TUSCUMBIA — Businesswoman Laquita Logan has opened three new businesses in downtown Tuscumbia.
About two months ago, Logan opened Zoey Belle's, Briley's Clothing and The Rock bookstore at 506 N. Main St.
Zoey Belle's is a women's clothing store while Briley's Clothing features menswear. The Rock is a Christian bookstore, coffee shop and deli.
All three of the new businesses are located in the same building, known as Logan Court.
Logan said she has been interested in moving into Tuscumbia for some time.
"We thought it would be nice," she said. "We have so much retail, we thought we could do it in another location."
Logan's son, Grant Copeland, owns Sheffield Hardware in downtown Sheffield. Next door is the Red Clay Table, an upscale restaurant opened by Chef Alan Phillips. Next to the restaurant is a small event center called The Logan Room.
On the corner of Montgomery Avenue and Third Street, Logan is developing a bed and breakfast that will also house a Sheffield music museum.
"We like Tuscumbia a lot," Logan said. "We know they're trying to revamp their downtown area as well."
Logan's three businesses are located in Dr. Barry Basden's old eye care office near the Helen Keller Public Library.
"We've been open since Black Friday," manager Jamie Copeland said.
The clothing and book stores opened first, she said, followed by the coffee and sandwich shop. They even have a drive-through for orders called in by phone.
Sandwiches have unique names like the Dreamweaver, a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich named after Ryan Weaver of Sheffield Utilities. Colbert County Commissioner Tommy Barnes, who is civil operations manager for Sheffield Utilities, has a ham and Swiss cheese panini named after him.
Copeland said items are named after people and places in Tuscumbia and Sheffield.
Business has been good, Copeland said, especially around lunchtime.
A few blocks south on Main Street, workers were adding new plaster to a wall of the building that houses Fiddledee D.
Manager Pat Morgan said the city is considering adding a pocket park in the alley/courtyard.
Councilman William Foster confirmed the City Council is considering a pocket park for the alley beside Fiddledee D, maybe adding a new stamped concrete floor and some bistro tables.
"I redid this one two years ago," Shoals developer Danny Hardeman said. "It was falling in."
Caddy-corner from the business in the old law office of the late U.S. Sen. Howell Heflin, a 143-foot long balcony is being added to the facade of the old building Hardeman is renovating. It will feature three loft apartments upstairs, which are already leased.
Hardeman has had a presence in Tuscumbia for about 30 years, he said. He is also responsible for renovating several buildings in downtown Sheffield. His projects normally feature retail space on the ground floor and high-end loft apartments upstairs.
While gutting one room, Hardeman said workers discovered an old fireplace with a metal cover. There were still ashes inside. He left the fireplace and its ornate metal cover in place and added a new mantle.
Two heavy, metal safes sit on the sidewalk outside the building. Hardeman said he had to use a crane to remove them from the building.
Next door, Hardeman said a new doughnut shop, Monkey's Dough Cafe, is opening in a couple weeks.
Across the street, retired football coach Rickey Johnson's Coach's Steakhouse, which originated in Hatton, is also expected to open in a couple weeks in the old OH! Bryan's location.
Foster said he is optimistic about the future of downtown Tuscumbia. He said Mayor Kerry Underwood is talking to a couple of restaurants interested in the area, and there are meetings planned for this month and February.
"Hopefully, before long, we'll have a bunch of eateries, more shopping and more entertainment," Foster said. "It's looking good."
He is also a fan of the new coffee shop and, like Barnes and Weaver, he has a coffee drink named after him.
"I was there the first day they opened," Foster said. "I'm a huge coffee drinker. I go around to all the coffee shops."
He said he and Underwood have been eating lunch there frequently.