Garrettsville – “We are committed to to staying in Garrettsville and going back to Main Street when we can.”
These are the words of Dan Myers, who owned and operated New Hearing Sales & Services from 8115 Main Street until fire destroyed it and nearly every other business from Center Street to High Street in a historic blaze on March 22. His sentiment is echoed by most of the business owners who are scrambling now in the aftermath to relocate and regain operations elsewhere while Main Street gets cleaned up and rebuilt in the months ahead.
Myers is working on a relocation plan with Barber of G-ville owner/operator Jim Reppy (formerly of 8117 Main Street) to lease an existing building elsewhere in Garrettsville in forthcoming weeks. Details still need to be ironed out, including the repurchase of necessary equipment, required paperwork and time to renovate. In the meantime, patients can reach New Hearing at the established phone number (330) 527-7660. Reppy can also be reached at his barbering number (330) 527-4286.
The Nelson-Garrettsville Community Cupboard (NGCC), previously located at 8147 Center Street only since November, has secured temporary food storage space at the previous Tom C Toys store at the corner of State Routes 88 and 305. Volunteers are needed to help sort food on Thursday noon-3pm, Friday 1-4pm, and Saturday 10am-2pm. The food outreach is open Monday 3-6pm and Wednesdays 9am-noon.
Patients cannot receive treatment from Dr. Frank Stoddard at Garrettsville Foot and Ankle Clinic’s former location at 8131 Main Street. However, they are welcome to make appointments at Dr. Stoddard’s new office location which is housed the Total Lifetime Care facility, 1 Memory Lane, by calling (330) 833-3668.
The office of attorney Dann Timmons is reportedly relocated temporarily at S&S Financial Services at 8102 Main Street. Maschek Contruction is currently being operated from the Hiram Township home of Mick Maschek.
Shaker Tree specialty gift shop was owned and operated by Randy and Kim Weingart at 8119 Main Street. The combined loss of their property, building and contents is too overwhelming at this point to make rebuilding feasible, Kim reported on Monday, as the family picked through the rubble to salvage any items of value from the wreckage. However, the Shaker Tree website expresses a desire to re-open at some point in the future. Shaker Tree had been a destination for locals, out-of-towners and even out-of-staters for a decade, and renovation of the retail block had spread from that focal point in recent years.
Shiffer’s Clock Repair at 8129 Main Street was individually owned, as well. It had also enjoyed a multi-state cadre of customers in its six years on Main Street. When asked of his plans in the aftermath of the fire, Dale Shiffer replied, “I’m moving to Florida.” Shiffer admits he’s going through a difficult grieving process, but can’t realistically recoup the value of the clocks, tools and equipment lost in his building.
“At my age — 64 — I’m not old and I’m not young, but I can’t see rebuilding here. I need to find something else to do, and since I own property in Florida, it seems like moving there is the logical next step.”
Owners of One Real Peach, Chic & Shabby, Miller’s Lawn & Garden, T& B Tools, and attorney Robert Mishler were unable to be reached by press time. Updates as to their future plans will be forthcoming.
One Main Street business owner who didn’t miss a day of work is attorney Kim Kohli, whose brick building shared with attorney Mishler stands alone among the charred rubble of the burned-out block. While she cannot operate from her previous location at 8134 Main Street, she was open to her clients by the Monday after the fire, above Ellerhorst Insurance Agency at 10864 North Street. She can be reached at her regular office number (330) 527-7007.
Insurance agent Mark Russell says, “The day after the fire we were surveying the damage done at her office, and by that afternoon, we offered Kim space above our insurance agency for the time being, and she started moving stuff over here. She had a place to hang her sign by Monday.”
Russell went on to say, “So many lives have been impacted by this fire. It’s not just a matter of bricks and mortar. It’s heartbreaking to see the devastation downtown on Main Street, especially after it had gone through such a thorough renovation. We all need to do what we can to get these people back to work and get Main Street restored.”