Downtown Sebring is more than just the Circle and its spokes. It’s a collection of diverse and unique people who all fell in love with the City on the Circle. And each and every one of those people has a story to tell. Many businesses and people are taking things into their own hands. Making things change. Making things happen and moving Downtown Sebring.
The Sebring Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) would like you to meet people who are “Making Downtown Sebring Different” and read what they are doing to ‘move Downtown.
B & E Graphics & Signs is one of the budding new businesses in downtown Sebring. Brian and Liz Dalke are the owners of the one-stop shop for all types of personalized items.
B & E specializes in everything from banners to vehicle wraps and even wine glasses. The Dalkes’ shop is not like other sign and personalization shops because they handle everything from start to finish.
Both Brian and Liz were born and raised in Sebring and appreciate the familial atmosphere of downtown.
The appeal of foot traffic is what originally brought B & E to downtown Sebring. Though now the Dalkes have found more than just a good place to open a business, but an extended family. They also enjoy the bustling activities that downtown has to offer.
B & E Graphics and Signs is located at 104 N Ridgewood Dr, Sebring, FL 33870. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Is it time for a new hairstyle? How about a fresh color? Need a full-salon manicure? Then look no further than Cut’n Up Styling Salon in beautiful destination downtown Sebring. Brittany Chess and crew can take care of all your salon needs.
Brittany grew up in Sebring and felt that the downtown area with its brick walkways, historical buildings and great sense of community was perfect for her to be a part of. Brittany says she did not want to be out on the highway for the sake of convenience but rather wanted her shop to be a family business desired destination.
Cut’n Up Salon is excited to witness the revival of the downtown area with increased community pride and events and looks forward to the future.
Located at 116 North Ridgewood Drive, Cut’n Up is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 A.M. – 5:30 P.M.
Dee’s Place in downtown Sebring is synonymous with the heart of Sebring. Dee’s has been in the downtown area for the past twenty-one years serving up good food to customers who have become like family.
Dee Andrews is the “Dee” in Dee’s Place and hails from Indiana. She feels like a home-grown Floridian as most of her formative years were spent growing up in Sebring. When the time came for her to begin her business, the bottom floor of the old Nancesowee hotel was the birthplace of Dee’s Place.
Word soon spread of her delicious food, good prices and customers enjoyed that down-home feel. After many years in that location, Dee’s recently made the move just across the street to its current location. Still on North Ridgewood Drive and still serving up smiles, good food and making each person that enters the doorway feel like they’ve just come home. Dee feels that the friendliness and charm is what makes downtown Sebring a perfect place and looks forward to the future.
Dee’s Place is located at 138 North Ridgewood Drive and is open Monday – Friday 5 A.M. -2 P.M. and on Saturday 5 A.M. – 1 P.M.; Closed on Sunday.
Meet Lora Todd. She ‘moves’ Downtown!
If Downtown Sebring ‘goes to the dogs,’ that’s ok with Lora Todd, who is the owner of Plan B Promotions (www.PlanBPromotions.biz), an event planning company that coordinates several events in Downtown Sebring, such as Run to the Heartland, the Summer of Love Volkswagen Jubilee and the U.S. Aviation Expo Kick Off Party. And if that isn’t enough to keep her busy, Todd is opening Downtown Sebring’s newest boutique on Feb. 8, Dogtown, USA (www.DogtownUSA.org), that will cater to our favorite four-legged friends and be located at 112 N. Ridgewood Drive.
“Downtown is the heart and soul of any city….it’s your roots,” Todd said. “Visiting there should be a nostalgic, ‘Coming Home’ experience.”
Lora Todd was born and raised in Avon Park, FL and moved to Sebring in 1989. She got involved in Downtown Sebring by organizing special events that revolved around downtown.
After years of event planning experience, she launched Plan B Promotions because she LOVES planning events. The majority of Todd’s events are held in Downtown Sebring because of the Circle Park, the cooperation from the city and merchants, and the fact that it’s a beautiful venue that all event attendees really enjoy. Plan B is unique in the fact that most of the company’s events revolve around Downtown Sebring. Todd has developed a good reputation with the city, its service providers and the Downtown merchants who have made Plan B the ‘go to’ event planner in the business. They have the knowledge and expertise to be able to handle anything from motorcycles to airplane events.
