Businesses closing doors; end their downtown stories
Several downtown business spaces have become vacant and available in recent months, including a longtime staple of Marietta.
The Levee House restaurant, 127 Ohio St., closed on Dec. 30 after more than 30 years of operation as an eatery.
“I just couldn’t do the seasonal business anymore,” said David Hearing, 52, of Marietta.
Hearing had owned The Levee House restaurant overlooking the Ohio River Levee for eight years, taking over from building owner Harley Noland, who operated The Levee House Cafe before that.
“I loved this place,” said Cinda Erickson, of McConnelsville, who was bringing her assistant Lori Hossom for lunch Thursday when the pair saw the closed sign on the door. “It was going to be her first time. But I’ve been coming for 10 years because it’s such a nice place. We could have even sat out on the porch today.”
Noland said he hopes to have the dining room back open with another restaurant business this spring.
“We’re seeking a new operator and it comes fully equipped with tables and chairs, a full liquor license and a carry-out license,” said Noland. “The main dining room dates back to 1920 and the older private dining room to 1826. This building was the first dry goods store in the Northwest Territory and Col. Joseph Barker was the architect.”
Since the building was constructed it has also served as an automobile assembly site, a saloon and an automechanic shop before Noland purchased the building approximately 35 years ago.
“Then I had it as the Levee House Cafe,” he said.
About a block away on Front Street, Change of A’ Dress, owned by Angie Seigfried, will be closed to foot traffic at the end of the month.
“It would have been 13 years this March, but last year sales dropped 40 percent,” she said. “That’s not enough for me to justify running heat and electric to both buildings.”
Instead Seigfried said she’s still doing high-end name brand consignment but only online and using her next door Teen Closet location as storage for her merchandise.
“Then I’m willing to entertain any interest to rent this retail space,” she said. “We’ll keep the rent reasonable, we just don’t want to sell the buildings.”
Carol Vaughan, of Marietta, has been a loyal customer of Seigfried’s for years and said she’s sad to see the business close.
“I’ve shopped here for many, many years,” she said. “I come in to talk and shop, but I understand why she’s closing.”
Seigfried said much of her client base, professional women in schools, banks and real estate, have retired and are no longer in need of the nice clothing she provided.
“And the younger people either don’t have the funds or can find consignment on ThredUp for much cheaper so I’m not seeing the foot traffic I used to from them or from tourists anymore,” she said.
Hannah Thomas, 31, of Marietta, stopped into the store during her lunch break on Thursday though, excited to grab a few items for her work wardrobe on clearance prices.
“I figured I’d stop in since everything is 50 percent off right now,” she said. “I got a great pair of pants and a scarf.”
But Thomas was also sad to hear that another business around the corner had closed.
“My mom goes to the Levee House at least once a week,” she said.
Other restaurants that have also closed in recent months have included Pastime Pizza on Greene Street and Nacho Average Taco on Putnam Street. Meanwhile places like Jeremiah’s Coffee Shop on Front Street have expanded.
“I’ve met some great friends here just through coffee,” said Terry Clark, of Marietta. “But they advertise and you know what they have, that’s what these businesses need.”
At a glance
¯ The Levee House and Change of A’ Dress spaces are now up for rent/lease again after the downtown businesses of Marietta close their doors this winter.
Other empty spaces downtown include:
¯ The Wine Shop.
¯ R.P. Films, Weddings and Events.
¯ River City Tatoo.
¯ Studio space between Dudley’s Florist and Riverside Artist Gallery.
¯ River City Antique Emporium.
¯ Silver Linings (formerly My Favorite Things).
Source: Times research.