Recently, Indiana’s market has been growing and diversifying with the arrival of many new businesses.
David Janusek, Downtown Indiana’s executive director, defined the town’s growing economy with one word: variety.
“Downtown Indiana has always offered variety, from shopping to employment; corporate headquarters to mom-and-pop establishments; entertainment, food and beverage to retail,” he said.
Janusek also sees the growing economy in Indiana as a doorway to even more employment opportunities for IUP students, and he encourages students to “seek both employment and retail opportunities within the downtown corridor.”
The Escape Room
There has been growing interest in the recent escape room phenomena, and Indiana can expect to see its own escape room entertainment coming soon.
The escape room, which is an interactive, life-size puzzle game, will be located at 631 Philadelphia St. in the front end of the former Sacred Ink tattoo shop.
George Stamates, owner of three Subways – two in Indiana and one in Blairsville – is the owner of the new escape room and is very excited to bring the game to Indiana.
The establishment is expected to open May 1, according to Stamates. Initially, the room plans to be open from 4 to 10:30 p.m. seven days a week.
Stamates suspects they will be changing the room’s theme every five or six months to maintain a new and exciting design for the public. After completing the game in Indiana, he encourages patrons to check out other locations while waiting for a new design to be implemented in the Indiana location. Other locations include Latrobe, Greenfield and Pittsburgh.
Fire House Brewing Co.
For those interested in the local bar crawl, a new bar has opened where Boomies used to own property: Fire House Brewing Co. The bar is owned by Shane Caylor, who studied biology/pre-med at IUP. He never saw himself opening a bar, but he came up with the Fire House concept and business model about five years ago.
The aim is to bring attention to the first responders in the community with its name.
Caylor supports those who he feels are “never fully appreciated for everything they do… and they give a lot to their community, especially the local fire department.”
Caylor is a strong believer in a communal market, as he buys his food locally.
The Fire House Brewing Co. also has four of its own craft beers, and it’s currently working on another. In addition to the four original crafts, there are also 40 different craft beers.
Caylor sees the importance in helping other small businesses reach their goals. Caylor is also currently staging a fundraiser for a well-known community member, Fabrizio “Fab” Pirrone, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2013.
“Until April 9, Fire House Brewing Company will donate 15 percent of your bill to [Pirrone’s] cause when you mention #TeamFab,” Caylor said.
A GoFundMe account at
www.gofundme.com/teamfab has been set up for Pirrone with a goal of $400,000. As of Monday night, $36,000 has been raised.
Aside from the portion of a customer’s bill, there will also be a pool tournament where 100 percent of the proceeds go to the cause. Admission for the tournament is $40 per team, and teams are encouraged to seek sponsors for additional donations. There will be sign-up sheets in Boomies and Fire House Brewing Co.
A new barber shop owned by Matt Kowchuck, Matt’s Cuts, has been open for one month and has already experienced ample business at 580 Philadelphia St.
Kowchuck, born and raised in Indiana, has been cutting hair for 10 years.
This unique barber shop has many aspects that separate it from other places, such as “straight-razor shaves, shoe shines and all adult haircuts come with a complimentary craft beer from Levity Brewing Co.,” Kowchuck said.
This traditional men’s barber shop aims to bring the old-school style of barber shops into the new age, as well as offer a welcoming environment for men who want a barber, according to Kowchuck.
Locally known Amplify Church, which holds services in the Indiana Theater, is looking to expand its altruistic attitudes by starting a children’s ministry for Sunday services. Amplify Church plans on holding the children’s ministry in the rear of the building that formerly housed the Sacred Ink tattoo shop.
“It won’t be open during the week like a normal daycare,” said Ed Newell, a pastor at Amplify.
Verizon Wireless outlet
There are also preliminary plans for the creation of a plaza at the corner of Fourth and Philadelphia streets, where a Verizon Wireless outlet will be housed.
Above the commercial plaza, Bob Musser, a business agent at Verizon, plans on constructing business apartments.
Musser already owns seven different Verizon Wireless outlets, as well as previously owning the Verizon Wireless located in the Wal-Mart Plaza on Oakland Avenue, but he had to relocate because it was too close to the one located by Lowe’s on Ben Franklin Road. It is expected to be erected in 2017.
To follow more news on Downtown Indiana and its growing economy or the specific businesses, follow Downtown Indiana on Facebook, or download the mobile app.