While the pandemic has presented new challenges to small businesses, it hasn’t been able to stop entrepreneurs from taking risks and trying new things. In fact, there are several new businesses that have opened shop over the last year. From food to beauty and retail, these local establishments have created even more experiences for the people of Wheeling to enjoy.
These new businesses popping up across the city is certainly not by chance, according to Valerie Piko, Program Development Manager with RED (Regional Economic Development Partnership). Piko regularly works with small businesses through her job at RED and as one of the facilitators for CO.STARTERS, a nine-week program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools needed to turn business ideas into action and create a sustainable and thriving business.
Piko believes that growing and emerging businesses are the heart of Wheeling and for good reason. “New businesses breathe new life into our community. Areas such as Centre Market and Market Plaza have changed drastically in recent years thanks to new businesses moving in, while complementing the businesses who are considered staples in Wheeling,” said Piko.
“Small businesses are what make Wheeling what it is. They add so much to our community’s culture,” said Piko. “They change the landscape of our downtown or neighborhoods and are a physical sign of change and new life in Wheeling!”
“When I think of what I love about living in Wheeling, it’s things like strolling through my local farmers market or eating on the patio of my favorite restaurant that come to mind. It’s the small businesses that give my family fun experiences and unique places to gather.”
So, if you’re looking to try something new, then check out some of these new businesses that haven opened within the last year in Wheeling:
Elle & Jacks
What was formerly known as the Metropolitan Grill is now occupied by Elle & Jacks thanks to owners Lara Graves and Phil Kendall of Wheeling. This beautifully designed restaurant offers elevated dining with menus to compliment the changing seasons.
Classic comfort foods and modern takes on meals are all offered at Elle & Jacks. Braised lamb shank with parmesan risotto and sweet peppers. Seared scallops with herb polenta and wild mushrooms. Folks, this is not your typical menu and it surely will not leave you dissatisfied.
Summer is food truck season, and De Adi Hibachi Grill is the area’s newest food truck that just hit the streets this August. Business partners Putu Rodi Astana and Gede Suarmento have worked for years together as hibachi chefs and decided to take their passion for cooking and create a business of their own.
Astana boasts 17 years of culinary experience, 10 of which as a hibachi chef. Suarmento has also been working as a culinary chef, with seven years solely in the hibachi field. Both chefs are serving up perfectly-seared filet mignon, hibachi noodles, flavorful vegetables and all with a fresh and fun twist.
Astana’s wife, Alysa Astana, takes the orders and packages the food and previously worked as a server in hibachi restaurants as well. This family-run business is in dedication to the Astana’s son, Gede Adi, who has cerebral palsy from a brain injury, which he has lived with since birth.
During their opening day on August 5, Alysa Astana was overwhelmed with positivity from patrons. “It was a pleasure to serve the community today. I kept saying how wonderful it was to really feel connected and be a part of the area I grew up in my whole life,” said Astana.
Avenue Eats a Garden Eatery
The locals are going to love this one! Avenue Eats on Washington Avenue may have closed in 2020, but they are back to serving up some fan favorites out of a food truck in a new location.
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Located at Nicky’s Garden Center amongst the beautiful green scenery, Avenue Eats, owned and operated by Lara Graves and Phil Kendall, offers up delicious gourmet cupcakes, fresh salads and, of course, their famous burgers — voted the best in West Virginia.
The brie and grilled pear burger, the black bean sliders and the smoked gouda burger just to name a few mouthwatering options. Located on Warden Run Road, not only will you enjoy some amazing food and be surrounded by unique flowers and plants, but you will also have a scenic drive, making the experience that much more enjoyable.
This new eatery has made a name for itself quite quickly. Salsa Joe’s, owned and operated by Tom Strussion, offers Tex-Mex style cooking with a full bar and countless events for your enjoyment. Salsa dancing lessons, karaoke and live bands every week take place at this happening spot.
This is the perfect place for a nice date or a fun night out with friends. Jalapeno and queso topped burritos, beans and rice and countless margarita options. Wear your dancing shoes and loosen your belt when stopping by this hot spot in Wheeling.
Amichi Salon and Spa
What was once a 1920s school building, is now a modern beauty salon. Amichi, located at 3637 National Road, offers cut, color, hair extensions, microblading, nails, botox and lip fillers, massage therapy and more.
Owner Angie Figaretti has worked for several years as a stylist in Wheeling and has now created her own salon with Amichi in 2021. The perfect place to spend a day with the girls is right here at Amichi Salon and Spa in Wheeling.
Sunny Day Tans
A mobile and in-studio spray tanning service created by Wheeling local Katie Hughes, Sunny Day Tans allows you to have a glowing tan, whether you want to be taken care of in the salon, at home or wherever your heart desires.
While Sunny Day Tans offers convenient in-home spray tan services, she also has a studio at the new Amichi Salon. It’s great to see businesses working together to offer complementary services in one convenient location.
Talan + Lou and Label 3 Boutique
Who doesn’t love a two-for-one deal? That’s exactly what you’ll get at Talan + Lou and Label 3 Boutique. Two vibes, two unique boutiques at one amazing location is the motto for Label 3 and Talan + Lou Boutiques. Both under the same roof, this duo started doing pop-up shops in the last year before deciding to open a shared brick and mortar space together.
“Being a part of Centre Market is amazing. There’s a lot of foot traffic and the connections we get to make with everyone in the community is great,” said Samantha Holcomb, owner of Talan + Lou.
“The support from the community has been unreal and we came from just having a small place in Saint Clairsville, Ohio to having a storefront in Wheeling. We didn’t know what that was going to look like and we just really appreciate everyone that supported us and we already have repeat customers,” said Holcomb.
Located in Centre Market, you’ll find casual wear, trendy work attire and fun evening items thanks to Lisa Bronchick, owner of Label 3 Boutique, and Samantha Holcomb, owner of Talan + Lou, joining forces.
• With a background in journalism and being a true Wheeling native, Jessica Broverman was destined to work with Weelunk. She holds a degree in journalism with a minor in criminal justice and works with Williams Lea Tag as a legal proofreader. When she isn’t typing away for Weelunk or WLT, she is enjoying a coffee at one of her many favorite spots in Wheeling, spending time with friends, or having fun with her husband Zachary and their two cats, Proctor and Max.