GOSHEN After a summer full of activity in downtown Goshen, the changes have continued with numerous other projects affecting the local scene.
The recently renovated building at 302 S. Main St. has been open for several weeks after a nearly two-year process of renovation and reconstruction. It houses seven tenants right now, with an eighth soon to move in.
The collection of businesses is instantly recognizable by the circular windows on the north side of the building. It’s from those windows that the building draws its new name: “The Bubble.”
The Bubble celebrated its grand opening last weekend with events both Friday and Saturday.
The Bubble’s owner, Jeremy Stutsman of Lofty Ideas, said he purchased the building almost two years ago.
The building used to house a printing store and was also the campaign headquarters for Brendan Mullen’s run for U.S. House of Representatives.
The only holdover tenant from the previous owner is the Shear Style salon.
The labor-intensive renovation of the building took about 18 months to complete, Stutsman said, but has now become a hub of health-related activities.
Stutsman said most of the building was renovated, but he did put on an addition that added about 900 square feet.
Nearly all of the tenants in the building are related in some way to the health field, with an emphasis on activity.
The site is the new home for, among others, Live Out Loud Health and Fitness Studio (l.o.l.), Spacious Heart Yoga and a massage therapist.
Stutsman said he intentionally envisioned the site to house businesses that would complement The Bubble’s initial tenants, l.o.l. and Spacious Heart.
“We really wanted to make sure it was health-oriented that kind of tends towards women, but there are services men utilize, too,” Stutsman said.
Maija Stutsman, wife of Jeremy Stutsman and co-owner of l.o.l. Fitness with Jami Hawkins, said the new location has allowed them to offer more classes and activities than their previous location on Main Street.
L.o.l. had previously been sharing a space with Spacious Heart on Main Street, but both had grown to the point where they needed separate spaces for their activities.
“Both of us were starting to get too many classes and too many people coming through and we couldn’t coordinate our schedules anymore,” Maija Stutsman said.
“We had to offer more things and have more time,” she said. “Mostly we just have bigger classes. We can accommodate more people.”
Just up Main Street from the Bubble, a new sunglasses shop has gone in and a new restaurant now sits in the space formerly occupied by The Electric Brew.
Shades held a soft opening on Small Business Saturday and celebrated its grand opening for December’s First Fridays.
The sunglasses store at 224 S. Main St. is owned and operated by Wellington and Weddell Eye Care.
The eye care facility previously offered some sunglasses in their office but co-owner Jim Wellington said they wanted to expand the inventory of what they could supply.
The space on Main Street became open and with minimal work required to turn the site into a retail shop, the owners decided to jump on the opportunity.
He said business has been slow early on, but attributes that to having just opened.
“We’re just kind of getting started so we think it’ll pick up,” he said.
Wellington believes that residents will appreciate having a store that offers popular brands of sunglasses.
Instead of having to travel to Mishawaka or Fort Wayne, those looking for sunglasses can just head downtown.
“Now you have world-class selection here in Goshen,” he said.
Meanwhile, Levi and Joanna King’s newest JoJo’s Pretzels location held its soft opening on Friday, Dec. 6, as part of First Fridays.
“We crunched like crazy to get open for Friday because it was First Friday,” Levi King said. “You’ve got to be open for First Friday.”
King said the line for the restaurant’s first night was “out to the door.”
After staying closed Monday to do some more work, JoJo’s reopened Tuesday and is nearly complete.
The owners are still waiting for a few more tables and seating to be completed, but the restaurant is open for business.
The eatery, the Kings’ second location along with the popular spot in Shipshewana, has been a long time coming.
Levi King said the Goshen Chamber of Commerce had suggested opening a JoJo’s in Goshen for several years, but the Kings hadn’t found a place they were interested in.
That changed when Levi King heard that The Electric Brew would be moving to East Washington St.
“I thought to myself, ‘If I’m ever going to move in Goshen, this would be the best spot,’” he said.
Levi King said renovations started in August and that renovations took longer than expected and is glad to be essentially finished.
“Sometimes things take longer than you wish they would. You just have to be patient,” he said.
The Goshen JoJo’s features a vintage feel, be it from the tables and booths fashioned from an old barn, including a long, winding table referred to as “the river table,” or the collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia scattered throughout the restaurant.
The end posts of the booths even resemble Coca-Cola bottles.
“We tried very hard to stay true to the community,” Joanna King said of the restaurant’s interior design. “There’s a lot of artistic, and a lot of that organic, feel in downtown Goshen and we wanted to stay true to that.”
“We’re doing some interesting things for downtown Goshen,” she said.
The newest additions to Goshen’s downtown have altered the landscape physically, but all will fit in just fine in an area that has become a revitalized and enterprising district.