When asked what is her favorite thing about Downtown Sebring, Todd says the friendliness of the merchants….how they tend to want to help you find what you are looking for whether it’s directions or a good place to eat. Also, the talent of some of the local artists and the beauty of the Circle Park.
“I love that downtown has a special vibe….it’s laid back and unhurried…It makes me want to just stroll and uncover the hidden treasures there.”
Todd is opening Dogtown USA because a doggie boutique fits in perfectly with the uniqueness of downtown. The pet boutique will provide something a little different and very fun for two- and four-legged customers. Being pet owner herself who loves spoiling her dog, Todd wants to offer unique gifts for not only the pet but the owners as well.
She is encouraged by the new faces starting businesses in Downtown Sebring and increased foot traffic during the day and at evening events. With the marketing efforts from the Sebring Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and special events, Downtown Sebring has been and will continue to see lots of new faces.
“I see further growth, more activities and quality merchants moving into Downtown Sebring in the next few years,” Todd said. “We have made great strides recently, and we plan to grow along with Downtown Sebring and see where it takes us.”
Come Downtown and say hello to Lora Todd and help us all ‘move’ Downtown!
Lending a helping hand to the community is just what the Highlands County Habitat for Humanity does and is happy to do. The Habitat store downtown handles the resale of furniture, clothing, household items, and larger items such as cars and boats.
Stuart Spencer, Habitat for Humanity’s store manager, is one of the smiling faces dutifully serving the community. Spencer sees the downtown growing into a vibrant place for businesses and customers alike.
The Habitat for Humanity is a store full of friendly people and great bargains.
Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9a.m. to 4p.m. and on Saturday from 9a.m. to 3p.m.
Meet Kathy Doherty. She ‘moves’ Downtown! And she’s ready to surprise you!
When asked why should people visit Downtown Sebring, Kathy says so they can be pleasantly surprised and delighted by the new shops opening around the Circle and its spokes and to explore and consider for themselves the possibility of starting their own business with start-up and property enhancement funds provided by the Sebring Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).
“I see a return to ‘busy-ness’ in Downtown Sebring’s future,” she says. “People are searching out destinations that allow for exploration, relaxation, and entertainment. We’ve been working well to become that destination.”
Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Kathy started coming to Sebring to visit her cousins and was lured to the sunny weather permanently more than 20 years ago. About 10 years after her move, she purchased her main business, Kathy’s Consignment Boutique, from the previous owner and was soon in need of more space. She purchased the stores current location, a Cracker-style, charming house located at 659 S. Commerce Avenue, and soon expanded her inventory to include men’s consignment as well as ladies.
“It benefitted me to add the men’s wear since I was outfitting a husband and three sons,” Doherty said. “I feel so fortunate to work daily in my charming and comfortable, low stress environment rather than on the highway setting in a building with no personality. It’s important to enjoy where you are, especially for work.
And Kathy sees other people enjoying the positive quality of life that comes with being in Downtown Sebring.
“Whether you work, live or just visit Downtown Sebring, it’s such as beautiful spot to enjoy that is always delightful to stroll and people are always impressed at how friendly and helpful everyone is… It’s an excellent location for small businesses as it is designed for foot traffic and exploration at a slower pace versus bigger cities and the hectic highway.”
She notes the resilience of the Downtown Sebring core that is now emerging from a down-cycle economy into a vibrant, attractive and desirable place to be as the merchants have joined together to get through a strained economy and the Sebring CRA has stepped up to market Downtown Sebring to increase visitors.
Her store provides a unique niche in the Downtown Sebring retail mix as she uses careful selection in providing her customers with tasteful, affordable style that compliments them and is age and event-appropriate. By definition, consignment offers a two-fold purpose: 1) a chance to sell what is good but no longer needed and 2) a chance to buy what is often not available anywhere else.
“I hear compliments everyday on the selection, organization, and the appeal of my shop, and that shopping here is an enjoyable experience,” she says. “They also appreciate the networking we do to help them find what they’re looking for, even if I don’t have it in my shop. It’s fun to see people enjoying themselves. It’s a rare day that I don’t enjoy coming to work.”
In 2012, she purchased another Downtown Sebring building located at 301 Circle Park Drive that was formerly the old Gilbert’s Drug Store. When her friend and fellow consignment store owner Tami Boss of Still Chic Boutique outgrew her space, Kathy and Tami teamed up to move Still Chic into the 301 building, which is now referred to as Galleria 301. With her second large investment in Downtown, Kathy felt it was time to get more involved, and she joined the CRA Board in early 2013.
