Boones Mill was buzzing Sunday as dozens of cars lined the streets for the town’s annual Car and Truck Show, but business owners say the town is still busy when the automobiles aren’t around.
“It’s just always been like a little hidden gem,” said Courtney Adkins, who opened The Wooden Spoon Cafe in Boones Mill with her husband in February.
Since the cafe opened, she said, business has been booming much more than she expected.
“The locals here are amazing,” Adkins said. “We have a lot of customers that eat with us multiple times a week. Some – they eat with us lunch and dinner in the same day.”
Adkins’s cafe is one of several new businesses in town. Among them – a brewery on Main Street, which opened a few months ago.
Businesses are also moving into a recently-opened industrial building at the new Village Park at Boones Mill. By July, according to town manager Matt Lawless, about 30 people will be working in the building.
Thanks to new businesses, meals tax revenue is up 13 percent from last year, Lawless said.
Officials also want to use the town’s history to draw more visitors. The restoration of the town’s historic train depot is more than halfway complete and will be turned into a museum and community center, Lawless said.
The annual Car and Truck Show serves as a fundraiser for the train depot’s restoration, according to organizers.
“We feel like Boones Mill is the entrance to Franklin County,” said Michael Smith of the Boones Mill town council. “We want to make it the gateway to Franklin County.”
Town leaders plan to continue restoring historic buildings so new businesses can move in, Lawless said. It’s all part of their vision for the future, which business owners in town believe is possible.
“A sidewalk community – somewhere where families can come and spend the whole day in town and have enough to do,” Adkins said.
This year’s car show raised about $3,000, Lawless said. The train depot restoration is expected to be complete within the next year, he added.