Longtime coming: Downtown Augusta growing with new businesses

Thursday, August 29, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Downtown Augusta continues to grow. The grand opening for the Buona Caffe new roasting facility on Reynolds Street happened today. It's their third location.

The new Buona Caffe location is right across the street from the vacant old train depot. The depot is a story we've been reporting on for years and now it seems like that project and several others are finally happening.

For John and Pat Curry, coffee is a way of life.

“I was a journalist for 35 years and we always drank coffee so I started roasting coffee as a hobby while I was in that business,” John, a co-owner of Buona Caffe.

Fast forward almost a decade and John and Pat just opened their third Buona Caffe location on Reynolds Street.

“We wanted to be downtown. I know the depot's across the street. That would be great if that happens,” said John.

Lucky for him, it seems like it is happening. It's been a long time coming but Margaret Woodard of the downtown development authority says we can expect commission to give its final approval within the next month. Construction could start by the first of the year.

“The developer has about finished turning in all the required documentation that are in the legal documents and we've got a lot of interest in the property so it's exciting,” said Margaret Woodard, with the downtown development authority.

That's not the only project in the works. The owner of Sole has also purchased some more downtown property.

“He has purchased the Woolworth building as well as another building on lower Broad,” said Woodard.

It's all part of a trend Woodard says she's been seeing a lot. Business owners who already have property downtown are buying up more space.

“We feel like there have been more ribbon-cuttings in the last year than we've seen in a long time. And that's great news,” said Woodard.

In addition to the owners of Sole and Buona Caffe expanding, Sean White, who owns Farmhaus Burger, Frog Hollow, and Craft and Vine, is opening a new Mexican restaurant downtown as well.