“I find the mission of the CRA attractive and compelling. Joining the CRA Board was an opportunity for me to fit a niche that I believe in: the restoration and revitalization of the Downtown area,” she says. “It’s exciting to be involved in a mechanism that is designed to improve an interesting and beautiful historical venue such as Downtown Sebring.”
And in her spare time, when she is not running her own business, attending CRA meetings or managing two historical properties in Downtown Sebring, Kathy is a part of the Destination Downtown Sebring (DDS) group that plans and coordinates monthly, themed events the second Friday of each month.
“DDS was an evolution of the Downtown merchants’ desire to create more events to draw people downtown. Each month a different theme is presented on the second Friday evening of the month from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. when the merchants and restaurants are encouraged to stay open late and throw open their doors to our visitors,” she explains. “We have fun watching our visitors have fun with the activities and strolling the shops. We know these events draw visitors who will come back and they will tell others who also will visit….and be pleasantly surprised.”
Joseph Tapia has brought a little piece of Los Angeles to quaint downtown Sebring. Walking into Lucid Heart Gallery is an experience none like the art galleries Florida has to offer.
Tapia hails from Los Angeles which is where the gallery’s unique influence comes from. Lucid Heart Gallery has many different artistic touches, from beautiful jewelry pieces to a three-dimensional piece with peacock feathers.
The “old town feel” is what brought Tapia to downtown Sebring. He is hopeful for the future of downtown Sebring citing that more stores are opening their doors and there has been more foot traffic within recent months.
Lucid Heart Gallery is located at 131 N Ridgewood Dr, Sebring, FL 33870. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 11a.m. to 6p.m.
Think Mom & Pop restaurants are of days gone by? Not so. Downtown Sebring has the phenomenal Mae Lee’s Deli & Catering located on North Ridgewood Drive. Mae Lee & Phil Gilroy are the proud owners of Sebring’s oldest mom & pop restaurant and have been serving up delicious food for twenty-five years!
Everything at Mae Lee’s is homemade. Menu items include cold and hot sandwiches, different and fresh soups everyday along with daily specials. As an added bonus, Mae Lee’s delivers to the downtown area so if you can’t make it in to see them, just give them a call and they will bring it to you.
Mae Lee and Phil called Sebring their home after moving from New Jersey. They credit Sebring with being a great place to raise children and the small-town atmosphere creates a special bond that everyone shares.
The Gilroys believe downtown Sebring continues to hold potential for growth and are excited about the renewed spirit of revival.
Come visit them and bring your appetite! They are located at 445 N. Ridgewood Drive and open Monday – Friday, 8 A.M. – 7 P.M. and on Saturdays, 11 A.M. – 4 P.M.
The Circle Theatre and its sister business, The Sweet Shoppe, are sure to delight people of all ages. Manager Susan Macool moved down with her family to humble Sebring about a year ago and was attracted to the heart of Downtown Sebring.
The Circle Theatre is not only a venue for events, but also shows movies and provides dance lessons and other children’s programs. On the other side of the wall, The Sweet Shoppe scoops up delectable ice cream, serves baked goods galore and much more.
Macool felt compelled to start her business in Downtown Sebring because of the “total experience of shopping and history” it has to offer. She is excited to witness the growth of all the unique shops coming to downtown and she is hopeful that downtown will keep flourishing.
The Circle Theatre is open Monday to Friday from 8a.m. – 4p.m. The Sweet Shoppe is open Monday to Wednesday, 7a.m. – 4p.m.; Thursday to Friday, 7a.m. – 7p.m.; and Saturday from 10a.m. – 3p.m.
The Palms of Sebring is an assisted living facility and nursing home located in downtown Sebring. The residents of the Palms have a true gem in Chef Mac Gentleman. Chef Mac is the Executive Chef that oversees the dietary department. A unique aspect of The Palms Restaurant is that it is also open to the public and offers off-property catering throughout Highlands County.
Chef Mac enjoys bringing delicious dining options to the area and takes pride in the quality retirement care that The Palms offers. Chef Mac comes from Des Moines, Iowa and loves how the downtown district is centered from the Circle. He sees the future of downtown Sebring growing and becoming a popular destination with its nice shops and quaint, peaceful feel.
The Palms Restaurant is located at 725 S. Pine Street and is open 7 A.M. – 7 P.M.