“AHHHHHHH! I’m so excited!” was Sarah Lydick’s ecstatic response as the Wheeling Heritage Show of Hands top vote-getter Wednesday night at the Wheeling Artisan Center.

She and her husband Rod walked away after Sarah’s four-minute presentation with $5,865. — the biggest purse in the history of Show of Hands.

ROD AND SARAH LYDICK

The couple plans to open Sarah’s on Main, a café in the former location of the Lebanon Bakery at 2122 Main St. in Center Wheeling. She’s looking forward to offering her buttery croissants (that don’t come out of a tube) and her salted baguettes that will be freshly baked every morning, along with a myriad of other delicious menu items.

Her intension for the prize money was to add “a little bit of Paris” to Center Wheeling with outdoor dining furniture, shade sails and a privacy hedge. But now, with the prize money that exceeded the expectations by a couple of thousand dollars, she’s already thinking of “100,000 other things … lighting, maybe pavers …” and perhaps outdoor heaters to extend the garden season.

Close to 500 people attended the 14th Show of Hands, with 437 votes cast for the contenders: Mugshots, Wheeling Threads, Stradwick’s Fade Cave and Sarah’s on Main.

GRANT COLEMAN OF MUGSHOTS

Each of the four presenters made a good case. Grant Coleman, who plans to open Mugshots, a coffee shop at the former location of the Keg & Kraut in East Wheeling, offered not only coffee but a chance to meet your soulmate. He did, at Second Cup Coffee, years ago. Chad Stradwick — the father of three under the age of 4 and the son of a single mom —  not only wants to open a “man-cave” barbershop, but to show young African-American youth that success is attainable. Daniel Finsley of Wheeling Threads wants to “be present” in the community and help other organizations.

CHAD STRADWICK OF STRADWICK’S FADE CAVE

Read more about each contender in our story posted earlier this week at weelunk.com/raise-your-hand-for-your-favorite-at-show-of-hands.

• After nearly 38 years as reporter, bureau chief, lifestyles editor and managing editor at The Times Leader, and design editor at The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register, Phyllis Sigal has joined Weelunk as managing editor. She lives in Wheeling with her husband Bruce Wheeler. Along with their two children, son-in-law and two grandchildren, food, wine, travel, theater and music are close to their hearts.

DANIEL FINSLEY AND ASHLEY REW WILLIAMS OF WHEELING THREADS



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