There's something stirring in downtown Emden
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[April 16, 2013]
EMDEN -- Downtown Emden was
bustling on Saturday morning. The occasion was an open house at all
of the downtown businesses to celebrate buildings remodeled and
welcome new businesses. All the parking spots were filled on Lincoln
Street, Emden's main street, and families visited the new businesses
as well as some that have been around for awhile.
Montgomery Insurance now fills the space of the beautifully restored
former Emden Bank building. Agent Justin Montgomery and office
manager Alexis Geary are proud of the restoration, right down to a
new coat of paint on the old bank vault. Stop by and see the bullet
hole in the vault from an early 20th-century bank robbery.
Montgomery Insurance offers a full line of insurance products as
well as advice on what a person might need. The business has been
open three weeks in the new space and has been in existence for five
Next door, JD Automotive owner Justin Duvall is equally proud of
his newly restored work area. JD Automotive occupies the space that
was once the detail shop of Fink Chevrolet. Duvall offers a full
line of automotive repair, from brake jobs to full engine and
transmission overhauls. He opened his shop two months ago.
Tony Bjork has been restoring cars in Daddy's Shop for two years.
His business is in the former showroom of Fink Chevrolet. The
Alabama native moved to central Illinois several years ago and found
the perfect space for his business in Emden after advertising his
need on Craigslist.
Neil Leesman, Travis Schleder and Travis' father, Rick Schleder,
were sitting around one day and started throwing around the idea of
opening a small bar in Emden. That idea turned into a brand-new
building on Lincoln Street with a bar and a restaurant called
"We had no experience at all in the restaurant business," Leesman
said, "so we had a steep learning curve!" They opened on Feb. 22,
2012, which was his birthday.
Stag-R-Inn draws customers from all of central Illinois.
After one year on Emden's main drag, Regina Trout, owner of Emden
Salon, couldn't be happier. She offers manicures and pedicures for
women and men as well as haircuts and styling. Her business is
located in the restored former grocery that once graced downtown
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Next door is J's Place, a restaurant owned by John Cotton of
Lincoln. J's offers breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday as
well as an evening meal several nights a week. Cotton opened his
restaurant three years ago and has been very pleased with the
response. His customers come from Emden and several other central
Tami Paulus opened her two-bed tanning salon in June 2012.
"Two beds are just right for Emden," she said. "Now that the
tanning salon in Delavan closed, I am very busy."
Emden is a small town with enterprising and enthusiastic business
owners. With their energy, they are turning downtown Emden into a
busy place where residents of the area can find many of the services
that make a community thrive.
[By CURT FOX]
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