Over the past year, many businesses in Athens County opened their doors for the first time, and a few others closed their doors for the last time.

Amesville is now home to a new restaurant, Park’s Place, operated by a few Amesville natives and in memory of their grandfather, Park. The local angle doesn’t stop there — the two owners, Cory Richards and Josh Vernon, are cousins who have worked to create the farm-to-table, diner-style restaurant at 10 State St. in Amesville.

That means the two have aimed to implement local products in many portions of their business, from the meat utilized to fresh vegetables and dairy products, as well as the tabletops inside the restaurant. The restaurant opened in mid-July.

In Trimble, Cousin’s Floral also got its start this year. The shop was originally operated in Gallia County by Rae Farley and her cousin, but saw Farley saw Trimble as good fit for her business.

Located at 10620 Valley St. in a remodeled house, the floral shop offers a great deal of services, from funerals and weddings to prom flowers and “just because” arrangements.

Court Street in Athens also saw change: after nearly 200 years in operation, family-owned jewelry store Cornwell Jewelers closed its doors. Owner Kris Cornwall called the decision “hard to make” and said it was not made quickly. Soon after, another well-established business along Court Street, Follett’s Bookstore, also closed its doors.

Other, less-established businesses also vacated their Court Street storefronts: Lady B’s Fried Chicken, Franco’s Pizza and Lotsa Stone Fired Pizza also found themselves leaving.

The oft-turned over storefront of 19 S. Court St. received a new occupant this year when D.P. Dough opened a new location there. The D.P. Dough company also purchased Big Mamma’s Burritos, as well as the next-door “and Beer” store.

The West Side of Athens saw the opening of the West End Distillery, an extension of the West End Ciderhouse brand. Kelly Sauber moved his distillery operations into Athens, nearly across the street from the Ciderhouse, and has hopes for the tasting room and storefront to grow into a community space.

In Shade, the Shade Winery opened a new kitchen called the Terrace Cafe, upgrading the spot into a destination dining location for Athens County area residents. The restaurant is headed by chef Francis McFadden, previously a professor at Ohio University, and managed by Saundra Buck, a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Later in the year, the two also opened Ciró, an Italian restaurant located at 120 West Union St. The restaurant menu boasts a range of traditional Italian options, ranging from hand-made pasta to salads and local meats and cheeses, as well as wine pairings, cocktails and a healthy kids menu.

The restaurant took the place of the Corner on Union, a bistro that opened a few years ago. Sam Canterbury, chef of Ciró, said his goal with the Italian cuisine was to “introduce Athens to good Italian food.”

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