New businesses are thriving in downtown Harrisonburg

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – If you haven’t been to downtown Harrisonburg lately, things might look a little different.

New businesses have popped up all over the downtown area.

“It’s a classic old-school diner. We sell hot dogs, hamburgers, chili bowls, breakfast all day and we’ve been open until midnight or later,” said David Saunders, managing partner at Texas Inn.

Texas Inn is one of the newest restaurants to debut downtown.

Saunders has two children at JMU and thought what better place to bring a diner-style restaurant.

“I was walking by and I wanted to eat at Jess’s Quick Lunch, and it was closed. It made me kind of sad. It made me think well, maybe I can bring another one here,” Saunders said.

The Texas Inn isn’t the only new downtown storefront.

“WithSimplicty just moved there. They bought their own building and that’s a big step for a small business owner. There is a coffee shop that the owner of the business bought as well. There’s a different activity there, so by the end of the year East Market Street will look completely different,” said Andrea Dono, executive director of the Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance.

That’s not all, a Mexican food truck is now located across from Kline’s, and for all your game day needs, The University Outpost just opened a second location downtown.

HDR is a great partner in making these small businesses thrive downtown.

“It’s a perfect storm of willing entrepreneurs and available space and a great community to support them,” Dono said.

All of these openings are just in time for returning college students.

“We opened on the day of the block party and people were waiting for us at 7 a.m. to open,” Saunders said.

Dono said businesses were rushing to open their doors in time for Saturday’s downtown celebration.

“Several thousand JMU students are walking in front of their front doors, and there’s no better advertisement than that,” Dono said.

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