“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.
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.
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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.
• 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 Sigalhas 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.