By Tina Alvey
The friendly River City has welcomed two new businesses and hailed the re-opening of a third during the past few weeks.
With all three occupying previously vacant downtown buildings, the businesses are making a significant contribution to the city’s ongoing revitalization.
Main Street program manager Lisa Circle says the new businesses are “a step in the right direction.”
“These businesses, along with others, will bring a new sense of completeness to Ronceverte,” Circle maintains. “I feel strongly it’s going to continue to expand the business component we need downtown.”
Circle points out that Ronceverte boasts “very competitive” rental prices in comparison to the surrounding communities.
Whanger Construction is newly headquartered at 211 Chestnut St., under the railroad bridge just past the Ronceverte Post Office.
Although owner Adam Whanger has operated a construction firm in Ronceverte since 2007, the business was originially small enough that he could run it out of his home. Now, however, business is so good he was pushed to find more suitable quarters.
“I live in Ronceverte, so I opened the business here,” Whanger says. “Everything is going well so far.”
Whanger and his six employees specialize in residential construction, including remodeling and excavation.
“We do everything from the ground up,” he says. “Basically, everything to do with home construction, we do it.”
Potential clients are invited to call 304-992-2127 for more information.
The long-vacant True Value property at 314 Monroe Ave. now houses Pickering Automotive, a business owned by Danny Pickering, who brings more than 33 years of experience as a mechanic to the Ronceverte community.
Offering tune-ups, engine swaps, oil changes, brake work and diagnostic services, Pickering Automotive is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The shop is also open until noon Saturdays.
Call 304-646-0605 for an appointment.
Robert Johnson, owner and operator of The Arcade, has re-opened his business in a new location, 810 Monroe Ave.
The Arcade is an alcohol-free, no-drugs-allow-ed amusement hall open winter hours from 5 to 11 p.m. Mondays and Wed-nesday through Saturday, with private parties many Sundays.
“I usually cut it back to only weekends in the summer,” Johnson says. “You just can’t compete with Island Park and the river in the summertime.”
The Arcade features a variety of video games and pinball machines, including throwbacks like “Galaga” and a “Tales from the Crypt” pinball machine in great condition. Johnson says he has all machines set up to offer games at 25 cents each, keeping his clientele in mind.
“It’s a very family-oriented place,” Johnson says. “I’ve got customers from pre-school to up in their 70s. A lot of people just don’t want to play pool in a bar.”
The Arcade also offers party packages starting at $50 for two hours, a fee that includes use of the hall’s pool tables and corn-hole games.
Johnson is pleased with the new site, saying it provides more space for his many arcade games and pool tables, as well as being convenient to his workshop, where he repairs other people’s game machines.
“You’d be surprised at how many people have these machines in their homes,” he says.
For more information, call 304-661-2720.
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