The business district surrounding Garland’s Downtown Square is limping along, with restaurants now able to accommodate 75% of their capacity for indoor dining. Miraculously, all of the small, independently owned eateries have managed to survive the pandemic so far. The empty buildings surrounding the square were empty before the pandemic hit, and one has actually been vacant for thirty years, so we’re told.
The Peavey Family, owners of Garland Furniture, put their building on the market and vacated the premises at 500 Main Street several months ago. That empty storefront is the first thing you’ll see as you enter the once bustling downtown business district. On the other side of the square are the darkened windows of the Jones Hardware store, stretch covering an expanse equal to about three storefronts. The reasons that generations of the Jones family have refused to rent or sell that property has become the stuff of urban legends.
Facing the square on Sixth Street is now another vacant building that was formerly Karen Scott’s McGillicuddy’s Antiques. The shop was closed in December, 2018, and the building has been purchased by film director Tom DeNolf. He gutted the two story building and stripped its walls down to bare brick. Those brick walls have stood in place for more than 100 years. DeNolf is now accepting applications from prospective tenants.
The Rowlett Florist at 513 State Street, has been awaiting demolition and reconstruction since the ceiling collapsed a couple of months ago. Customers are being served at their Sachse location, and we’re told it’s business as usual as they await the reopening of their downtown Garland store.
Just off the square, at 612 State Street, Mrs. J’s Heavenly Delights, a candy store with assorted goodies, opened just a few months ago. Just two weeks ago the Best Cow Hide Showroom opened at 602 Main Street, in a space formerly serving as a barber shop. On September 15 the Garland City Council approved the application for a Special Use Permit to allow a tattoo parlor to operate at 528 Main Street, next door to the Millhouse Pizzeria & Stage.
A few blocks down from the square, on Ninth and Main, Robert Smith is adding an outdoor dining space to the property now housing Paw Paw’s Sweet Shop & Cafe. He plans to create a year around patio dining space in the 750 square foot spot facing Ninth. Just a little further down, on Main Street between Ninth and Tenth, is Picker’s Paradise, which is now under new ownership. The new property owners plan to continue to operate the business in a manner similar to that of the former owners.