Hello! Welcome to Goings On with Grant. It is my great pleasure to introduce myself as The Dispatch’s new economic development reporter and business column writer. I know that I have big shoes to fill; my predecessors did amazing things with this column and I hope that you, the readers, will continue to enjoy it as I pick up the mantle.
As a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in journalism, I’ll be keeping up with today’s big baseball game with Arkansas to see if my Rebels can make it to the College World Series finals. It didn’t work out like I had hoped last night, of course, but we’ll see how it goes in today’s win-or-go-home matchup.
With that out of the way, let’s review what’s been going on here in the Golden Triangle.
First up, a shuttered restaurant on Highway 45 in Columbus will soon have a new “royal” tenant. Local business owner, Vikaskumar Patel, confirmed he is set to submit paperwork next week for a new Dairy Queen in the old Jimmy John’s at 1902 Highway 45 N.
Patel also plans to add a patio to the storefront for both summer and winter use.
“I used to work in a Dairy Queen from 2017 to 2019 as a manager,” Patel said. “So that’s why I’m interested in Dairy Queen.”
That’s not the only closed business building finding new life in The Friendly City.
New fashions are also making their way downtown! Kurvie Queens, a clothing store for curvy women, opened Saturday, with styles ranging from formal to casual in an array of colors and patterns. The store is located at 127 Fifth Street N., formerly the Grassroots building.
Nakasha Williams started the company as an online clothing store, but through determination and a love of Columbus, she opened her brick-and-mortar spot.
“I’m a plus-size woman. So, it’s very hard for me to find clothing that fits me or has enough of it in stores. I wanted to create a store where all of us have somewhere to go and have nice clothing,” Williams said.
There will be a ribbon cutting for the new store June 29.
As sure as the sun rises, it must always set, such is the way of all things in life, including the beginning and end of long-established businesses here in Columbus.
Tousley Motors Inc. owner Roger Tousley and partner Douglas Ferraez are announcing retirement and the sale of their business.
Tousley has been in business more than 30 years. He opened Tousley Motors in 1990, selling folks’ used cars in Columbus and Lowndes County.
“I’ve been in the car business since the ‘80s,” Tousley said. “So I mean, 10 years in dealerships before I started this, but it’s been enriching and rewarding.”
Tousley has been selling used cars since before I was alive, but he doesn’t exactly plan to stop doing what he’s done for four decades just because of retirement.
“I’ll probably still dabble a little bit in a very low-key situation (and) work in the yard some.”
Additionally, The Ranch House Diner at 807 Alabama St. also officially closed at 11 a.m. Wednesday. It announced the closure in a Facebook post earlier that morning.
“After so many years of wonderful service and working with so many great people we have completed this phase of our lives. It has been a pleasure to serve the East Lowndes and Columbus area,” the post read.
Summer brings fond memories of outdoor activities from my childhood. With that in mind, there will soon be an Outlaw Sporting Goods store coming to 2322 Highway 45 N. A building permit to remodel was approved on March 1, but no other information related to when it opens or the owner is available at this time.
Speaking of summer, why not pour yourself one of Urban South’s latest craft beers or just pour one out for the spring temperatures and lower gas prices that are no longer with us.
The New Orleans-based brewery recently expanded into nearly every single county in Mississippi, featuring a variety of brews such as Paradise Park American Lager, Holy Roller IPA and Lime Cucumber Gose.
Urban South is partnering with Southern Beverage to further expand into Mississippi markets. They will be hosting a variety of events this week to spread the word about their beer.
Well, that’s all for now folks. Be sure to submit your business tips to [email protected].
See you next week for more business goings on with me, Grant.
Dispatch reporter Grant McLaughlin writes about business openings and closings, as well as other unique business news. Send business tips to [email protected].