American woman. Loyal customer Selenea Barker has been coming from Cooleemee for over eight years to shop. “They have everything to make a woman feel glamorous,” she said. She likes the large selection of products at this shop owned by Won Jo.
Dead Ed’s is another one-of-a kind shop filling a niche that owner Stacey describes as alternative clothing, offering select rock ‘n roll, punk, Goth or rockabilly clothes and accessories plus items for the motorcycle enthusiasts. They also offer local handcrafted items and artwork. “We are so glad to be downtown,” she said, adding that she was hesitant at first when they opened in 2011, but now is pleased to be there drawing customers both locally and from Charlotte, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem. She is adding new lines and brands regularly that can’t be found anywhere else in the area.
Nashville Nights, the new venue for country music fans will be open seven days and offers country and bluegrass music, karaoke, pool tables and a bar. There is a $5 membership fee and Saturday nights will have live bands. “We want to provide a fun, safe, good time for all,” says Karen Littleton, partner with her husband Jeff and Dick Palmore in this new venture. They completed major restoration to the building.
If you are in the mood for some fine low country-Southern Cajun cuisine, check out the newest restaurant on the block, Gritz. Bev Ryan and John Hudson opened up this cozy dining spot in December. Both have been in the food service business, with John having been a head bakery chef in Maryland and the owner of a bakery in Winston-Salem specializing in gourmet cheesecakes. They offer breakfast and lunch and plan on opening for dinner soon. “Our location is great and we love the quaintness here. I love being downtown,” explains Bev. “We get a lot of support from our neighbors and enjoy making our customers feel welcome and comfortable here,” she adds. Their shrimp and grits and sweet tea have been a hit.
Another local favorite is Uncle Buck’s Pub and Grill. “We love being part of the downtown activities, knowing everybody and our business neighbors,” said Judy Howard, who owns Uncle Buck’s with her husband Scott. They increased their business significantly when they moved downtown five years ago, with a steady clientele of both regulars and visitors to Salisbury. A move to a new location in the downtown area is in the planning stages.
Piedmont Carpet is located between Gritz and Uncle Buck’s, and they recently announced a change for their business. After 15 years in downtown Salisbury, providing customers with all their floor covering and remodeling needs, they are making a change. Karen and Mike Browning have owned Piedmont Carpet for 30 years. “We thrived downtown and loved being located there,” says Karen. Due to family illness they have made the decision to close the store location, but will continue to offer the same service to customers, by appointment now. They can be reached at their same phone number. “It was great being in between Uncle Buck’s and Gritz,” said Karen, “and we had a lot of customers, both new and old there.” “I will definitely continue to shop and dine downtown,” Karen states.
One more merchant on the block is the Shoe Repair shop. He is the only shoe repair shop in Salisbury, and can give those old shoes new life.