Bogalusa’s downtown continues to improve

Published 11:45 pm Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bogalusa’s Main Street District continues to grow in variety as well as size, Manager Robin Day said this week. There are now about 45 businesses up and running on “the road,” she said.

Now, in addition to antique and collectible shops, a professional photographer, a convenience store, financial institutions and others that are becoming well-rooted, new businesses are getting settled in or are planning to open on Columbia Street.

Visitors can already get everything from a tattoo to a hearty breakfast in the 400 block alone, and in the next few weeks, that variety will expand.

Hog Wild Leather and Jewelry will soon open in the Penney Mall with “Harley-type jewelry, leather, body jewelry and stainless steel,” Day said. And Cajun Canvas has relocated to 408 Columbia St., where the business will grow to also include a coffee shop, The Coffee Mill. It is expected to be open by early February.

Main Street merchant Alexis Upholstery has also expanded to include Alexis Signs, which offers flags, signs and banners, and will eventually include embroidery and etching, Day said.

Miss Cutie, a boutique, and Granny and Nana’s, which offers handbags and more, are now open in the Penney Mall. And for perhaps a different clientele, The Tattoo Shop offers tattoos and body piercings.

About a block south, M&M Unlimited offers services ranging from concrete and building contracting to car detailing.

Main Street’s goal of providing an attractive, walkable neighborhood ambiance is further promoted by the Cypress Café, which opened on Jan. 2 and now serves breakfast and lunch Mondays through Saturdays.

When possible, the cafe will even deliver to downtown customers, Day said.

“I think we’re moving right on schedule for an up-and-coming Main Street,” she said. “I believe everybody is becoming more aware of what we have down here. There’s so much more variety now.”

And there’s room for more.

“We still have some buildings available for lease,” Day said. “And the owners are motivated.”

The Main Street Committee will continue to host special events designed to bring people out to see the latest developments.

In connection with Bogalusa’s centennial celebrations, it will organize a Throw Back Thursday Open House for the evening of March 13, and it will present Old Fashioned Bargain Days before the city’s July 4 birthday. Day said the group is also considering hosting Ladies Nights Out activities, and Cypress Café is planning a “musical sidewalk” grand opening sometime soon.