Wise County’s economy is growing, and over the past few months several businesses have entered our locality, with more set to follow.
Two such businesses are Sugar Hill Brewing Company and Replay Guitars.
Seeing both the opportunity and the need for a sit-down restaurant and brewery in their growing tourist town of Saint Paul, Virginia, “serial entrepreneurs” Greg and Jennifer Bailey, along with their son Alex, decided to introduce Sugar Hill Brewing Company to the town despite having no prior experience or knowledge of either business.
Already the owners and operators of Saint Paul Suites and Cottages, the family saw the chance for this new venture and went for it. After securing a loan and hiring the right people, the industrious family began overhauling their hardware store into what is now the site of the new restaurant. From the idea phase to opening day, the project took a little more than two years to complete.
With the hardest work now behind them, Southwest Virginians agree the Bailey’s efforts were well worth it. Sugar Hill Brewing Company pulls a crowd from across the region, with regular customers from towns throughout the county, as well as some folks who travel all the way from Abingdon, Damascus, Kingsport and Bristol. The brewery brings them in, and the great food and service keep them coming back.
Thrilled with the success of their own businesses, the Baileys actively encourage other locals to start the process of turning their dreams into reality as well. With so many unmet opportunities in the area, the family welcomes anyone and everyone with an idea to approach them for advice on how to get started. An idea that would allow the owners to capitalize, while also benefitting the community, is an idea they feel should be pursued.
“We love this area, and are willing to work day and night to make it a better place while we are providing for our own family,” Jennifer Bailey said.
Sugar Hill Brewing Company, located in the historical district of downtown Saint Paul, Virginia, opened its doors on September 2nd, 2016 to an eager and expectant community. While some slight modifications are still being made to their hours of operation, the restaurant and brewery are currently open for dinner on Wednesday through Friday from 4-10 p.m., Saturday from 12-10 p.m., and Sunday from 12-8 p.m. They offer take-out lunch and can accommodate a few sit-down customers on Wednesday through Friday from 10:30-1:30 p.m. Their menu includes a wide variety of options, ranging from salads to fish tacos and burgers. Seven house-brewed beers are now available to choose from with five more soon on their way.
Replay Guitars, originally opened in July, 2014 in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, reopened its doors on August 1st, 2016 in Wise, Virginia.
Owner Jenny Carter and her husband Charles, who serves as Replay Guitars’ General Manager, were motivated to once again introduce a music shop to the area after the closing of her former shop, Juste Music. Juste Music, established and operated by Mrs. Carter, is remembered as the longest running music store in Wise County. The business changed ownership after 18 years when the Carters moved away from the area. Two years later, the business closed.
The couple decided to return to the county and opened up another music store after receiving numerous requests from former customers. By pulling from their previous experience, the pair established and opened Replay Guitars in only two months in the Wise Business Plaza. While their primary product is previously-owned stringed instruments, they also offer a few new instruments, band instruments, PA systems and microphones. With the help of both prior customers and new customers alike, Replay Guitars will continue to grow and expand their services and product line.
“If we want our towns to improve and grow, we must support our local businesses or they, along with our towns, will die,” Mrs. Carter said on the great importance of doing business with local shops like Replay Guitars.
Replay Guitars is a family-oriented business that caters to customers interested in all types of music and from all different skill levels. The shop is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. -6 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. -5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. -4 p.m.
Along with Sugar Hill Brewing Company and Replay Guitars, a handful of other businesses will expand and open in Wise County in the near future. Cavalier Comics, owned by Brian Marcus, is a comic book, toy, tabletop game and collectibles shop that has recently relocated to a larger venue in the Ridgeview Shopping Center in Wise, Virginia. The comic shop will hold their grand opening event on October 14th in the new location. Frontier Secure, a division of Frontier Communications Corporation, has also recently opened in the county and is estimated to create approximately 500 new jobs within the community.
We excitedly welcome these new businesses into our area.