ON THE REBOUND
RUSTY DURHAM PHOTOS
Despite COVID-19, a cluster of new art galleries, gift and specialty stores, restaurants and bars have opened in downtown Fort Pierce in recent months.
Downtown welcomes new businesses as it
overcomes the economic effects of the pandemic
BY ANTHONY WESTBURY
“Remarkably resilient” might be a good way
of describing both the attitudes and business
prospects of downtown retailers and
restaurateurs who have bounced back from
the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rather than seeing a rash of empty storefronts and
shuttered businesses, as we frequently read about in the
national media, downtown Fort Pierce boasts a surprisingly
robust and vibrant local economy. In recent months,
a wave of new businesses has sprung up on Second Street,
Avenue A and Orange Avenue, complementing some old
There are a sprinkling of new art galleries, gift and
specialty stores, eateries and watering holes to round out
downtown shopping. There’s even a place to wet your
whistle while throwing axes at targets, an intriguing combination
Hard Axe Lounge, 200 N. Second St..
And the next couple of years promise more of a fundamental
economic boost to the area. By 2022, the development
of the Port of Fort Pierce as a mega-yacht refit facility
and the building of the mixed-use Kings Landing development
on Indian River Drive should drive more out-oftown
customers to the city.
Beryl Muise, owner of Notions and Potions at 116 N.
Second St., is an established downtown business owner
and a board member of the Downtown Business Alliance,
which seeks to strengthen local small businesses through
promotional events including Shop Small Saturday, held
over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2021
Muise reported that 2020 had been rough because of the >>