By Dave Russell


Neither cold weather nor COVID can keep Sylva’s business scene quiet. Mixed drinks, manicures, yoga, sub sandwiches and pastries are all on the menu as new “OPEN” signs flash in windows in and around town.

Salon 1718 opened at 74 East Sylva Shopping Center in early October. It’s a full service salon offering cuts, color services, facial waxing, manicure and pedicure services, specializing in bridal/special event styling.

There is loads of experience – 65 years – in the building.

Owner Julie Faulkenberry has 14 years of experience with hair, Cristal Hill has 24. Aimee Ammons has been a nail technician for 27 years.

“We prefer people to call in and make appointments because of COVID restrictions,” Faulkenberry said. “We’re all kind of booked, so it is best to call, especially if you want a certain time of day.”

Masks are required to receive service.

“We also have a lot of high-end beauty products for sale,” Faulkenberry said. “One of our premiere lines is Moroccanoil, and we also have Kenra and Redken.”

Haircuts, styling and other services are available for men, women and children, she said.

The salon is at the opposite end of the building from the Sylva ABC store.

Salon 1718 can be reached at 399-1123.

A new Jersey Mike’s Subs is coming to the old Ryan’s Steakhouse site at Sylva Commons, better known as “Walmart Plaza.” The international chain makes “authentic Northeast-style subs,” according to its website.

Two buildings comprising 10,000 square feet are under construction on the site that formerly housed Ryan’s. The buildings are divided into nine rental units. 

“The project will be the new home of retail businesses and restaurants including a drive thru,” said Stacey Cachat of property owner Tricor International Corporation in Orlando, Florida. “During the past months, Tricor has fully updated the shopping center by repainting the exterior, resurfacing and restriping the parking lot, and installing new light fixtures.”

There was no reply to a followup email to Cachat about other tenants.

It’s “coffee shop by day, cocktail bar by night” at 545 Mill Street in Sylva. A step through a small door takes patrons from the White Moon to the Dark Moon, from coffee and eats to speakeasy ambiance with mixed drinks, beer, wine and bar snacks.

The Dark Moon opened last month. Owners Don Panicko and Cecelia White close the White Moon at 5 p.m. and spread bar customers out into the space to keep customers safe, Panicko said.

The Dark Moon offers a full liquor bar.

“The mixed drinks we rotate kind of seasonally,” Panicko said. “So right now what we have are house cocktails that we come up with here, and then we have a classic section that features cocktails that have existed since the late 1800s or early 1900s.”

Vermouth, sherry, beer and wine are served over the wooden bar as well.

“Our wines are all natural wines,” Panicko said. “Natural fermentation process, native yeasts, no sulphites added.”

Hours for Dark Moon are 5-11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Up at 302 Skyland Drive, JXT Company has opened to serve mostly industrial and commercial needs, but they also have a retail operation. 

“We sell general maintenance supplies, lighting, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and hardware and safety material,” co-owner Philip Jiang said. “We also carry PPE like masks, hand sanitizer and different dispensers for liquid gel and foam.”

They have flooring, hardware, food service, cleaning, safety products, motors, pumps parts and more.

JXT can be found at or on Facebook. Hours are about 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The former Lulu’s on Main building at 612 W. Main St. opens with a three pronged approach – restaurant, yoga and potentially, small spaces for arts and crafts or other endeavors.

The restaurant, Lucy in the Rye, opens sometime in early 2021, owner Dino Mitsides said.

“We’re going to focus on breakfast and lunch and feature a scratch bakery, “ he said. “We’ll have the classic items, like two eggs your way with thick cut bacon, sausage, or ham and vegan/gluten free options as well.”

Lunch will feature affordable meals, salads and creative takes on thoughtfully sourced nutritious food, he said.

“In the bakery, we really want to shine with homemade pies, tarts, quiche, pastries and our cinnamon rolls” he said.

Mitsides, a chef, will oversee the kitchen himself.

Lucy in the Rye will sell beer and wine, and maybe mixed drinks later, he said.

The Yoga Mill side of the operation opened this week.

“We’re offering yoga classes in a limited capacity for now due to COVID protocols,” he said. “Hot yoga, asana, mysore style, restorative, and yin classes will be available. Our teachers offer private and small group classes, too if you cannot or do not feel ready to attend public classes.”

The space is available for massage therapists to rent, and he hopes to offer martial arts/self defense classes if he finds an instructor.

Another part of the building would divide into five or six spaces of about 100-240 square feet for artisans, nonprofits, pre-packaged goods and more. Rent would range from $95-$250 per month.

“I want it to be an active space for the community,” he said. “I’ve heard from some artists who just want to have a little affordable space to display their work.”

Lucy in the Rye will employ about 15 people, he said.

Mitsides’ new endeavor can be found on the web at and on Facebook.

The old Peebles still sits vacant. Owner David Schulman is working with Western Carolina University to establish a Catamount presence in downtown, he said. WCU is mum on what that might be.

A sign out front of the old Sonic says a new Sonic is coming soon as remodeling is complete.