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St. Andrews businesses working towards a comeback




2019/11/11

Written by Olivia Michael at WJHD

 

Downtown St. Andrews was buzzing with the sounds of construction Monday morning.

 

"There's just been a constant effort to clean it up, and in the past few months there's been a lot of businesses getting new storefronts around here, they're refinishing buildings," said Nick Wittkoph, a barista at Amavida.

Businesses destroyed by Hurricane Michael like the Taproom are putting finishing touches on before opening their doors to the public again.

"Back here on the patio right now we have thirty-three beers on draft outside and we'll be open this weekend. Friday is our grand opening," said Matthew Cole, owner of the Taproom.

 

And while traditional local businesses are making a return, new businesses are riding the comeback train too.

"I've always been a part of the tourism industry down here visiting in Panama City Beach and so close to my heart already, and after the hurricane I just hoped maybe there'd be some opportunity to help out and build it back up again," said Jason Magness, Owner of the Bayview Grille.

Magness, who is an Arkansas native, said the charm of historic St. Andrews' bay front atmosphere is what drew him to open shop here.

"And just a thriving little community where you could park, and you could walk, and you could shop and eat and everything," he said.

"I see this area being the holy grail for college students and young adults," said Wittkoph.

"I think there's gonna be more businesses here than there was before," said Magness.

Although the future is still unknown for this small quirky waterfront community, many can agree St. Andrews will come back bigger and better.

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