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New bookstore among SL developments

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A new bookstore, a flooring shop, a new restaurant and a coffee shop are among the retail developments on tap in Storm Lake this season.

* Lake Avenue Candy, Book & Gift Shop will be opening in February at the former site of Omni Photo and The Grooming Room downtown.

Russ Craig, Odebolt, will manage the new business, which is owned by Solo Flight Inc.

Renovations are just getting underway at the shop. The upper level will be used for storage. Plans are being made for a special sale of used Christian books on February 1 and 2 as a preview to the grand opening.

* Nathan's Floors to Go will be opening accross the street, at 526 Lake, the former Salt & Light Book Store location.

The showroom will feature affordable carpet, ceramic, laminate, hardwood, vinyl and window treatments. Owner/operator Nathan Schlesner established the business in Auburn in 1998. Storm Lake will be the company's second location. Renovation of the store is underway.

* On Flindt Drive, work is being completed on Little Vientiane, a new Tai/Lao kitchen-style restaurant to be operated by John Khamphavong for Sichanh Inc., which has a grocery and laundromat businesses across the street. A grand opening is scheduled for Jan. 27, 1-5 p.m.

The restaurant will offer dine in and carry-out meals, with a signature lunch buffet setup featuring stainless steel steamers.

* Coffee Plus is in the process of construction on its new location in the opposite end of the new yellow triplex building. They will feature ice cream treats and Mediterranian foods. A third new business is expected to be announced soon for the center suite of the complex.

Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce officials are excited about the steady flow of developments, especially the ones that are filling the few vacant locations downtown.

"It is wonderful to see retail stores coming back to the downtown area, I think that is a very healthy environment," said chamber director Marilyn Monson. "There are not too many places where downtowns are as filled-up as Storm Lake is.

There is also more to come, chamber officials hint.

"We'll need to wait and let people make their own announcements, but I can say that there is a lot of interest from potential new business for Storm Lake right now," Monson said. "There have been a lot of strong inquiries."