Trio of women to discuss plans for downtown businesses


By William F. West
Staff Writer

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Three women involved in renovating downtown business locations will bring their plans and ideas to members of the Elizabeth City Committee of 100 at the group’s quarterly meeting Wednesday.

Laurie Edwards, Janne Mills and Michelle Williams will discuss their projects at the gathering, planned for noon at Montero’s Restaurant, said Elizabeth City Downtown Director Inc. Deborah Malenfant. 

Edwards and her husband Will Raucci late last year acquired the two-story Virginia Dare Arcade building along East Main Street from Zack and Lescelles Robertson. Malenfant said the Edenton couple’s plans are for a pizza business to fill the first-floor street-side storefront, which has been vacant since Sidney’s Cafe & Bistro closed in January.

Mills and her family are presently working to open a bistro in the former Thumpers Downtown Bar & Grille at the northeast corner of East Colonial Avenue and North Poindexter Street. Mills said she will have a financial stake in the future bistro, with her son being the chef.  

Williams, of northern Virginia, has acquired the former Pure Oil service station and the adjacent former Cupcakery building from Perquimans County couple Ken and Mamie Hoffer. The former Pure Oil station is at the southwest corner of East Main and South Water streets and the former Cupcakery is along South Water.

Williams has said she’s interested in transforming the former Pure Oil location into a restaurant or retail space or maybe a florist shop or a bridal shop.

As for the empty adjacent two-story commercial building, Williams has said the downstairs would be retail space for rent, while the upstairs would be an apartment for rent.

Additionally, Elizabeth City City Manager Rich Olson said newly hired economic development director Christian Lockamy will be introduced at the meeting.

Lockamy is scheduled to report for work on Oct. 15. He’ll be coming from Greenville after completing his service as that city’s acting economic development manager.

Lockamy was hired earlier this month to succeed Wayne Harris, who retired in June after 11 years as Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County’s chief business and industry recruiter.

The Committee of 100, a non-profit dating back to 1981, works in concert with Elizabeth City and Pasquotank government leaders to enhance and help fund growth requiring private sector agility.

For further information, phone the local economic development office at 338-0169.