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A tale of two businesses: how Centennial Park has impacted downtown Midland

Centennial Park’s opening has brought a lot of traffic to downtown Midland businesses, but one business owner says months of construction was a heavy price.
Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 7:52 PM CST
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Centennial Park’s opening has brought a lot of traffic to downtown Midland businesses, but one business owner says months of construction was a heavy price.

It’s a tale of two businesses.

One is closing it’s doors for good, while the other is seeing more success than ever before,

Jo Jo’s Eatery in Midland has been in business for 29 years, but tomorrow owner JoAnn Briscoe will close down for good.

Briscoe says she cannot afford to keep the restaurant open after the pandemic and construction on texas street drove people away from downtown.

“Very few of the construction workers come over here to eat. I’m sure they bring their lunches, which is fantastic, but there’s no place to park out here. If they’ve got the streets blocked off with fences and machinery, they can’t park,” said Briscoe.

Briscoe says she will miss her regular customers the most but added that she would cook them breakfast from her own home after the restaurant closed.

“My customers, the camaraderie that I have with them and that they have with each other. Somebody said, “Jo, you’re closing the social club,” said Briscoe.

As the sun sets on Jo Jo’s Eatery, it’s a new day for one pop up boutique.

Simply Jayne owner Stacey Fox says her business has picked up more than ever thanks to the finished park and many, many visitors.

“We have seen a big increase in traffic. Because a lot of mothers will come up, and they’ll let their kids go across the street to the park, roll down the hill, play in the water. They love it because they can come over here and shop and still keep an eye on their kids. Yes, the increase in traffic has grown, and I think that’s only going to get better as more and more stuff opens down here, and the weather gets warmer, and the bands start playing. I think it’s going to add a lot to the area,” said Fox.

Midlanders should expect the downtown area to continue growing and changing as more businesses move in.

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