• 73°

Editorial: Little by little, improvements are happening in Albert Lea

For all those who claim nothing new is happening in the business world in Albert Lea, walk through some of the business openings and major announcements this past summer.

On South Broadway alone in the last month, there has been the opening of Thirsty Fox Pub & Grill and Bleachers Sports Bar & Grill and the announcement that a group of lawyers purchased the former Elks Lodge, which had sat empty for a decade. Other construction is underway in other buildings on that side of town, though announcements have not yet been made on the plans.

In the center part of town, Homestead Boutique opened this week in the Dinah’s Style building on William Street. Matt and Angela Moller, who own Homestead Design, are expanding their business to include not only home decor items, but gifts and apparel, too.

In May, Mortarr opened the transformed Freeborn National Bank building for its company, which is an online inspiration gallery and networking site for commercial construction and design. Its old building, down the street, was sold to Jodi and Beau Hartman, who now own The Outlet, a co-working and shared office space available for daily and monthly rentals.

In addition to the opening of 1910 Fresh Mexican Kitchen adjacent to Nelson’s Shell station, Main Street Family Restaurant opened in the former Big Island Grille & Bar. Trail’s Travel Center now has McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell for fast food options. On top of these new restaurants, food trucks have been popping up around town, including the new and already popular Peppered Cow truck and others that have been around have the capability of increasing their business.

Albert Lea Seed is expanding its operation both at its current site and through the purchase of the former Fountain Industries building. Other industrial businesses are also expanding.

At Northbridge Mall, Mason City Clinic expanded its specialty services for area residents.

We’re sure there are others, but the point we would like to make is that things are moving in the right direction.

Now it’s up to all of us to make sure that momentum continues.