By Dave Russell
There’s always news on the Sylva business front. Two downtown shops have new owners but won’t change much, a rental company has some breathing room and a furniture shop will open soon.
After working at Sassy Frass Consignment, Violetta Ohliger bought the consignment shop from its creator and longtime owner, Tammy Fuller.
Ohliger said she doesn’t know if anything will change about Sassy Frass.
“All I know is that God spoke to my heart and he’s doing something fresh and new,” she said. “What that means, honestly, I don’t know. I enjoy design, and I love sparkle, so I’m doing what I do best, just making things beautiful.”
Ohliger is thrilled to be a part of downtown Sylva, she said.
“There are so many beautiful stores, and people are noticing,” she said. “Customers come in and say, ‘What’s happening in downtown Sylva?’ Everyone is having an amazing experience downtown.”
McNeely’s Store and Rental has moved from next to Dunkin’ Donuts to 1188 W. Main St., former home of Allison Chevrolet.
“It’s more space and we are carrying more inventory than we were over there by Dunkin’ Donuts,” store Manager Jodi Middleton said. “Parking is better.”
Getting in and out of the parking lot is much easier now, she said.
“We’re able to display and carry more small engine equipment, and we’re able to have more of our rental equipment down here,” she said. “It’s mostly the same brands we’ve had, just different items.”
The chain rents everything from wedding supplies, such as tables and chairs, to drills and generators.
The Wine Bar and Cellar, formerly Papou’s Wine Shop, is under new ownership, Anne and Craig Smith.
Manager Mary Furr said the Wine Bar and Cellar won’t be much different than its predecessor.
“While the building will be receiving a little bit of a facelift, the general energy and warmth will stay the same,” she said.
Live music, educational classes and wine are all still on the menu. Spooky tastings are planned for October, inspired by some of the folklore surrounding wineries.
Furr wants The Wine Bar and Cellar’s environment to be one of openness.
“Because of my background in fine dining, it’s so very important to me to show people that it doesn’t have to be fancy,” Furr said. “It’s not this super lofty, unattainable thing.”
Previously owned by Dustin Demos, Papou’s is a Greek term for grandfather. Demos’ grandfather owned a wine shop as well.
Fine Things, owned by Rex Price, is a furniture warehouse replacing the old Family Dollar behind Speedy’s Pizza. Fine Things plans to open on Sept. 22, according to Jeff Price, Rex’s brother and a furniture maker who will operate out of the building.
“There are going to be maybe three or four people who make furniture who will have stuff in here,” said Jeff Price, who will also be creating furniture for sale.
They’ll also have new wholesale furniture.
“New and local handmade furniture will set Fine Things apart from other stores selling furniture,” Price said.
There are three empty storefronts surrounding End of Main, at 482 W. Main St., now that the Wilderness Society Southern Appalachian Regional Office closed. The environmental nonprofit, whose mission is to “protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places,” moved the office to Asheville.
Destiny Church has opened up in the former Haywood Design Center building at 81 W. Main St. The building served as Republican Party headquarters during last year’s election.