Downtown Revitalization: Investors, business owners set their sights on Marshall

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One of Mayor Amy Ware’s favorite slogans is “new concrete means progress,” and nothing could be truer for the Marshall community this year.

With the continued progression of the downtown redevelopment project, including the city’s streetscaping program, a number of interested business owners and investors are making plans to grow in the downtown area.

Black Coffee Records

A new record store called Black Coffee Records held a soft opening on Friday this week at their location at 402 N. Washington Ave.

The new location is owned by Kip Hoops and Kevin Barnett, with Hoops’ wife Kim Hoops also opening a home décor shop in the interior of the store called Marshall Knots and Fluid Arts.

“This is the first time that I have had all of my things on display,” Kim said about her new store, “I’m nervous, but also very excited.”

Hoops said that he and Barnett met under unfortunate circumstances, when Barnett’s family had a medical emergency and Hoops was their nurse. However, the two found a shared love of music, especially vinyl records, which sprouted a friendship between the two.

“We never fight over the radio station when were together,” Hoops said, “For two music guys, that’s a big deal.”

Barnett said that after knowing each other for over two years, he and Hoops made plans to open a record shop, with Marshall’s downtown the perfect location for the new business.

The store already has a collection of 35,000 records available, as well as plans to continue to expand what they offer to the community.

A new stage, that the two said will eventually host live music and open mic nights, as well as a lounge and listening station are all available at the location right now.

Additionally, a small coffee shop is available at the store now. Hoops also said that the store will offer a record flattening service to help community members repair warped records.

An official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the business is in the works with the Greater Marshall Chamber of Commerce, which will be announced by the business at a later date.

Texas Tea Room II

Marshall can expect the addition of a new lunch spot soon with the opening of the planned new Texas Tea Room II, scheduled for some time at the end of this month.

Owner Josh VanWinkle said that the restaurant will keep with the same menu and spirit of the original Texas Tea Room, located in Carthage and owned by his father, Mark.

The new location will be at 211 N. Wellington in Marshall, and will feature an array of lunch items the original restaurant is well known for, as well as the famous daily specials.

VanWinkle said that the Carthage location has a number of Marshall customers who make the drive to come visit, and that it was those customers that encouraged the family to move to Marshall.

“We have a lot of people who come out all the time, and they really wanted to see a Tea Room here in Marshall,” he said.

After spending a long career in the oil industry, during which time he went overseas where he met his wife, VanWinkle said that life and the COVID-19 pandemic brought him home to Texas.

It was then that VanWinkle and his father Mark got the idea for him to open the restaurant’s second location here in Marshall.

“He (Mark) really knows what he is doing, people love the food, they love what he does there, so we want to create that in Marshall,” He said.

VanWinkle said he is currently in the process of renovating the interior of the new business in preparation of opening later this month.

An official grand opening ceremony is planned for the restaurant at a later date, with more details to be announced in the near future.

Caddo Distillery Company

Owner Scott Carlile is making plans to open the Caddo Distillery Company on Washington Street in 2022.

Carlile has already purchased the Penny Square building, which used to house the old JC Penny’s on Washington, where he is in the process of renovating the space to create the new business. He said that he has plans to purchase an adjacent property was well, to give the business space to grow.

Inspired by the beauty of Caddo Lake, as well as the rich history surrounding the area during the prohibition era, Carlile said that it was the perfect fit to name his new company after.

Due to zoning issues within downtown, Carlile said that the new company almost made their home in Jefferson. Though with help from city officials, including Main Street Manager Veronique Ramirez, the zoning was altered to allow for the distillery to make its home in Marshall.

“Were happy to be here in Marshall,” he said, “I live here, my family has close ties to the town, so we are happy that we are in Marshall.”

The company has plans to makes its own bourbon on site, and will also be selling vodka, gin, tequila and more. A gift shop and lounge area is also planned for the new business, with the potential addition of a stage area for live performances and music.

Carlile also said that he is looking into the possibility of creating a restaurant space within the distillery that can be rented out to a local restaurateur.

“Were hoping that this attracts tourism to downtown and continues to bring money into Marshall,” Carlile said, “I think this is a win-win.”

Marcial Avelar

Business owner Marcial Avelar, owner of Avelar Western Wares, has made a big investment in the city with the purchase and planned renovations on four buildings in Marshall.

Avelar has been approved for certificates of appropriateness by the Historical Landmark Preservation Board on renovations planned for the façade of the historical Elks Lodge on Washington Street, the First National Bank building on Houston and Austin, as well as the properties located at 114 and 115 Austin St.

The buildings at 114 and 115 Austin St. were in the middle of ongoing construction and repairs when the new historical downtown district was enacted, according to Avelar, who said that though the COAs were just approved, construction in planned to wrap up this week.

The buildings already host a number of local businesses, including Avelar Western Wares and Level Up Nutrition, with Avelar stating that after renovations, additional opportunities for businesses will be available. Upstairs apartments are also planned for the buildings.

At the Elks Lodge building, Avelar said that he is renovating it now to eventually grow into a hotel on the third and fourth floors of the property, with a business on the main floor.

Avelar estimated that the work on this project would take an additional six months, with plans to hopefully open the building and business to the public in 2022.

Work on the façade of the building, to keep with the historical construction and maintain the original design, is in progress now.

Additionally, for the First National Bank building, not only has Avelar received certificates of approval for the planned façade renovations, he has also received two $5,000 façade improvement grants from the city for the work on the two main exteriors of the building.

He said that he has plans to remove the large metal covering on the exterior of the building, renovating it to reflect the original style of the building much more than its current façade.

“Marshall is my home, I’m happy to invest in it because I want to see it continue to grow,” he said.

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