Columbia Street to add 2 new businesses

Published 1:58 pm Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bogalusa’s historical Downtown Main Street district will soon boast two new businesses in a restaurant and a women’s clothing boutique.

The 437 Restaurant will be located 437 S. Columbia St., while Michele will be nearby at 429 S. Columbia St.

Kelli Tony Garwood is the owner of 437.

“437 will be upscale casual dining with a modern twist to traditional Southern dishes,” Bogalusa Main Street Manager Robin Day said.

Day said the restaurant will begin operating sometime in late September.

Michele Marcombe, the namesake of boutique Michele, is the owner/designer of NOLA Bikinis. According to Day, the store will feature fashions from small to 3X. The business is scheduled to open in late August.

”Stay tuned for new faces and new places,” Day said.

One of the newer places on the street is the Coffee Mill, located at 408 S. Columbia St. and opened for business March 1. The quaint establishment has seating for 18 coffee connoisseurs. The business is located next to Columbia Street stalwart Gayle’s Jewelry Store.

Normal store hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The business will reopen in the fall on Saturdays.

We wanted a community coffeehouse,” manager Katy Lemly said. “We’re open late for book clubs, parties, church groups and ladies meetings. If people are here, we’ll stay.”

As a sign on a wall proclaims: ‘Pour it and they will come.”

Menu items include lattes, cappuccino, iced coffee and Italian cream soda.

“The white chocolate Italian cream sodas are the most popular,” Lemly said. “People tell us it reminds them of old-fashioned nectar sodas.”

In keeping with the neighborhood theme, Lemly said the business offers a book exchange program.

“With the book exchange program, folks can come in, sit, read a book and drop off a book and take one home with them,” Lemly said.

And there is a Suspended Coffee Program.

“The Suspended Coffee Program is like paying it forward,” Lemly said. “When you buy your coffee, you can pay for an extra cup. When someone, like a single parent or someone down on their luck comes in, they can ask for a Suspended Coffee, rather than a free cup, and we don’t charge them anything.”

Memorial Baptist Church Youth Pastor Jacob Gill is a regular. He said he enjoys the atmosphere.

“I make my trip here when I can,” Gill said. “It’s a little more quiet here than at the office at times.”

The Coffee Mill can be reached at 985-730-7386.

On similar note, after a brief hiatus because of the Opening Ceremonies of the Bogalusa Centennial Celebration on June 27, the Rendezvous on the Road series starts back up Friday, July 25, downtown at the 400 block of Columbia St. The aim of the series is to boost downtown business.

Activities during the 6-9 p.m. event are free to the public.

Day said activities during the event include an antique car show, a local musical group and plenty of food and drinks.

The inaugural Rendezvous on the Road was March 28. The series runs through August.

Day said downtown merchants will remain open.

For more information on the series and Friday’s activities, contact Day at 985-732-4684.