Downtown businesses get superlatives

11/15/2013 11:26 AM

11/15/2013 11:27 AM

Three downtown businesses won new bragging rights this week as the Clayton Downtown Development Association held its annual awards dinner.

Deep River Brewing Co. was named Outstanding New Downtown Business. Circa Furniture won Best Curb Appeal, and the Wagner House was named Downtown Business of the Year.

“Deep River Brewing Company is fast becoming an anchor to the west end of downtown,” said Bruce Naegelan, Clayton’s downtown development director.

Paul and Lynn Auclair opened the brewery in April. It is located in the historic Bartex building, a former cotton mill.

The brewery, at 700 W. Main St., has attracted people from across the Triangle to enjoy its fresh brews. Whole Foods stores across the Triangle and several bars in Clayton and Raleigh also carry the beer.

Other nominees for Outstanding New Downtown Business were Patty Cake Bakery at 421 E. Main St. and Classy Stitches at 200 E. Main St.

Circa Furniture, which took home the curb-appeal prize, sells refinished antiques and custom, handmade furniture.

Brian Shirley opened the store in 2011 at 427 E. Main St. Its facade got a makeover with help from a grant from the town.

Naegelan noted that the store has a front that changes with the holidays and an easel outside that makes it stand out.

Shirley was beaming upon receiving the award. For some of his handmade pieces, he uses wood reclaimed from old tobacco barns.

Other nominees for Best Curb Appeal were the Wagner House and Right Angles Custom Framing.

The Wagner House, which changed owners this year, won Downtown Business of the Year. Owner Kelli Norman and her husband Peter bought the house in January.

“They have transformed what was a beautiful yet somewhat reclusive business into a community gem,” Naegelan said.

The Wagner House, once known exclusively as a wedding venue, is now open Sundays for brunch. It also plays host to community events, including this year’s Farm to Table dinner, which featured cuisine from local farmers.

Main Street Jewelers and Deep River Brewing Co. were other nominees for Downtown Business of the Year.

The Clayton Downtown Development Association works to help downtown thrive.

This year, the CDDA moved the farmers’ market from Town Square to Horne Square. It oversaw the Town Square concert series, which staged five concerts with an average of crowd of 1,100 people. And it celebrated the one-year anniversary of the “Tuesday Tune-Up” networking seminars.

In the past year, the town has invested $151,988 in downtown, according to the CDDA. The private sector has invested $471,335.

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