Local businesses expanding, opening

Published 12:51 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2012

NICOLE NICHOLS, the owner of Bella’s Boutique, shows off the expansion currently under way at her store on East Shotwell Street. Nichols said the new expansion should be open by mid-February.

Although the national economic mood may still be gloomy, it looks like many entrepreneurs in Bainbridge haven’t let the depressed economy get them down.

Several new businesses are under construction, and at least one is currently expanding.

Nicole Nichols, owner of Bella’s Boutique on East Shotwell Street, said her store is in the process of expanding to fill more than double its existing space. In addition, other new businesses will open in the coming months.

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Bob Gardner, building inspector for the City of Bainbridge, said that Five Star Credit Union of Dothan, Ala., has plans to open a branch at the old Buyer’s Choice Motors car lot at the intersection of Sims and Shotwell streets.

Local entrepreneur Jamie McAnelly plans to open a seafood market at 204 W. Alice St., behind Sammy’s Bait and Tackle.

Also, Alan Giles, the owner of the Bainbridge Lighthouse Car Wash on East Shotwell Street, will soon open a second location. The new location will be just off U.S. Highway 27, behind O’Reilly’s Auto Parts.

Nichols said construction on the expansion is currently under way, and it will also feature a renovation of the existing store space. She hopes the work will be completed by mid-February, and that it won’t require closing the business for more than a day or two.

“When the renovations are going on, we’ll have to be closed for about four days,” she said. “But hopefully we can time it for the weekend and Monday, when we’re closed anyway, and then we won’t have to be closed too many business days.”

Nichols said the extra space will allow her to bring in additional clothing lines and other products.

“My customers have asked if I could carry different lines, and I’m just limited on space right now,” she said. “This new expansion will more than double the space I’ve got, and also renovate the existing store space.”

McAnelly said the “Phishbone Seafood” restaurant and seafood market will tentatively be open by the first week of February. The business will sell fresh fish, oysters and shrimp, and also have a restaurant to sell cooked seafood items.

He said the business hours have not been set yet, but likely the store will be closed Sundays and Mondays and open other days. For more information on Phishbone Seafood, call McAnelly at (229) 726-8201.

Giles said the popularity of the first Bainbridge Lighthouse Car Wash has prompted him to build a new one on the southern part of town. He said the two locations will be similar in size and features.

“Bainbridge is kind of expanding in that direction,” he said. “There are a lot of people who come to Bainbridge to shop at Walmart and Home Depot and the other stores down there. Hopefully, they’ll decide to get their car washed during those visits.”