You can catch Main Street in Luther hopping.
On Saturday, there was traffic in and out of the local restaurants, and remodeling activity at the soon-to-be-open Rustic Farm store, housed in the historic Engels Store. (Jenny and her family might have been working at the funeral home across the street, not sure!) The Engels Store is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is now owned by Jesse and Pam Simmons who recently bought it from The Town of Luther. The Town purchased the building in 2011 for $34,000 and left it unimproved. The Simmons picked it up in a bid offering for $20,000 and now are pouring their might and heart into it to get the shop open before Thanksgiving. It’s to be an antique and furnishings store. Pam is selling booth space for local purveyors of antiques, decor and usefulness. The small stretch of Luther’s Main Street is slowly coming back to life. Main is the fodder of many conversations and dreams, remembrances and “what ifs.”
The other bit of momentum is Luther being featured on television, positively, on Saturday evening. The state-funded tourism show, Discover Oklahoma, came out back in the summer and filmed a segment on The 116 Farmstead, Market and Table. The 116 – part restaurant, part watering hole (with coffee!) and part local grocer is two doors down from Rustic Farm, and has been open since June. (Full disclosure: The Luther Register editor works there, making coffee, admiring the food that comes out of the kitchen and the art on the walls, and talking too much to the customers. Scoop!)
What do you think about the segment? Is it fun to see Luther featured? According to a search of their website, the only other time Discover Oklahoma has come out our way was to visit with Phyllis at Angel’s Way Bed & Breakfast.
Granted, there are some issues on Main Street, specifically on the other side of the street at Town Hall. There are budget issues, serious acrimony and a desperate need to do some forward-thinking when it comes to infrastructure, continued growth and clean-up. Despite that, there are businesses primed and ready to move forward. Some have already taken the chance like The 116, The Chicken Shack, Los Vegas and Rustic Farm. Other longtime Luther storefronts crave and appreciate our support like The Mercantile, Josephines, the feed store, the hardware store, the bank, the liquor store, the vape shop, the tag agency, the insurance agency, the cabinet-maker and others. (Let’s start a list in the comments section. Omissions are unintentional.) Can we really make #mytown and #LutherLocal a thing? Do we believe in it?
Speaking of downtown hopping, parking is going to be a problem. At the August Luther Business Meet & Greet, downtown business owners agreed parking is an issue for both customers and employees. That’s a great problem, and no doubt a great solution can be hashed out.
The big takeaway quote on the Discover Oklahoma piece featuring owner Matthew Winton was, “It’s not only a place for locals to come, it’s a place that was created and beautified by locals.”
And that’s beautiful.